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Francophones of Newfoundland & Labrador
Corner Brook Museum & Archives
Corner Brook , Newfoundland and Labrador

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   When one thinks of the
early settlers of
Newfoundland and Labrador,
they think of the English and
Irish in Newfoundland, and
the Innu in Labrador. Most
people do not realize the
role that the French played
in the development and growth
of the province, nor the

legacy they left behind.
   The first inhabitants of
Newfoundland and Labrador
were the Aboriginal peoples.
Europeans can be traced back
as early as the beginning of
the 11th century with the
arrival of the Norse at
L'Anse aux Meadows. Many
explorers followed, including

John Cabot in 1497, Gaspard
Corteral in 1500, Sir
Humphrey Gilbert in 1583 and
John Guy in 1610. Amongst
these early European
explorers was Jacques
Cartier, who came
representing the King of
France in 1534.
   In 1662, the port of

Plaisance became the capital
of Newfoundland's French
colony with some 50 permanent
residents. By 1696, Louis XIV
of France declared
Newfoundland a French colony.
After many battles with
England, France signed the
1713 Treaty of Utrecht, which
ceded all French colonies to

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