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The history of Canada covers the period from the arrival of Paleo-Indians thousands of years ago to the present day.
Prior to European colonization, the lands encompassing present-day Canada were inhabited for millennia by Indigenous peoples, with distinct trade networks, spiritual beliefs, and styles of social organization.
Ice Age hunter-gatherers of this period left lithic flake fluted stone tools and the remains of large butchered mammals.
The North American climate stabilized around 8000 BCE (10,000 years ago).
The inlets and valleys of the British Columbia Coast sheltered large, distinctive populations, such as the Haida, Kwakwaka'wakw and Nuu-chah-nulth, sustained by the region's abundant salmon and shellfish.
There are reports of contact made before the 1492 voyages of Christopher Columbus and the age of discovery between First Nations, Inuit and those from other continents.
The Na-Dene language group is believed to be linked to the Yeniseian languages of Siberia.
The Interior of British Columbia was home to the Salishan language groups such as the Shuswap (Secwepemc), Okanagan and southern Athabaskan language groups, primarily the Dakelh (Carrier) and the Tsilhqot'in.
The Algonquian language is believed to have originated in the western plateau of Idaho or the plains of Montana and moved with migrants eastward, The Ojibwa and other Anishinaabe speakers of the central Algonquian languages retain an oral tradition of having moved to their lands around the western and central Great Lakes from the sea, likely the Atlantic coast.French interest in the New World began with Francis I of France, who in 1524 sponsored Giovanni da Verrazzano to navigate the region between Florida and Newfoundland in hopes of finding a route to the Pacific Ocean.Although the English had laid claims to it 1497 when John Cabot made landfall somewhere on the North American coast (likely either modern-day Newfoundland or Nova Scotia) and had claimed the land for England on behalf of King Henry VII, these claims were not exercised and England did not make any attempts at permanent colonization.Climatic conditions were similar to modern patterns; however, the receding glacial ice sheets still covered large portions of the land, creating lakes of meltwater.
However, individual groups started to focus on resources available to them locally; thus with the passage of time, there is a pattern of increasing regional generalization (i.e.: Paleo-Arctic, Plano and Maritime Archaic traditions).
The Hopewell tradition is an Indigenous culture that flourished along American rivers from 300 BCE to 500 CE.