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Cultural Diversity

 

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Canada is characterized by extreme cultural diversity. This was true from the start, with the presence of very diverse First Peoples; European settlement by two main groups, the French and the British, resulting in a country which was said to be bicultural. While the French Canadians and the First Nations are considered as national groups within Canada, Canada's cultural diversity also derived, and is constantly reinforced, by the very diverse immigrant groups that contributed, and still contribute, to its population.

 

As a result Canada developed institutional and governmental strategies to accommodate the cultural diversity of its peoples. The presence of the French Canadian national group heavily contributed to the adoption of federalism as Canada's institutional framework. Today federalism continues to function to protect the specific cultural needs of the French Canadian national group in Quebec. In the same way, in recent years, the flexibility of the federal structure made it possible to grant a large measure of self-government to the Inuit, with the creation of the territory of Nunavut. As for immigrant groups, the need to facilitate their harmonious integration into Canadian society, while respecting their special needs and customs, led to the adoption of the policy of multiculturalism.