Four hundred years earlier, English and French explorers were just as surprised to learn someone was here before them. They came to Canada in search of new lands to claim as theirs. They soon learned that the land they wanted was already occupied, by strangers they called "Indians" because they thought they had reached India.
The history of these "strangers," or the First Nations people of Canada, goes back further than the early explorers could ever have imagined. Between 30,000 and 40,000 years ago, scientists believe a land bridge connected modem Alaska and Siberia, in Russia. At some point, hunters started crossing this bridge into North America. They were following herds of animals. Then, over the years, they travelled farther south and east until they reached what we now call eastern Canada.
One of the oldest First Nations sites in Nova Scotia is 10,600 years old. This is in Debert. There are seven others in the Maritimes. They are at Dartmouth, Yarmouth, and the Amherst Shore in Nova Scotia. In New Brunswick, they are in Quaco Head, Kingsclear, and Hogan-Mullin. And in PEl, there is a site at Souris. Scientists disagree on who lived at these sites. But some Mi'kmaq people believe it was their ancestors.
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