Newfoundland and Labrador
Article: Barbara A. Lane · Photography: K. Bruce Lane
|Newfoundland and Labrador is
the birthplace of North American civilization and has remained in many
ways delightfully unspoiled and unique. Britain's oldest colony and
Canada's newest province, Newfoundland includes the world's 16th largest
island as well as the mainland portion, Labrador, which stretches all the
way to the Arctic circle.
|Majestic mountains, dense
evergreen forests, dramatic fjords, rolling fertile farmlands and
wind-swept barrens blend one into the other, offering some of the world's
most breathtaking scenery. Tiny by some standards, Newfoundland and
Labrador is home to more lakes and rivers than anywhere else in North
|The rushing waters of the
province's two main rivers, the Humber and the Exploits, abound in trout
and salmon, their banks edging into thick pockets of fir, birch and spruce
where the world's largest black bear roams. In the interior of the
island, roam the lynx, the moose and the fox, while Labrador sustains the
largest caribou herd in the world.
||In spring and early summer,
millions of tiny, silver-edged capelin rush to the shores of
Newfoundland's hidden coves and bays to deposit their eggs among the beach
rocks. Pods of whales, attracted by the hoards of capelin,
laze just offshore, feeding and frolicking in the deep Atlantic waters.
One of North America's largest nesting colonies of gannets, along with
rare species such as kittiwakes and razorbills, pepper the cliffs of Cape
St. Mary's Seabird sanctuary.
|In Newfoundland and Labrador
even the very rocks are of interest and have important tales to tell.
There are rock formations in Labrador that date back billions of years,
virtually to the birth of the planet. And along the island's
southern Avalon at Mistaken Point near Trepassey, are some of the oldest
marine fossils in the world.
||Just as Newfoundland and
Labrador is the heart of North American civilization, the people of this
province are the heart of Newfoundland and Labrador. From the Inuit,
Montagnais and the Nascopi, whose cultural identities have survived for
thousands of years, to the descendants of West European settlers,
Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are a hardy folk whose rich sea heritage
and unmatched sense of humour have seen them through good times and bad.
|A people of old-world values
and centuries-long traditions, they are known around the world for their
warmth and friendliness. Hardworking and steadfast, they have made a
living from the sea and the land, all the while taking from their
backgrounds the best of many cultures and moulding it into a unique one,
as rich and fascinating as their history.
||It is a culture that spans two
continents and five centuries - one that can be found in the abundance of
folklore passed from one generation to another, its traditional music, its
plethora of literature and its vibrant and active arts community.
Even the island's dialects with their lilting hints of old Ireland and the
harshness of cockney English speak of roots to the old world. The
colourful language and descriptive sayings are echoes of a long and
Labradorians are as risk-taking as the European merchants who sponsored
the search for the new world, as enduring as John Guy who founded North
America's first permanent settlement and as visionary as John Cabot who
rediscovered an entire continent.
C K | G A L L E R I E S