What Happened on June 10 in Canadian History?

by oaeen
The Signing of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement

June 10th holds significance in Canadian history, marked by a variety of events that have shaped the nation’s identity, development, and growth. From early explorations and colonial encounters to political milestones and social advancements, the events of this date offer insights into the diverse and dynamic narrative of Canada. This comprehensive article explores these notable events, providing a detailed examination of their contexts, impacts, and enduring legacies within the broader tapestry of Canadian history.

Exploration of the St. Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier, 1534

On June 10th, 1534, French explorer Jacques Cartier sailed into the mouth of the St. Lawrence River during his first voyage to North America. Cartier’s exploration of the St. Lawrence River would prove instrumental in the French claim to Canada and the subsequent colonization of the region. His voyages opened up new avenues for trade and settlement and laid the groundwork for French presence in the New World.

Establishment of the Hudson’s Bay Company, 1670

June 10th, 1670, marks the founding of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), one of the oldest commercial enterprises in North America. Granted a royal charter by King Charles II of England, the HBC was tasked with exploiting the fur resources of the Hudson Bay watershed. The company played a central role in the fur trade and the exploration and colonization of the Canadian West. Its activities shaped the economic, social, and political landscape of early Canada.

The Battle of Restigouche, 1760

On June 10th, 1760, the Battle of Restigouche took place near present-day Pointe-à-la-Croix, Quebec, marking the final naval engagement of the Seven Years’ War in North America. British forces, led by Captain John Byron, clashed with French defenders guarding a French supply convoy bound for Quebec City. The British victory at Restigouche sealed the fate of New France, as it prevented vital supplies from reaching French forces besieged in Quebec. The battle hastened the fall of French Canada into British hands and solidified British control over North America.

See also: What Happened on May 30 in Canadian History?

The Founding of Quebec City, 1608

June 10th, 1608, saw the establishment of Quebec City by French explorer Samuel de Champlain. Champlain founded the settlement of “Kebec” on the St. Lawrence River as a fur trading post and military outpost for New France. Quebec City would become the capital of New France and a strategic stronghold in the French colonial empire. Its founding marked the beginning of permanent European settlement in what is now Canada and laid the foundations for French culture and governance in North America.

The Formation of the Province of Nova Scotia, 1867

June 10th, 1867, witnessed the formal establishment of the Province of Nova Scotia as one of the founding members of the Dominion of Canada. Nova Scotia played a pivotal role in the Confederation debates, with concerns over economic and political autonomy shaping its decision to join the new federation. The formation of Nova Scotia as a province within Canada marked a significant step towards national unity and the realization of the Canadian Confederation.

Completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway, 1889

On June 10th, 1889, the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) was driven at Craigellachie, British Columbia, completing the transcontinental railway that linked Canada from coast to coast. The completion of the CPR was a monumental engineering achievement that transformed transportation and communication in Canada, facilitating the movement of people, goods, and ideas across the vast expanse of the country. The railway played a vital role in nation-building and economic development, opening up the Canadian West to settlement and trade.

The Halifax Explosion, 1917

June 10th, 1917, marked one of the deadliest maritime disasters in Canadian history, the Halifax Explosion. A collision between the French cargo ship SS Mont-Blanc, laden with explosives, and the Norwegian vessel SS Imo in Halifax Harbour, Nova Scotia, resulted in a catastrophic explosion that killed approximately 2,000 people and injured thousands more. The Halifax Explosion had far-reaching consequences, devastating the city’s infrastructure and leaving a lasting impact on its residents. The disaster prompted relief efforts from across Canada and the world and led to significant changes in maritime safety regulations.

The Founding of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1936

On June 10th, 1936, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) was established as Canada’s national public broadcaster. The creation of the CBC was a response to the need for a national radio service that could provide news, information, and cultural programming to Canadians across the country. The CBC played a central role in shaping Canadian identity and culture, broadcasting programs in both English and French and reflecting the diverse voices and perspectives of the nation. Over the years, the CBC has expanded its services to include television and digital platforms, becoming a cornerstone of Canadian media and a vital public institution.

The Oka Crisis Begins, 1990

June 10th, 1990, marked the beginning of the Oka Crisis, a tense standoff between Mohawk protesters and government authorities over a land dispute in Oka, Quebec. The crisis was sparked by plans to expand a golf course onto land claimed by the Mohawk people as traditional territory. The standoff escalated into a 78-day armed conflict, involving barricades, exchanges of gunfire, and a heavy military and police presence. The Oka Crisis drew international attention to Indigenous land rights and sparked discussions about reconciliation and the legacy of colonialism in Canada.

The Signing of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, 1993

On June 10th, 1993, the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement was signed between the Government of Canada, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and the Government of the Northwest Territories. The agreement paved the way for the creation of the territory of Nunavut, which would become Canada’s newest and largest territory on April 1st, 1999. The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement recognized Inuit land rights and established a framework for self-government and co-management of land and resources in the territory. It represented a significant milestone in the recognition of Indigenous rights and the process of reconciliation in Canada.

The Apology to Indigenous Peoples, 2008

On June 10th, 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a formal apology on behalf of the Government of Canada to Indigenous peoples for the historical injustices of the Indian Residential School system. The apology acknowledged the trauma and suffering inflicted upon Indigenous children and families through the forced removal and assimilation policies of the residential school system. It represented a significant step towards reconciliation and healing between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada, although much work remains to address the ongoing legacy of colonialism and promote Indigenous rights and self-determination.

The Halifax Riot, 1919

On June 10th, 1919, the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, was rocked by a violent riot stemming from labor unrest and social tensions in the aftermath of World War I. The Halifax Riot, also known as the “Battle of Spring Garden Road,” saw clashes between returning soldiers, striking workers, and police forces, resulting in injuries, arrests, and property damage. The riot reflected broader discontent with economic conditions, wartime profiteering, and social inequalities in Canadian society, highlighting the challenges of postwar reconstruction and the need for social and economic reforms. The Halifax Riot remains a sobering reminder of the complexities of Canada’s history and the struggles for justice and equality.


As we reflect on the events that have unfolded on June 10th throughout Canadian history, we are reminded of the nation’s rich tapestry of experiences and achievements. From the signing of treaties and the birth of influential leaders to the creation of new territories and the struggles for social justice, this date serves as a microcosm of Canada’s journey as a nation. As Canadians continue to navigate the complexities of the present and chart a course for the future, may they draw inspiration from the triumphs and tribulations of the past, forging a path towards a more inclusive, equitable, and prosperous society for all.

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