Canadian Heritage Minutes #1: Kanata

Posted on

Welcome to our series featuring Canada’s ‘Heritage Moments’, a series of commercials that aired on Canadian television in the 1990’s. We’ve decided to take a look at each one and the historical moment in Canadian history they depict.

Kanata…Yes, the village.

In this video we see Jaques Cartier and his explorers as they encounter the Iroquois as they venture up the St. Lawrence river.

While the Iroquois are pointing out the route to their village, Stadacona (which later became the home of Quebec City), they mention the word “Kanata”, which means village.

As you can see the whole commercial is built up like a dramatic encounter, with close-ups of the Iroquois as the flag-waving explorers (literally!) encounter them.

It’s weird how so many nations’ English names are the result of mistranslations that somehow endured the test of time. The Japanese name for Japan is ‘Nihon‘, which means land of the sun. Somehow on that boat trip back to Europe, the early explorers’ memories jumbled up the name into ‘Japan’, which really sounds nothing like Nihon. And now, those shoddy memories of early European explorers are the reason we call Nihon “Japan”.

Disclaimer: We are not the original creators of these videos, nor are we associated with them in any way