British Columbia is known for its natural beauty and our Latin motto is Splendor sine occasu which means 'Splendor without Diminishment'. Our name was chosen by Queen Victoria when she visited in 1858.
British Columbia joined the Canadian Federation on July 20, 1871 becoming Canada's sixth province.
Before the arrival of the Europeans, BC was home to many Aboriginal people and over thirty languages including Babine, Beaver, Carrier, Tsilhqot'in, Gitksan, Haida, Halkomelem, Kaska, Kutenai, St'at'imcets, Nisga'a, Nuu-chah-nulth, Nuxalk, Sekani, Secwepemc, Sinixt, Skwxwu7mesh, Tagish, Tahltan, Nlaka'pamux, Tlingit, Tsetsaut, and Tsimshian.
British Columbia has always had an abundance of natural resources such as salmon and cedar. Because the people of our province were not having to continuously scrounge around for food, they were able to spend their time on such pursuits as art, politics and warfare.
In 2009 the population of this province was estimated at 4,419,974 and over two and half million of those folks live in the Greater Vancouver area.
Although our climate is suited for outdoor recreation and we love to have tourists visit, our economy is largely resource based. Our economic mainstay has long been resource extraction, namely logging and mining.
Now this is an interesting fact: even though BC is agriculturally rich - especially in the Fraser and Okanagan Valleys - less than 5% of the province's land is arable. In other words less than five percent of the land can be farmed on. That would have made farming very difficult for the first farmers in this province.
British Columbia's land area is 944,735 square kilometres (364,800 sq mi.) and our rugged coastline stretches for more than 27,000 kilometres (17,000 mi), and includes deep, mountainous fjords and about six thousand islands, most of which are uninhabited.
On the southeastern tip of Vancouver Island is our capital, Victoria - a beautiful city that I urge all visitors to visit. But the most populous city of the province is Vancouver. Being the endpoint of transcontinental highways and railways and the site of major Pacific ports we are ideal for a booming international trade.
But there are other major cities as well: in the lower mainland there is Burnaby, Surrey, Richmond, Coquitlam, Delta and our first capital - New Westminster; Abbotsford, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge and Langley in the Fraser Valley; Kamloops and Kelowna in the interior and Prince George is the northern part of the province's major city. (Nearby Vanderhoof is actually at the center of the province.)
There is so much more to say about this province but I am running out of room so I will leave that for another time.
I hope you find the beauty around you.
Karen Magill, logging, Vancouver,mining,tourists,History,Queen Victoria,international