Animals have long been used as a cultural symbol of people to represent their countries and citizens. These symbols aim to bring a sense of national community that can inspire solidarity and patriotism. Due to national issues, in general, the chosen animals are often very majestic, sometimes even mythical, which is why our semi-aquatic rodents and serrated questions all the time. So why exactly Canada choose beaver as a national symbol?
The discovery of Canadian beavers almost coincides with the discovery of Canada. Jacques Cartier exchanged fur with Indians Gaspé in 1534, and two years later visited Hochelaga (present-day Montréal), a village called beaver meadow. The beaver's subsequent pursuit of outdoor waters to the Arctic and the Pacific is a major driving force for exploring Canada today.
The importance of the pelican trade in New France prompted its governor, Earl Frontenac, to propose to the royal government in 1673 that beavers were a suitable symbol for Canada. Indeed, beavers were used to represent Canada in 1690 when the Kebeca Liberata medal of France was beaten to mark the blockade of Britain's attack on Québec that year.
2. The trade of fur
Beginning in the 16th century, the fur trade was the backbone of the colonial economy and was a major international industry for about 300 years. The fur trade is a national development tool that will become Canada. Participants, be it adventurers, seafaring, or coureur des bois, push farther and farther into the interior of North America to expand France's trade and claim (and ultimately Britain) for this land.
The center of the fur trade is the beaver, whose skeleton is used to do everything, from woolen hats to robes to winter jackets. The use of beaver as a symbol stems from the main players of the fur trade, Hudson Bay Company, who placed the animal on their robe in 1621.
With the history of companies and governments using beaver images for representation and currency purposes, as well as the fact that beavers live in every province, it is not difficult to understand why beavers are awarded. Royal consent on March 24, 1975, thus turning them into Canada's official national animal. However, now and then debate about Canada needs a new animal to be renewed.
3. The characteristics of beaver are likened to Canadians
Beavers are amazing animals with many admirable qualities for a young country like Canada (at least from the perspective of settlers).
Beavers work hard. Their front teeth never stop growing, so they have to continually chew wood to keep their teeth. They become large for rodents, only behind the capybara and can weigh up to 55 pounds and a length of 1 meter.
But compared to the work they do, they are small, efficient people. They bite through thick rows of trees, pull them and position them into streams and rivers, causing congestion leading to the formation of large ponds.
They built shelters that allowed them to be safe, dry, and warm in harsh conditions, in an island fortress with only underwater walkways.
They are so effective in changing the landscape to their advantage that they are hunted by those who are harmed by settlers but are found to have some of the best furs in the world. This coat is searched a lot, causing their population to drop from 60 million to only 12 million today.
But beavers are survivors. They can hold their breath underwater for 15 minutes and can live for 24 years in nature.
Maple tree does not stand before this national symbol opportunity.
4. The beaver image is used in many critical Canadian items.
The trade in beavers proved so lucrative that the Hudson Bay Company honored the small serrated animal by placing it on the shield of the badge in 1678. Shield of Hudson Bay Company consists of two elk and four separated beavers by the Holy Cross. George Red and reflects the importance of this industrious rodent to the company.
Healthy beaver is just like Canadians like Canadian, Canadian jay, Canadian Lynx goose, and many other animals living in Canada, USA and elsewhere. However, this is a widely accepted national symbol, as shown in this sculpture above the entrance to one of the Canadian Parliament buildings.
The image of the beaver is embossed on the back of Canadian nickel, and its image is seen on some Canadian postage stamps.
It is featured on coats like that of the city of Toronto (above), and it is also the mascot or symbol of many cities, universities, and other organizations in Canada.