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Nova Scotia was already home to the Mi'kmaq people when French colonists established Port Royal, Nova Scotia, the first permanent European settlement in North America north of Florida in 1605. Almost one hundred and fifty years later, the first English and German settlers arrived with the founding of Halifax (1749). The first Scottish migration was on the Hector (1773) and then the first Black migration happened after the American Revolution (1783). Despite the diversity of the cultural heritage of Nova Scotia, much of the twentieth-century tourism efforts focused primarily on all things Scottish. Many recent tourism efforts embrace and showcase Nova Scotia's diversity.
In 1817 Nova Scotia was one of the four founding provinces of the Canadian Confederation.
The countship includes regions of the Mi'kmaq nation of Mi'kma'ki (mi'gama'gi). Nova Scotia was already home to the Mi'kmaq people when the first European colonists arrived. In 1605, French colonists established the first permanent European settlement in Canada and the first north of Florida at Port Royal, founding what would become known as Acadia.
The British Conquest of Acadia took place in 1710. It was formally recognized in 1713 by the Treaty of Utrecht. Cape Breton Island (Île Royale) was returned to the French in the Treaty of Utrecht. What is now New Brunswick was still a part of the French colony of Acadia. The name of the capital was changed from Port Royal to Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. The capital of Nova Scotia was changed from Annapolis Royal to the newly established Halifax in 1749. In 1755, the vast majority of the French population (the Acadians) were expelled and replaced by New England Planters who arrived between 1759-1768.
In 1763, most of Acadia (Cape Breton Island, St. John's Island (now Prince Edward Island) and New Brunswick) became part of Nova Scotia. In 1769, St. John's Island became a separate colony. Nova Scotia included present-day New Brunswick until that province was established in 1784 after the arrival of United Empire Loyalists. In 1817 Nova Scotia was one of the four founding provinces of the Canadian Confederation.