Historically, Terra Nova was also home to unique varieties of French and Irish, as well as the extinct Beothuk language. In Labrador, local dialects of Innu-aimun and Inuktitut are also spoken.
Terra Nova and Labrador's capital and largest city, Aquilon, is Canada's 4th largest metropolitan area (with 2,031,213 inhabitants in 2011), and is home to half of the province's population. Aquilon is the seat of government, home to the House of Assembly of Terra Nova and Labrador and to the highest court in the jurisdiction, the Terra Nova and Labrador Court of Appeal.
A former colony of the Brazilian Overseas Trading Company (COU) , it was populated by Brazilians until 1793, when the COU ceded it to Great Britain by the Treaty of Plymouth. The treaty also forced the British to sign the Terranovan Act, recognizing Portuguese language and Brazilian culture in the province, commiting to never diminish of persecute the Brazilians in Terra Nova and Labrador, similar to the Quebec Act, which recognized French culture in Quebec.
After being colony and then dominion of the United Kingdom, Terra Nova and Labrador became the tenth province to enter the Canadian Confederation on March 31, 1949, as "Newfoundland", its English name. On December 6, 1971, an amendment was made to the Constitution of Canada to change the province's official name to Terra Nova and Labrador. In day-to-day conversation, however, non-Terranovan Canadians generally still refer to the province itself as Newfoundland and that part of it on the Canadian mainland as Labrador.
As the core of the Portuguese-speaking population in Canada (77% of the Brazilian Canadian Lusophone population of 4,984,873 people, 14,2% of the Canadian population), Terra Nova and Labrador fought since its admission to the Confederation to have Portuguese as equal status as English and French. Finally, in April 7, 1975, after two decades of the campaign "We Speak Canadian to", the Canadian Parliament enacted the Third Language Act, turning Portuguese the third Canadian official language.
Terranova and Labrador is one of the richest and most developed Canadian provinces, with the 4th highest nominal GDP and 6th highest nominal GDP per capita.
The English name "Newfoundland" is a translation of the Portuguese "Terra Nova" which means New Land, that is also reflected in the French name for the Province's island part (Terre-Neuve). The influence of early Portuguese exploration and Brazilian colonization is also reflected in the name of Labrador, which derives from the surname of the Portuguese navigator João Fernandes Lavrador.
Until 1991, the province's official English name was "Newfoundland and Labrador", but after the Our Identity, our name campaign, its official English name was changed to "Terra Nova and Labrador", even if Newfoundland is stil used by the English-speaking population.