First settled by various First Nations tribes, then by the Norse around the year 1000, the island of Newfoundland was officially discovered by Europeans, by John Cabot on behalf of the king of England in 1497. It was used for some time as seasonal fishing territory by the English, French, Portuguese, Basque and Spanish until being claimed as England's first colony overseas in 1583. Boasting unique species of plant, insect, animal and even an ethnic group, Newfoundland enjoyed self-government from 1855 to 1934 and held Dominion status from 1907 to 1949 before joining Canada as the country's youngest province.
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