The first European contact in Canada was around the year 1000 when Icelandic explorers (Vikings) landed on the east coast of Canada. The Vikings tried to inhabit the new land but were pushed out by either climate, or Natives.
It wasn't until the 1600's that the French and British started settling in Canada. They were constantly in feuds with each other until the year 1764 when Canada went under British rule.
On July 1st, 1867, the British government (under the rule of Queen Victoria) approved a plan which would allow Canada to become an independent country with it's own government. This new nation was called the Dominion of Canada.
Now, Canadians celebrate their independence on July 1st, often with friends and family, setting off fireworks and having barbecues.