Is Canada a Nation?

1167 Words Dec 9th, 2010 5 Pages
The concept of nationhood is a complex one. What makes a country a nation? What is a nation? In this essay, we will attempt to gain an understanding of what a nation is, and why Canada is in fact a nation, not merely because we meet certain criteria, but because we, as Canadians, believe it is so. To define the term “nation” is quite a challenging task. The Student’s Oxford Canadian Dictionary defines a nation as, “a community of people forming a state or inhabiting a territory” (Barber, et al., 2007). In contrast to many other resources, this definition is an extremely simple one. The same dictionary defines a state as “an organized political community under one government” (Barber, et al., 2007). By these definitions, Canada clearly …show more content…
The common culture requirement is more difficult to understand because of the lack of a definitive definition of the term, however there are some universal aspects of Canadian life that could be considered a common culture. The widespread popularity of Tim Hortons, and the vast amount of locations across Canada clearly speaks to its status as a cultural centre in Canadian Society. No matter their location, Canadians are almost completely united in their admiration of the coffee chain. The popularity of hockey amongst Canadians could also be considered a uniting cultural factor. Because of these factors and others, I would suggest that Canadians are united by a common culture. The final requirement of this definition is the possession or desire to have an independent government. Canada clearly satisfies this requirement through our federal government. The above definition is also the definition used by the United Nations. One would assume that the definition used by the United Nations would be the most correct or the most official, but this may not be the case. The term nation is used in the name of the organization, but according to its own definition of the term, none of the member countries are nations. Rather, they are states. This seemingly circular argument clearly discredits the United Nations definition of a nation.
Therefore, the definition of nationhood is still as clear as mud. This murky situation still remains unsolved, as