French explorers first came to the New World seeking uncharted lands and unprecedented wealth. What they brought with them, however, was a unique culture that would eventually emerge as one of Canada''s most dynamic and influential societies. Seven million Canadians from coast to coast identify themselves as having French or French Canadian ancestry. They have contributed to every aspect of life in our country—language, government, business, education, cuisine, media and the arts. Fierce battles were fought and wars waged by early colonists and Quebecois seeking autonomy. Nonetheless the country remains united, with French Canadian spirit and participation contributing to the development of Canada—born under two languages and two flags, adding richness and depth to this country's cultural fabric and to our collective Canadian identity.