Halifax, Nova Scotia, incorporated as a city in 1841, population 403,131 (2016 c). Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia and the largest urban area in Atlantic Canada. On 1 April 1996 Halifax was amalgamated with neighbouring communities to form the Halifax Regional Municipal Government. Halifax Regional Municipality occupies a strategic and central location on the province's east coast and is one of the world's largest harbours. Sometimes called "Warden of the North" for its historic military role, today it is a major regional centre for Atlantic Canada's economy.
Human settlement of present day Nova Scotia dates back to the end of the last Ice Age, approximately 13,000 years ago, when groups of hunter gatherers moved into the area to hunt caribou. Oral tradition identifies these early settlers as the forefathers of the Mi’kmaq people, who occupied a territory stretching from the Gaspé Peninsulato Cape Breton Island, called Mi’kma’ki. The Mi’kmaq did not establish permanent settlements, but moved in seasonal rounds from coastal regions in the summer where they fished and hunted, to inland areas in the winter where they hunted game such as moose, caribou, muskrat and bear. One coastal area used by the Mi’kmaq was Jipugtug, later Anglicised as Chebucto, which meant “the biggest harbour.” The Mi’kmaq were prosperous and greatly impressed early Europeans.