Library and Archives Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional links

ARCHIVED - Confederation for kids

Archived Content

This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.


It took a lot of planning and negotiation to unite the different parts of Canada. There were many different opinions about Confederation, and it wasn't easy to come up with an agreement. The people who worked together to unite Canada had a hard job.

Below you will see an alphabetical list of names of people who had an important role to play in the making of Canada. If you click on a name you will be shown a picture of the person, and the story of their life.

There is also a list provinces and territories. Click on the name of the province to see the life story of a person important for Confederation from that province or territory.

Alphabetical List By Province/Territory
Cartier, George-Étienne Alberta (Haultain)
De Cosmos, Amor British Columbia (De Cosmos)
Haultain, Frederick William Alpin Gordon Manitoba (Riel)
Howe, Joseph New Brunswick (Tilley)
Laird, David Newfoundland (Smallwood)
Macdonald, John Alexander Northwest Territories (Laird)
Okalik, Paul Nova Scotia (Howe, Tupper)
Pope, James Colledge Nunavut (Okalik)
Riel, Louis Ontario (Macdonald)
Smallwood, Joseph Roberts Prince Edward Island (Pope)
Steele, Samuel Benfield Quebec (Cartier)
Tilley, Samuel Leonard Saskatchewan (Haultain)
Tupper, Charles Yukon (Steele)

The Fathers of Confederation

Since Confederation was in some ways considered the birth of a new nation, the leaders from the colonies that participated in the Confederation conferences are called "Fathers" of Confederation. Even though Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island did not join Canada in 1867, the people they sent to the conferences are also known as Fathers of Confederation. Below is a list of all these "Fathers" in order of the colony they represented.

New Brunswick:
Edward Barron Chandler, Charles Fisher, John Hamilton Gray, John Mercer Johnson, Peter Mitchell, William Henry Steeves, Samuel Leonard Tilley, Robert Duncan Wilmot
Frederick B. T. Carter, Ambrose Shea
Nova Scotia:
Adams G. Archibald, Robert Barry Dickey, William Alexander Henry, Jonathan McCully, John William Ritchie, Charles Tupper
Prince Edward Island:
George Coles, John Hamilton Gray, Thomas Heath Haviland, Andrew Archibald Macdonald, Edward Palmer, William Henry Pope, Edward Whelan
Province of Canada:
George Brown, Alexander Campbell, George-Étienne Cartier, Jean-Charles Chapais, James Cockburn, Alexander Tilloch Galt, William Pierce Howland, Hector-Louis Langevin, John A. Macdonald, William McDougall, Thomas D'Arcy McGee, Oliver Mowat, Étienne-Paschal Taché