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Early explorers gave the area the name Acadia (French: Acadie), probably a corruption of the word used by the native Mi’kmaq. The most important lowlands lie along the Bay of Fundy and the Minas Basin in the southwest and along the Northumberland Strait.
The province’s present name, which means “New Scotland” in Latin, was the result of brief Scottish claims to the region in the 1620s. Many of the tens of thousands of acres of marshland created by the tremendously high tides—among the highest in the world—of the Bay of Fundy have been turned to agricultural use by dikes, which were begun in the mid-17th century by the early French settlers, the Acadians.
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Bras d’Or on Cape Breton Island, is saline, connected to the Atlantic Ocean through three short channels.
Many intruding heads of land make the lake’s 424 square miles (1,098 square km) a geographic complexity.
Settlers from England (Yorkshire) and Scotland populated northern and eastern Nova Scotia; the Scots, who settled in substantial numbers in Cape Breton, gave the province a strong Gaelic culture.Primarily hunters and gatherers, the Mi’kmaq ranged over the Maritime Provinces and into the Gaspé Peninsula and later spread to Newfoundland and New England.Their Algonquian language is reflected in such Nova Scotian place-names as Musquodoboit, Pugwash, and Shubenacadie.At Halifax, on the central part of the Atlantic coast, the average daily temperature in January is about 24 °F (–4.5 °C), while in July the average daily temperature is nearly 66 °F (19 °C).Winters in the inland areas are generally colder, with the coldest temperatures occurring in the highlands, and summers are slightly warmer.