Jacques Cartier (Breton: Jakez Karter; 31 December 1491 – 1 September 1557) was a French explorer and navigator of Breton origin.

In 1534, Cartier became the first European to travel inland on the North American continent, sailing along the Saint Lawrence River with the assistance of Iroquois natives.[1] While exploring the Saint Lawrence, Cartier hoped to find a way through the American continent to China. Convinced that he had reached Asia upon reaching rapids, Cartier named them "La Chine rapids". The rapids however, were located in what is now Montreal.[2]

Cartier would discover the island later known as Anticosti Island, naming it Isle de l'Assomption and declaring it to be "strange and cursed". When he asked a group of natives about the name of their village, they referred to it as Kanata. This led Cartier to call the region "Canada".[1]