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Despite the notes of explorers such as John Cabot about the gulf of the St. Lawrence River, Jacques Cartier was the first European explorer to sail in the River Valley with the aid of the Iroquois who had built their settlements there. He referred the northern area of the river as "Canada", mishearing it from the Huron-Iroquois word "Kanata", meaning "village".
Since then, other explorers and fur traders opened the territory and the French started to build their settlements, limiting the westward expansion of the British. Threatened, the British clashed with the French, starting the Seven Years' War in 1755.