Group of men around a table
Newfoundland and Canadian Government delegation signing the agreement admitting Newfoundland to Confederation. Prime Minister Louis S. St. Laurent and Honorable A.J. Walsh shake hands following signing of agreement, December 1948, Ottawa, Ontario.
© Library and Archives Canada / Reference PA-133280 / MIKAN ID 3191504

Newfoundland's entry into Confederation was designated a national historic event in 1958.

Historical importance: Led by Joseph R. Smallwood, Newfoundland became 10th province in 1949.

Commemorative plaque: Confederation Building, Prince Philip Drive and Higgins Line, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador Footnote 1

Newfoundland entered Confederation on 31 March 1949. Though Europeans were active here from the early 16th century, recognition as a colony did not come until 1824. Self-government and Dominion status followed but these were placed in abeyance in 1933 when Government by Commission was instituted. In 1948 a national convention proposed a return to Responsible Government but a spirited campaign led by J.R. Smallwood convinced a small majority to accept union with Canada which 19th century voters had decisively rejected. Sir Albert Walsh was the first Lieutenant-Governor and Smallwood the First Premier.


Bronze commemorative plaque on a wall
Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada commemorative plaque for Newfoundland's Entry into Confederation National Historic Event, 1989
Bronze commemorative plaque on its stand
Location of the commemorative plaque, at the Confederation Building, Prince Philip Drive and Higgins Line, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, 2007

The National Program of Historical Commemoration relies on the participation of Canadians in the identification of places, events and persons of national historic significance. Any member of the public can nominate a topic for consideration by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

Get information on how to participate in this process