Humanities › Issues How Newfoundland and Labrador Got Its Name A Comment by King Henry VII in 1497 and a Portuguese Translation Share Flipboard Email Print Woody Point, Newfoundland and Labrador. Layinlow/Wikimedia Commons Issues Canadian Government The U. S. Government U.S. Foreign Policy U.S. Liberal Politics U.S. Conservative Politics Women's Issues Civil Liberties The Middle East Terrorism Race Relations Immigration Crime & Punishment Animal Rights View More By Susan Munroe Canadian Culture Expert B.A., Political Science, Carleton University Susan Munroe is a public affairs and communications professional based in Canada. our editorial process Susan Munroe Updated February 01, 2019 The province of Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the ten provinces and three territories that make up Canada. Newfoundland is one of four Atlantic provinces in Canada. Origin of the Names Newfoundland and Labrador King Henry VII of England referred to the land discovered by John Cabot in 1497 as the “New Found Launde," thus helping to coin the name of Newfoundland. It is thought that the name Labrador came from João Fernandes, a Portuguese explorer. He was a "llavrador," or landowner, who explored the coast of Greenland. References to "the labrador's land" evolved into the area's new name: Labrador. The term was first applied to a section of the coast of Greenland, but the area of Labrador now includes all the northern islands in the region. Previously called only Newfoundland, the province officially became Newfoundland and Labrador in December 2001, when an amendment was made to the Constitution of Canada.