Newfoundland is a large island off the north-east coast of North America, and the most populous part of the Canadian province Newfoundland and Labrador. (The province was called "Newfoundland" until 2001.)
The provincial capital, St. John's, is found on the southeastern tip of the island. Cape Spear, just south of the capital, is the easternmost point of Canada and North America.
The only authenticated Viking settlement in North America was discovered on this island by Norwegian explorer Dr. Helge Ingstad and his archaeologist wife, Anne Stine Ingstad, at L'Anse aux Meadows in 1960. The site of a multi-year archaeological dig, the settlement dating to more than 500 years before Christopher Columbus contains the earliest European structures in North America. Named a World Heritage site by UNESCO, it is believed to be the legendary Vinland settlement of explorer Leif Eriksson.
Newfoundland was later explored by Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot), and later by Giovanni da Verrazano in 1524, whose expedition was financed by the citizens of Lyon, under the auspices of King François I of France.
The word 'Newfoundland' is pronounced by Newfoundlanders with the second syllable slurred and the accent on the last, (as 'NewfenLAND'), so as to rhyme with the word 'understand'.