Norse seafarers, otherwise called Vikings, under Leif Erikson, crossed from Greenland and into the New World a thousand years ago. They are the first confirmed contact by Europeans into the New World, beating Columbus by centuries. They would make settlements in North America for a few years, have contact (both friendly and not so friendly) with First Nations peoples, and withdraw back across the sea. A confirmed Viking site at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland is a World Heritage Site, and there must be more sites along the eastern seaboard, still waiting to be found.
Here we have wood chips and slag fragments, physical evidence of the Viking presence in Canada a millennium ago.
And yet the Viking time in North America would be brief, passing into history. Centuries later other Europeans would come, the French and the English staking claims in what is now Canada, bringing themselves into conflict or alliances with First Nations peoples. They would come pursuing myths, dreams, ambitions, and opportunities: trade goods, minerals, and the ever elusive Northwest Passage.
This, for instance, is one of the rock samples brought back by the English explorer Martin Frobisher. Despite his hopes that it contained gold, that was not the case.
The European presence in North America began to fundamentally shift the way things were.