The population of Labrador is 26,364 (2006 census), including some 30 percent Aboriginal peoples, including Inuit, Innu, and Métis. Labrador’s area (including associated small islands and inland water surfaces) is 294,330 square kilometres (113,640 sq mi). It has a land area of 269,073.3 square kilometres (103,889.8 sq mi), approximately the size of New Zealand. Its former capital was Battle Harbour.
The name "Labrador" is one of the oldest names of European origin in Canada, almost as old as the name "Newfoundland". It is named after Portuguese explorer João Fernandes Lavrador who, together with Pêro de Barcelos, were the second party of European explorers (after the Vikings) to sight it in 1498.
Sir Hugh Hoyles (born October 17, 1814) was a politician and lawyer who served as the third premier of the Newfoundland Colony. Hoyles was the first premier of Newfoundland to have been born in the colony, and served from 1861 to 1865. Born in St. John's, he was the son of Newman Hoyles, the first leader of the Tory Party. Educated in Nova Scotia Hoyles trained as a lawyer and returned to St John's in 1842, quickly establishing a large and lucrative legal practice. He was eminent in the Natives' Society and the Newfoundland Church Society. Hoyles was elected to the Assembly in 1848.
During his term as premier, he tried to cool down sectarian tensions between Catholics and Protestants by inviting Catholics to join his administration and distributing all patronage fairly between religious groups. Hoyles also sent delegates to the Canadian Confederation Conference at Quebec in 1864. Newfoundland had not been invited to Charlottetown. Those delegates, Ambrose Shea for the opposition, and Frederick Carter, for the government, did not have the power to negotiate. Hoyles decided to leave office in 1865, before the crucial 1869 election which decided the fate of Confederation with Canada. He was succeeded by Sir Frederick Carter, and was later appointed Chief Justice of Newfoundland.