Is there a political meaning behind writing Canada with a K (in English)?


The BBC has quoted this tweet written by someone supporting statue takedown/vandalism (depending on your viewpoint) in Canada

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One thing a little odd about the tweet is that Canada is spelled Kanada (with a K). Is there a political meaning to this?


Posted 2020-09-01T02:43:05.840

Reputation: 76 605

3That said, while the tweet may be over the top and performative, that shouldn't be cause to dismiss the point that lies behind it. John MacDonald was, by any modern standard, a dubious individual. He instituted a tax on all Chinese people entering the country, for instance, limited the freedom of movement of indigenous Canadians, and executed the leader of a primarily First Nations rebellion. He justified the first policy mentioned, by the way, with a call to preserve the "'Aryan character" of the nation. – Obie 2.0 – 2020-09-01T05:55:49.307

@Obie wouldn't that be the 'so-called Montreal' phrase? I can only speculate but perhaps the author felt one renaming per tweet would be enough. – Jontia – 2020-09-01T06:36:53.593

I had to read this three times before I understood that the BBC wasn't supporting this. Perhaps you should make the original ownership of that tweet clearer? – gktscrk – 2020-09-01T08:39:03.263

Comments deleted. Please don't use comments to make wild guesses what the answer could be. Please do proper research and post an answer instead which you can confirm with reliable sources. – Philipp – 2020-09-03T08:06:28.637



Canada comes from Kanata, a native word for village (kinda, more like a goof on Euro-side of understanding).

It is not totally unusual for people to give a nod to that etymology in a pro-native/anti-colonial context. Or to sound woke & PC. So it could easily apply in this case.

As to Kanada-is-da-Klan stuff, sorry, that sounds, until further notice, like a pointless dig at BLM protesters - if they wanted to KKK-ize Canada, they'd have... used 3 Ks so I'll give the tweeter the benefit of the doubt.

One reason for my above statement is that I Googled Kanada KKK and there is very little that comes back that doesn't seem related to Kanata, an Ottawa suburb and its local KKK activities. If it was a common term of denigration for our country, then you'd have all sorts of explicit blogs/articles expressing precisely that view via those terms - there's certainly no lack of similar writings about residential schools or, indeed, MacDonald.

Obviously, the person who posted the tweet is in the best position to know.

Italian Philosophers 4 Monica

Posted 2020-09-01T02:43:05.840

Reputation: 17 615


The political use of Kanada is a reminder, used by people of First Nations background that much of the land is based in a relationship between various tribes of the First Nations and the "Crown" through the Peace and Friendship treaties. Since the Crown is represented by the Queen in the UK, and the treaties formed before "Canada" existed, there is a sense by many Indigenous people's that Canadian government is not the rightful sovereign of the associated lands.

The removal of the statue of John A. MacDonald is associated with this view, because John A. was the first Prime Minister of Canada, and a major driver of Confederation, which was the beginning of Canada as a country. John A. was also known for a range of policies, including the Indian Act, the Residential Schools program, the execution of Louis Riel and "The Numbered Treaties" which many believe to be part of a program of cultural genocide by Canada (not Kanada).

Thus using "Kanada" is a way of saying "the real Kanada, not the genocidal illegitimate Canada that did it's darndest to try and make us forget about the real history of this land."

Ryan Deschamps

Posted 2020-09-01T02:43:05.840

Reputation: 21

2That's pretty much what I wrote in my comment under the question. Although there is another one, since deleted, which points out that Kanada, Canada (or Qanada or any other form) are all equally European words, since they are all loose transliterations of a particular First Nations word to the Latin alphabet. In fact, if I recall correctly, "Canada" is the oldest transliteration, the French one, since the French of that time did not really use the letter "k", and "Kanada" is arguably even the transliteration that is more adapted to Anglo-Saxon phonology. – Obie 2.0 – 2020-12-22T04:43:31.103


It is just cheap name-calling implying that Canada is equivalent to the KKK.

This tactic is commonly used in online discussions such as how Democrats will call Republicans RepubliKKKans and Republicans call Democrats DemoKKKrats.


Posted 2020-09-01T02:43:05.840

Reputation: 1 881

5So you have any evidence for this? People have suggested multiple possibilities in the comments – do you have evidence that this is the likely true one? – divibisan – 2020-09-01T21:49:03.850

I am a Canadian familiar with Canadian politics and this name-calling is used at almost every anti-establishment (left-wing) protest I have seen. I can definitely vouch for the fact that it is not a play on "Wakanda", that is absolutely laughable. It is true that native groups often try to use "historic language" such as "Kanata" but I have rarely seen that used in a political context. Similar examples can be seen at: Or just google "KKKanada protest sign" or "kkkanada". It is quite common

– YellowBadger – 2020-09-02T06:27:15.123

5This is inconclusive at best. Your example uses KKKanada with the 3 Ks. It is KKK related, doh. Google Kanada KKK or Kanata KKK and you really mostly get geo-bounded hits about Kanata, a big suburb of Ottawa and KKK activities there. Trying to tie BLM protesters to really really nasty name-calling of Canada to KKK without a clear link gets you a -1 in my book, even if I have little patience with the defund the police clowns. Fixing this stuff will take more $, not less (along with some well-deserved firings). – Italian Philosophers 4 Monica – 2020-09-02T17:22:07.447


The US is sometimes called Amerika:

– Andrew Grimm – 2020-09-03T13:39:38.153


In some languages (German, Afrikaans, Hungarian, and some slavic ones), Canada is called Kanada. Some speakers will use their variant even in English, so only the tweeter knows the real motive (political or not) behind it.


Posted 2020-09-01T02:43:05.840

Reputation: 153

(Not my downvote). I was aware of this, and if one searched for "Kanada" from the EU mostly gets hits like that, mainly from German pages. But I doubt this was the reason why the (apparently Canadian, or at least living in Canada) twitter wrote it like that. – Fizz – 2020-09-03T03:15:01.533