When I was growing up, Canada was referred to as a dominion. It achieved that status, rather than as a colony, per the British North America Act of 1867: “Whereas the Provinces of Canada [i.e., Ontario and Quebec], Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick have expressed their Desire to be federally united into One Dominion under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, with a Constitution similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom …shall form and be One Dominion under the Name of Canada; and on and after that Day those Three Provinces shall form and be One Dominion under that Name accordingly…
Title to the Northwest Territories was transferred by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1868, and the Province of Manitoba was the first created out of it, and the first province created by Ottawa instead of London, in 1870.” Other provinces joined after that point, all without need of the permission of the crown.
Apparently, dominion status ended in 1982 “when the British and Canadian parliaments passed parallel acts – the Canada Act, 1982 ([UK] 1982, c.11) in London, and the Constitution Act 1982 in Ottawa. Thereafter, the United Kingdom was formally absolved of any remaining responsibility for, or jurisdiction over, Canada; and Canada became responsible for her own destiny. In a formal ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the Queen signed both acts into law on April 17, 1982.”
But in that period between 1867 and 1982, Canada declared war on its own, in 1939. And subsequent to 1982, “the federal government continues to produce publications and educational materials that specify the currency of these official titles.” So I’m still not 100% clear I understand all of this correctly. (The picture, BTW, is from a 1945 Dominion of Canada $50 Eighth Victory Loan War Bond.)
The other reference to dominion I grew up with came from Genesis 1:28 of the Bible: “And God blessed [ Adam and Eve ] and God said unto them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (KJV) Some folks seem to focus on the “subdue” part, and find that using up our natural resources is OK, that God has given permission. Others tend to focus on “replenish the earth” and believe that having dominion over the earth means to be a good steward of the earth. When the United Kingdom had dominion over Canada, it meant that it had a responsibility to care for it, not to merely exploit its resources. I’m a “replenish” kind of guy.