Dominica was already inhabited by the native Kalinago people, who used the name Wait’tukubuli meaning ‘Tall is her body”. The Kalinago (previously known as the Carib Indians) had settled on the island from around 1000AD.
The Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sailed passed the island’s east coast shores on a Sunday, November 3, 1493. Unable to make a landing, he never set foot on the island but he gave the name Dominica after Domingo for Sunday.
Following the European’s arrival, the island remained a neutral territory for many years, serving as a refuelling for ships. At this time there was much trading between the Europeans and Kaliango.
During the 1700’s the British and the French fought several times over control of the island before the British gained control in the early 1800s. The island gained independence from Britain in 1978.