Arawak people, Carib people, invasion of Grenada, female prime minister, Treaty of Paris
Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the Arawak people inhabited Dominica. However, the Carib people displaced them. Dominica was sighted and named by Italian Spanish navigator Christopher Columbus on November 3, 1493. The Carib people successfully resisted early European attempts at colonization. In 1632 the French gained a foothold on the island, and they retained parts of it until 1763, when Britain gained control of the island under the Treaty of Paris. Under British rule, Dominica became part of the Leeward Islands dependency in 1833 and was attached to the Windward Islands group in 1940. In 1967 it became an internally self-governing state associated with Britain.
Dominica attained full independence on November 3, 1978, and subsequently joined the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations. The republicís first prime minister was Patrick R. John. In 1979 a severe hurricane struck the island nation. In 1980 Mary Eugenia Charles became prime minister of Dominica; she was the first female prime minister in the Caribbean. She remained in office until 1995. In 1983 Dominica, as a member of the Organization of East Caribbean States, participated in the U.S.-led invasion of Grenada. At the turn of the 21st century the country worked to diversify its economy and expand its tourism industry.
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