Canaan refers to a place and a person. The place, which is named after the person, is the land that became known as the land of Israel.
Canaan was the name of a son of Ham, and grandson of Noah. He was the ancestor of the Canaanites, a group of people including Jebusites and Zemarites, who often clashed with the Israelites, as described in the book of Joshua, and in other books of the Old Testament.
Canaan received the curse from Noah "a slave of slaves shall he be to his brothers" (Gen. 9:21-25) when his father, Ham, humiliated his own father, Noah.