Historic Park got an overhaul last summer, but the ancient island
in Frobisher Bay remains mostly unchanged since Inuit abandoned
the camp site over 200 years ago.
or the place that shines, is a misty island that sits
off the end of Peterhead Inlet, 13 km west of Iqaluit. When the
sun is out, mica in the rocks glitters, literally making the island
shine. In grey weather, the thick green moss and grass are luminous
under the clouds.
island is the first territorial park in Nunavut to get new signs
that will help visitors navigate their way around, but visitors
will find they can still wander freely through ancient rock formations.
700 meters long and half as wide, the island is a treasure of artifacts,
including sewing and cutting tools, grave sites, tent rings and
the southern tip of the island, visitors can still see the imprint
of a Thule sod house: a circle was cut into the ground, rocks were
laid, and a narrow entranceway was carved deep on one side. The
sod roof, which would sit on a skeleton of whale bones, is no longer
there, but the bones are still visible. Lush green grass grows on
the site, fertilized from the remains of the seal, caribou, walrus,
whale, fox, wolf, dog and birds that were eaten in the house.
northern tip of the island presents astounding views of the mainland,
and the gentle sound of a waterfall just out of sight.
you will also find ancient rock piles that were formed centuries
ago as graves and meat caches.
total, there are 11 sod houses on the site that were built and occupied
by the Thule Inuit who came to the island 600 years ago. Archeologists
have discovered over 3,000 chert, slate, bone and ivory tools on
now, few tourists make the trip to the isolated park.
Noble, who runs a boat with his father, also named Jimmy, has taken
10 boatloads of tourists out to the island in the past two weeks,
with eight to 10 people per trip.
Monteith, the GNs superintendent of parks and conservation
areas, says the number of visitors could quickly increase when Qaummaarviit
becomes a historic area within an expanded Sylvia Grinnell Park.
to build a footbridge over the Sylvia Grinnell River have been discussed
since the early 1990s.
Sunday, representatives from the Department of Environment, the
Rotary Club, the Trans Canada Highway, and the Canadian armed forces
met to talk about a new schedule for the project, which was derailed
when the military unit working on it was pulled to Afghanistan.
now, summer tourists can take a 30-minute boat ride to reach the
park. Polynya Adventure and Coordination Ltd. is one of three outfitters
coordinating trips this summer, at a cost of $249 per person. Local
boaters can visit anytime, but camping is not allowed on site