The islands became less and less prominent on successive admiralty maps and were virtually rediscovered by explorer Robert J. Flaherty in 1915 in his search for iron ore. Flaherty produced the film documentary masterpiece Nanook of the North in 1922, based on his contact with the Inuit.
Inhabitants of the Belchers are said to be the last Inuit group to enter into contact with other Canadians. In the 1960s a schoolhouse complex was opened, the first teacher being the author of this entry. Later, a nursing station was added. The hamlet of SANIKILUAQ is the only community on the Belchers. Belcher Islands carvings have distinctive eyes, made by rotating the end of a file.
Author MICHAEL C. HAMPSON
Links to Other Sites
Exploration of the Northwest Passage
An overview of European expeditions to Canada’s northern Arctic region from the 16th to the early 20th centuries. Brief bios, illustrations, maps, and other reference material. An Industry Canada website.
People of a Feather
Watch a trailer for an engrossing film about the world of Inuit on the Belcher Islands in Hudson Bay and their cultural relationship with the eider duck.