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Cape Dorset: (Inuktitut: Kinngait (high mountain); Syllabics: ᑭᙵᐃᑦ) is an Inuit hamlet located on Dorset Island near Foxe Peninsula at the southern tip of Baffin Island in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada. The Inuktitut name of the village means "high mountains."
Cape Dorset is where the remains of the Thule (Tuniit, Dorset Culture) were discovered, that lived between 1000B.C and 1100 A.D Cape Dorset was named by Captain Luke Fox after Edward Sackville, 4th Earl of Dorset on September 24, 1631. The Inuit originally called the inlet Sikusiilaq before it was named Cape Dorset, after the area of sea ocean nearby that remains ice free all winter. Hudson Bay Company started their trading post in 1913, where they traded furs and skins for supplies like tobacco, ammunition, flour, gas, tea and sugar. Since the 1950s, Cape Dorset, which calls itself the "Capital of Inuit Art" has been a centre for drawing, printmaking, and carving. Even today, printmaking and carving are the community's main economic activities. Each year, Kinngait Studios issues an annual print collection. Cape Dorset has been hailed as the most artistic community in Canada, with some 22% of the labour force employed in the arts.
In 1957, James Houston, European-Canadian created a graphic arts workshop in Cape Dorset. Houston collected drawings from community artists and encouraged local Inuit stone carvers to apply their skills to stone-block printing. The print program was modeled after Japanese ukiyo-e workshops. Other cooperative print shops were also established in nearby communities, but the Cape Dorset workshop has remained the most successful. They have experimented with etching, engraving, lithography, and silkscreen, and produce annual catalogs advertising the limited edition prints.
Between the years of 1959 and 1974, Cape Dorset artists produced more than 48,000 prints. Well-known artists of Cape Dorset include Nuna Parr; Pudlo Pudlat; and Kenojuak Ashevak. Parr's carvings are internationally recognized and his work is exhibited in the National Gallery of Canada. Ashevak's drawings of owls have appeared on Canadian stamps as well as a Canadian quarter. Inuit photographer and author Peter Pitseolak spent several years of his life living in Cape Dorset.
As of 2011, the population was 1400 an increase of 7.7% from the 2001 census. The area is serviced by the Cape Dorset Airport.
Spanning both Dorset Island and Mallik Island, Mallikjuaq Territorial Park is notable for its Thule culture, Dorset culture, and Inuit archaeological sites. The park is reachable by foot from Cape Dorset at low tide, or by boat. There is a cairn in memory of the ship, RMS Nascopie, that hit rock and sank in 1947. It was a supply ship to the arctic. Although the cargo was lost, the passengers and crew were saved. There are also outfitters that offer tours like dogsledding, camping and hiking to parks.
Roads in Cape Dorset provide access within town. Cape Dorset Airport is a small airstrip and provides connection beyond Cape Dorset (to Iqaluit Airport) and when ships cannot travel in the Hudson Strait due to ice.
The island and its surroundings are frequented by Arctic wolves, polar bears, and Arctic fox, as well as caribou and Arctic hare. Seals appear regularly, as do beluga whales during their migration through by the island in October and April.
Very rare Peregrine falcons, snowy owls, ptarmigan and ducks abound. Ornithologists consider the island's cape a major entry way to the nesting area of the Blue Goose. In 1929, it was the departure point for naturalist Dr. J. Dewey Soper in his quest for locate the Blue Goose's Foxe Basin nest area.
Mallikjuaq Territorial Park spans both Dorset Island and Mallik Island. Notable for its Thule culture, Dorset culture, and Inuit archaeological sites that date back as far as 3,000 years ago, it is reachable by foot from Cape Dorset at low tide, or by boat.
The island is 4 mi (6.4 km) long and 2 mi (3.2 km) wide, with its highest elevation 220 m (720 ft) above sea level.
On the southern end of Dorset Island, at an elevation of 243 m (797 ft) above sea level, the mountain, Cape Dorset, projects into the Hudson Strait. It is part of the Kingnait Range (Kingnait, in Inuktitut, means "high mountains"). The cape represents the southern tip of the Foxe Peninsula. On September 24, 1631, Captain Luke Foxe named the landform "Cape Dorset" to honor his benefactor, Lord Chamberlain, Edward Sackville, 4th Earl of Dorset.
Kingnait Hill, at 208 m (682 ft) high, is located on the island's north-west side. The shorter Eegatuak Hill is located 0.7 mi (1.1 km) north of the cape, on its eastern side, rising 99 m (325 ft) above sea level, and exhibiting a distinctive bowl-shape surmounted by a cairn.
Mallik Island, directly to the north, is joined to Dorset Island by sand and boulders. A natural harbour exists in the peninsula formed by the southeast side of Mallik Island and the northwest side of Dorset Island with prevailing northwesterly winds at 10 to 15 knots, stronger in September and October. The anchorage may have heavy swell conditions and there is frequest fog during the navigation season of early August through mid-October. Ice break-up is around mid-July, and freeze-up occurs in early November. Winter ice thickness can be up to 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in).
There are several other islands within 10 km, including Okolli Island and Sakkiak Island.
Cape Dorset is about 500km west of the capital of Nunavut, Iqaluit, and the only connection is by air, or in warmer weather by water (The Hudson Bay).
Cape Dorset is a traditional Inuit town where a lot of people hunt, fish and trap wild animals for their furs and meat. The furs are sold for currency and make a substantial portion of one`s income. The town allows alcohol but needless to say, it can cause problems. There was a referendum and the town residents voted yes on alcohol being allowed in the town. Some of the towns in Nunavut are dry as in no alcohol allowed.
(Info courtesy of wikipedia and this writer)
VY0BRR, Mike in Cape Dorset, Nunavut!
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