Belcher Islands

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The Belcher Islands are an archipelago in Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut, Canada. Located in Hudson Bay, the Belcher Islands are spread out over almost 3,000 square kilometres (1,160 sq mi). The hamlet of Sanikiluaq is on the north coast of Flaherty Island and is the southernmost in Nunavut. Along with Flaherty Island, the other large islands are Kugong Island, Tukarak Island, and Innetalling Island.[1] Other major islands in the 1,500 island archipelago are Moore Island, Wiegand Island, Split Island, Snape Island and Mavor Island.



The geology of the Belcher Islands is Proterozoic; the exposed clastic sedimentary rocks, as well as volcanic igneous and carbonate units record rifting and subsidence of the Superior craton during this period. There are two main volcanic sequences on the Belcher Islands called the Eskimo and overlying Flaherty volcanics. These volcanics form part of the Circum-Superior Belt.


No trees can grow on the islands other than in the valleys because of a lack of adequate soil.[2]


The main wild life consists of belugas, walrus, reindeer, and snowy owls all which can be seen on the island year round. There is also a wide variety of fish that can be caught such as Arctic Char, Cod Capelin, Lump Fish, and Sculpin.[3]


Before 1914 English-speaking cartographers knew very little about the Belcher Islands, which they showed on maps as specks, much smaller than their true extent. In that year a map showing them, drawn by George Weetaltuk, came into the hands of Robert Flaherty, and cartographers began to represent them more accurately.[4]

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