Ellesmere Island

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Ellesmere Island is part of the Qikiqtaaluk Region of the Canadian territory of Nunavut. Lying within the Canadian Arctic Archipelago it is considered part of the Queen Elizabeth Islands, with Cape Columbia being the most northerly point of land in Canada. It comprises an area of 196,235 km2 (75,767 sq mi), making it the world's tenth largest island and Canada's third largest island. The Arctic Cordillera mountain system covers much of Ellesmere Island, making it the most mountainous in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The Arctic willow is the only woody species to grow on Ellesmere Island.[1]



The first human inhabitants of Ellesmere Island were small bands drawn to the area for Peary caribou, muskox, and marine mammal hunting about 2000–1000 BC.[2]

As was the case for the Dorset (or Palaeoeskimo) hunters and the pioneering Neoeskimos, the Post-Ruin Island and Late Thule culture Inuit used the Bache Peninsula region extensively both summer and winter until environmental, ecological and possibly social circumstances caused the area to be abandoned. It was the last region in the Canadian High Arctic to be depopulated during the "Little Ice Age," attesting to its general economic importance as part of the Smith Sound culture sphere of which it was occasionally a part and sometimes the principal settlement component.[3]

Vikings from the Greenland colonies reached Ellesmere Island, Skraeling Island and Ruin Island during hunting expeditions and trading with the Inuit groups.[4] Unusual structures on Bache peninsula may be the remains of a late-period Dorset stone longhouse.[5]

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