Dundas Harbour, Devon Island, Nunavut
Dundas Harbour is located in the southeast of Devon Island, Canada’s 6th largest island. It is a forlorn but starkly beautiful spot. The island was first sighted by Europeans in 1616 by the English explorers Robert Bylot and William Baffin. But it did not appear on maps until after explorer William Edward Parry’s exploration in the 1820’s. Parry named it after Devon, England. In the local Inuktitut language, the place is called Talluruti, which translates as “a woman’s chin with tattoos on it.” This refers to the deep crevasses and streaks on Devon Island, which from a distance resemble traditional facial tattoos. On land there are remains of a Thule settlement dating back to 1000 A.D., including tent rings, middens and a gravesite. There are also much more recent remains a Royal Canadian Mounted Police outpost. The first post was established in 1924 to monitor and control illegal activities, such as foreign whaling, in the eastern entrance to the Northwest Passage. But conditions were so isolated and severe that the post was abandoned in 1933. It was reopened in 1945, but again closed, this time permanently, in 1951. Today, Devon Island is the largest uninhabited island in the world.