CAPE DORSET (Dorset Island)
Cape Dorset is a small Inuit hamlet located on Dorset Island, off the southern shore of Baffin Island. The traditional name for Cape Dorset is Kinngait (meaning "high mountain"), describing the ‘Cape’, which is actually a 800 foot mountain. This is a nature-lovers paradise with breath-taking landscapes and an amazing abundance of arctic wildlife, such as migratory caribou, seabirds, whales, seals and walruses. Ancient native Thule (Dorset Culture) peoples lived in this area for three thousand years, and it is here where the first archaeological remains were found. Captain Luke Foxe, during his attempt to find the Northwest Passage in 1631, was the first European to land here. He named the Cape in honour of his sponsor Edward Sackville, the Earl of Dorset. In 1913, the Hudson's Bay Company started a trading post, exchanging furs and skins for supplies like tobacco, ammunition, flour, gas, tea and sugar. In 1949, the market for white fox collapsed but the art industry boomed. Since the 1950s, Cape Dorset, the "Capital of Inuit Art", has become an economic mainstay of the community, with more than 20% of it residents employed in the arts.