Mackenzie King Island -Full details

Mackenzie King Island is a Canada-controlled island in the North Pacific Ocean, about 2,600 kilometres northeast of Vancouver and about 1,000 kilometres southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska.

The island is situated within the Shelf Island regime and is bounded by the coastlines of British Columbia and Alaska to the north, by channels to the east and south, respectively, by Peninsular Ranges to the west, and by Alexander Archipelago to the south. The island has an area of 262.5 square kilometres (101 sq mi) and a population of 6 people as of 2001.

Mackenzie King Island History

Mackenzie King Island

The first recorded visit to the island was in 1851 by George Davidson, a whaling captain of the bark “Narcisse” who charted some of its coasts. The first reported discovery of gold on the island was by Isaac Israel Tuckertown and his four companions in 1863. A second claim was made at about the same time by Peter Covell and William Fenton, but their venture proved unsuccessful.

A smallpox epidemic broke out on the island in 1863.

The first permanent settler was Royal Navy Captain James Wilson who, with his wife and four children left England late in 1868 early bound for Nome Alaska. Passing through numerous storms they landed on Mackenzie King Island where he became the first to take up residency (due to being blinded by snow blindness).

His wife died from scurvy after a single year of life and William Fenton , the other previous settler on the island, who lost all he had working in a coal mine and died penniless of rheumatism.

Captain Wilson did not return for another 7–8 years. His son James was raised by his father’s cousin with whom he grew up to become one of Alaska’s most famous sons — Tom Slick (1833-1904). After an unsuccessful mining venture westward from Nome and a visit to Saint Paul, the Captain decided his son was ready for an adventure of a different sort so he brought him back in 1873 where he made another claim. Later that summer James Wilson fell ill and died soon after; not yet 21 years old.



The climate of the island is moderated by the surrounding water and varies from warm summers to cool winters. Average monthly temperatures range from in January to in July, with an average of . Precipitation averages per year. Annual rainfall averages : more than can be harvested. Rainfall is light, falling mostly between November and February.


Culture and Religion

The culture of the island is similar to that of Scotland. The people are predominantly Inuit and descendants of Scottish settlers who arrived in the 1800s. They have retained many traditions, including a love for music, verse and stories. The lives of the islanders revolve around salmon, walrus and seals. People live in large stone houses somewhat like Inuit huts but with a plan floor.

They are constructed by people taking geological samples: selecting rocks that fit together and building walls to retain heat without making it too hot inside; they also add sea stacks to create additional outlets for cold air while forcing more warm air through openings on top to lower coolness at night .

Cultural life is centered on stories and songs. The islanders are skilled story tellers, keeping the Yupik version of oral tradition alive through storytelling sessions along with sacred songs sung between ceremonies in place such as tiemetlaxaalart’ienai (the coming together to share tales.) For example, one must wait 12 cold months before a man may marry his wife.



The island is a self-governing territory under the British crown, with its own internal government and parliament.

The first minister of Nunavut was appointed in April 2009 by the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper following devolution negotiations between Ottawa and Inuit leaders from across Canada. This process began in 2007 with an agreement to devolve power from the federal government of Canada over local issues like housing, policing, and education.

The island has its own legislature, Nunavut Legislative Assembly. The territory also includes four other territories: Iqaluit (Kalaallit Wake Island) /Resolute Bay on Cornwallis Island; the Hudson Plains District which is under development as a settlement area for Inuit relocated because of oil shale exploration;

The Central Coast and South Baffin Aroostook Territories which are primarily residential areas to be relocated Inuit due previous disease outbreaks such as tuberculosis. One territory, Kyuquot (Kyrgyzstan), is not an official part of Nunavut under Canadian law although it has few inhabitants in comparison.

Government services

Government services


The territory is serviced by the Canadian Armed Forces, which has a military base at Iqaluit. The police force is Nunavut RCMP. Education in Nunavut is provided by the 3 Danish schools operating on Baffin Island and 1 school operated jointly by Inuit from Canada’s Northwest Territories and Denmark.



The economy of Nunavut depends largely on subsistence hunting, fishing, trapping (both traditionaldesign and commercial ), and small scale manufacturing by some communities.

Other sources of income include donations of money, supplies, equipment and materials from governments; royalties paid to Nunavut Development Corporation (later Government-run), which manages the reserve lands of Canada in respect to external relations issues with various nations;

Business aid programs based on a federal agreement between aboriginal groups interested in joint economic development within all 10 Canadian provinces/territories required for self-government realization by the aboriginal groups.

The territory is currently undergoing a large-scale restructuring program(feasible under Nunavut Act). Most communities are located on land that was set aside for their development originally by the Hudson Bay Company in 1774, and were created as Bureau of Indian Affairs agent posts from 1958 to 1975 when they became full Aboriginal governments (see List below.)



Tourism is a growing industry in Nunavut. With its many untouched natural resources and picturesque landscape, it has become a popular destination for travellers from all over the world. Numerous tour operators offer multi-day trips to major sites such as Iqaluit, Apex Lake, Barter Island and Qikiqtani Park International Preserve. The territory’s extensive coastline also offers marinas and dock facilities where visitors can take boats out onto the water of the Arctic Ocean.


Mackenzie King Island, located in the Central Queen Charlotte Strait off the coast of British Columbia, is a stunningly remote island that is home to some of the most iconic wildlife in North America.

The island is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in Canada, with visitors drawn to its natural wonders and its setting among some of the most dramatic and rugged landscapes in North America. In this blog, we will provide you with a brief history of Mackenzie King Island, as well as tips on what to do and see when visiting this amazing destination.


1.What Is The Population Of Mackenzie King Island?

Ans: There is no definitive answer to this question, as the island’s population fluctuates depending on the season. However, according to Statistics Canada figures from 2011, there were an estimated 2,187 people living on the island at that time.

2.How Do I Get There?

Ans: There are no regular flights to Mackenzie King Island. It can only be reached by boat or plane, using an air charter service or chartered seaplane tour/cruise ship. The distance from the mainland to Mackenzie King is approximately 700 miles.

3.Is There Accommodation On Mackenzie King Island?

Ans: There are three hotels located in Parksville, the largest settlement on the island, which can be booked via Guest Houses BC (1-866-465-2226). There are also cottages available for rent through local agencies and vacation rental sites such as (1-866-465-2226).

In the summer of 2010, local building company Deep Sea Homes became involved in constructing a unique new village on Mackenzie King Island called Boa. The homes are naturally cooled and powered by renewable energy sources such as solar panels, hydroelectricity, wind power or diesel generators.

4.What Is The Weather Like On Mackenzie King Island?

Ans: The weather on Mackenzie King Island can be warm and muggy in the summer months, but it cools down considerably during the winter. The average temperature range is from 37 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius) in January to 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius) in July. The average annual precipitation is described as “average rain.”

5.How Much Time Will I Have To Spend On Mackenzie King Island?

Ans: Mackenzie King is a small island and therefore there are many places that you can take in within just one day. Some of these trips include visiting the nearby rain forest area located near Matheson Island, hiking at Lake Josephine or spending an afternoon playing golf at Queen’s View Golf Club (par 3 course).

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