Pearse Island is an island in western British Columbia, Canada, in the Portland Inlet, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean. The island was first charted in 1793 by George Vancouver during his 1791-95 expedition. It was named by George Henry Richards, captain of HMS Plumper, circa 1860, in honor of William Alfred Rombulow Pearse of the Royal Navy, who had been commander of HMS Alert.
Location and territorial claims
The island is 210 km2 (81 sq mi) in size. It is separated from the mainland of Alaska by the 2 km (1.2 mi) wide Pearse Canal, which forms part of the Canada-United States border in this area. The island is 56 km (35 mi) north of Prince Rupert, British Columbia. It and neighbouring islands figured in one of the territorial and marine-boundary quarrels of the Alaska boundary dispute (the island was formerly claimed by the United States).
The former Pearse Island Indian Reserve No. 43 is on the northeast end of the island. It is now named Wil Milit as a result of the Nisga'a Treaty and is no longer an Indian Reserve, but is fee-simple. Part of the island is in the Cormorant Channel Marine Provincial Park. The park and the island are destinations for wildlife viewing and diving.
Pearse Canal Island
- Vancouver, George, and John Vancouver (1801). A voyage of discovery to the North Pacific ocean, and round the world. London: J. Stockdale.
- Walbran, John T. (1909). British Columbia coast names, 1592-1906 : to which are added a few names in adjacent United States territory, their origin and history. Ottawa Government Printing Bureau. p. 376. OCLC 317633225.
- "Pearse Canal Island". BC Geographical Names. http://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/39213.html.
- "Pearse Island". BC Geographical Names. http://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/36953.html.
- "Pearse Island Indian Reserve 43". BC Geographical Names. http://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/33760.html.
- "Wil Milit". BC Geographical Names. http://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/54641.html.
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