Herschel Island, 101 km 2 , lies in the Beaufort Sea off the north coast of the Yukon Territory.
Herschel Island, 101 km2, lies in the Beaufort Sea off the north coast of the Yukon Territory. Named in 1826 by John Franklin after the English astronomer Sir William Herschel, its geographical features were named in 1889 by Commander C.H. Stockton of USS Thetis. Beginning in 1889, the island was used as a wintering station by American whaling ships. In response to complaints that the local Inuit were being abused, an Anglican missionary reached the island in 1893; a North-West Mounted Police detachment was set up in 1903. By 1914 the whaling industry was dead, but the Mounted Police remained to demonstrate Canadian sovereignty in the western Arctic. In February 1924 Alikomiak and Tàtimagana were hanged at the island for murder, the first Inuit to be executed under Canadian law. By 1964 the island had no permanent population.