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Alert Bay, British Columbia, Canada

Quietly seated in a dormant volcanic belt, surrounded by waters teeming with majestic wildlife, Cormorant Island plays host to Vancouver Island's oldest northern community: the charming town of Alert Bay. Named as an homage to the Royal Navy ship HMS Alert, which conducted vital survey operations in the region, and part of the traditional territory of the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation, this island offers a unique blend of indigenous and pioneer cultures. Glimpses of a bygone era can be found in the remnants of an 1800s fish-salting plant nestled along the harbor. Both the U'mista Cultural Centre, guardian of the revered Potlach Collection, and the impressive collection of totem poles that tell their unique stories along the city streets, offer an enriching look into the island's heritage.