Located on the now-dormant Alert Bay volcanic belt, Cormorant Island is host to Vancouver Island's oldest northern community, the small town of Alert Bay. It is located in the traditional territory of the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation and today is a blend of both aboriginal and pioneer culture.
A walk along the shores of this tiny 0.69-square mile (1.8 sq. km) island will amaze you with its history, spectacular views and abundant wildlife. Remnants of its former fish-salting plant from the 1800's remain along the harbor. The U'mista Cultural Centre is Canada's longest-running First Nations museum and home to the famed Potlach Collection. This collection of ceremonial regalia was confiscated for preservation by Canadian authorities in 1922, and finally returned to the community during the 1980's. Seabirds, humpback, orca, and gray whales, sea lions and white-sided dolphins are all present in the surrounding waters. Alert Bay was named in 1860 for the Royal Navy ship HMS Alert which conducted survey operations in and around the region.