Work Island

Feature Type:Island - Land area surrounded by water or marsh.
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Just off Butedale in Fraser Reach Princess Royal Channel, S of Kitimat, Range 4 Coast Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 53°10'27''N, 128°40'03''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 103H/2

Origin Notes and History:

Wark Island adopted 20 March 1907 on Ottawa file OBF 0023 as identified in Walbran's manuscript, not "Work Island" as labelled on British Admiralty Chart #1923A, 1867, nor "Warke Island" as labelled on British Admiralty chart #1923A, 1870. Form of name changed to Work Island 5 April 1927 at the request of BC member of the Geographic Board of Canada (Ottawa file OBF 0023).

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

"Named c1845 by Captain Dodd, while in command of the Beaver, after John Wark [sic] a noted officer in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company on this coast...." [see Work Point for additional biographical information]

Source: Walbran, John T; British Columbia Coast Names, 1592-1906: their origin and history; Ottawa, 1909 (republished for the Vancouver Public Library by J.J. Douglas Ltd, Vancouver, 1971)

"The Haisla name for this island is T'lek'exdais, meaning "private island" or "island that is owned". According to Haisla folk-history, the name came into use based on the "whitemans' name" that was given to a 19th century Haisla of the Eagle clan, William Work (1808?-1888). His stone grave marker, one of two standing on the Walthstu Reserve, 2 km south of Kitamaat Village, states: William Work Died in Kitamaat BC July 10, 1888 aged 80 years (the monument has an eagle carved at the top indicating that Work had been born into the Eagle clan). According to Haisla community recall, raids by the Queen Charlotte Island Haida on settlements in Haisla territory continued unabated into the early contact period; during the first half of the 19th century, the Haisla maintained a lookout in the heights at the south end of T'lek'exdais. According to traditional ownership canons, the island belonged to William Work's mother's lineage; it later became a stewardship area of the Haisla Salmon Clan belonging to the person in each generation who inherits the name Gaditla." (information provided May 2006 by Jay Powell, historian, Kitamaat Village)

Source: included with note