Anyone visiting the communities for the first time marvel at the prime agricultural land and the vastness of the Canoe Creek and Dog Creek valleys and watersheds. One would think the band was quite well off until the land owned by the local ranchers is pointed out, the major ones being the Canoe Creek Cattle Company, James Cattle in Dog Creek, Dog Creek Ranch, the Gang Ranch and the Empire Valley Ranch. Of the band's 5,880.4 hectares, 3880 hectares is rocky hillsides. Each of the main communities of Dog Creek and Canoe Creek are situated on approximately 50 hectares of land, most of it rocky slopes and gravel on the remaining portion.
The band population includes 650 members, with less than 50% living on the reserve. Many members live off for a number of reasons. Because of the communities remoteness, members have to go elsewhere for work and for post secondary education. There is also a shortage of housing, as well as jobs.
The community of Dog Creek has seen two major mud slides, the most recent being in the 1940s and one some time before that. Because of this the ground is considered unsuitable for housing construction.
The community of Canoe Creek on the other hand has stable ground but lacks good domestic water. To date there are 55 houses in the community, with close to 20 of those needing replacement in the next 5-10 years and 15 families on the waiting list.
In Dog Creek the children attend a public elementary school and only this last September were they provided with a school bus, until then the parents transported their children. Canoe Creek opened a kindergarten-grade 3 school last September. An old Department of Indian Affairs school closed sometime in the late 70s and had been used for a community meeting place since then. The children and youth who live in Canoe Creek from grade four to high school have a 50 km (about 30 kms of that is on a gravel road) bus ride to Clinton where they attend school. Canoe Creek is fortunate in having the a Shuswap language program offered in each of the schools.
There are numerous administrative problems the people of Canoe Creek and Dog Creek have which result from being in two school districts, two highways districts, two hydro regions, two telephone exchanges, two forest districts and two environment lands regions, for example.
The band office is located in Dog Creek which also has a fire hall, a store/gas station/post office, a gymnasium/community centre and outdoor ice rink. The Canoe Creek community has the one room band school and a gymnasium/community centre and a beautiful log church built by the community members. Included in the plans are an expanded band office, a heritage/museum centre, a store/gas station and office space for Canoe Creek.
The band builds its own houses under the CMHC program. Band members have their own businesses, such as cabinet making, silviculture, vegetable gardening, operating a small sawmill, electrical wiring, beef cattle operations, hay production and catering and bread-making. In the plans are a log house building business and an expanded agricultural program.
Band members carry out band and personal business in three major centres, depending on need, transportation availability and time, either in Williams Lake, 100 Mile or Kamloops. Members of all ages are involved in various sporting events including ice and ball hockey, soccer, softball and rodeos. Also in their leisure time members carry out seasonal cultural activities, such as hunting for moose and deer, bear and big horn sheep; gathering roots and berries for food or medicine; trout and salmon fishing and the odd sturgeon is also caught.
BC TREATY COMMISSION | OPENNESS PROTOCOL
CANIM LAKE BAND | CANOE CREEK BAND
SODA CREEK BAND | WILLIAMS LAKE BAND
HISTORY | MISCONCEPTIONS
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