Stswecem’c Xgat’tem (SXFN) is a First Nations community located in a semi-remote area on the east side of the Fraser River, approximately 85 kilometers southwest of Williams Lake.
We were once two distinct bands: Canoe Creek and Dog Creek. The population of our two communities suffered a dramatic decline in the late 19th century, largely due to a smallpox epidemic in 1863-1864. The population of Dog Creek was reduced from more than two hundred members in the 1850s to a mere 20 members by the late 1860s.
Our two lower Fraser River bands joined together in the late nineteenth century and were then referred to as Canoe Creek Band by the Department of Indian Affairs.
We honour our separate histories and our coming together.
There are currently 745 registered members in this Secwepemc nation, with a shared vision of becoming an economically and politically self-sustaining community living Secwepemc culture, language and traditions in a healthy and safe environment.
To this end, SXFN is one of four politically allied Secwepemc bands that form the North Shuswap Tribal Council, currently negotiating a modern treaty. There are 17 bands that form the greater Secwepemc nation.
The landscape of the traditional SXFN territory is dramatic: expansive plateaus, deep valleys and stretches of green and arid land ideal for agriculture use. This territory has been shared with some of Canada’s largest cattle ranches since the 1800s. The community of Dog Creek sits directly across the Fraser River from the infamous Gang Ranch, which was once the largest ranch in Canada.
The band office is located in Dog Creek. Dog Creek also has a store/gas station/post office, and a gymnasium/community centre. The Canoe Creek community has a band school and a gymnasium/community centre, beautiful log church, and a powwow arbour built by the community members.
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, deer, and big horn sheep; gathering roots and berries for food or medicine; trout and salmon fishing and the odd sturgeon is also caught.
In addition, Canoe Creek is also home to beautiful surroundings as it is enveloped by a large precipitous valley that has been the chosen landscape of many films, including the Hollywood film “The 13th Warrior” (1999) and “The Thaw” (2009).