The people of Canoe Creek Band were, at one time, two distinct Bands, Canoe Creek and Dog Creek, and when the population declined drastically due to mainly to the smallpox epidemic the two communities were made into one band by DIA in the 1800’s.
Canoe Creek Band is made up of two communities, Dog Creek and Canoe Creek, but each reserve is administered by the same band office. Both communities are located in a semi remote area southwest of Williams Lake on the east side of the Fraser River. The infamous Gang Ranch is located directly across the river from Canoe Creek IR #3.
Anyone visiting the communities for the first time will 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 BC Cattle Company located in Canoe Creek, 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 700+ 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 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).