The Okanagan Indian Band is one of the eight member Band communities of the Okanagan Nation Alliance; the other member Band communities are Lower Similkameen Indian Band, Upper Similkameen Indian Band, Osoyoos Indian Band, Upper Nicola Band, Penticton Indian Band, Westbank First Nation and the Colville Confederated Tribes.
The following address the Okanagan/Sqilxw/Syilx perspective of the proper names and terms for our people, contact with European people and the fur trade, the land allotment for the creation of the Okanagan Indian Band.
he early 1800s was the time of first contact between present day Okanagan Indian Band memberships’ ancestors and European fur traders. As a matter of fact, the present day Westside Road is situated both on and adjacent to the Okanagan Trail that is widely known as the Hudson’s Bay Brigade Trail. From our perspective, the name, Hudson’s Bay Brigade Trail is not an accurate name; rather, present day Okanagan members call the Okanagan Trail, Nkwala’s Trail. Chief Nkwala, was not only an Okanagan Indian Band Chief, he was also an important Okanagan Nation Chief whose life is chronicled from adolescence by George Dawson and through adulthood until his death in 1859 by the Hudson Bay Company fort journals.
The political climate of 1887 made necessary the creation of reserves. It must be remembered that British Columbia joined the Confederacy in 1871 and the international boundary was implemented in 1846. In 1887 Indian Reserves were deemed necessary The North Okanagan [C]ommon[age] reserve [was] allotted October 15, 1877, lay between the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake and Kalamalka and Wood Lakes, surveyed at 24, 742 acres.