Fort Shepherd
Fort Shepherd is located just off the Columbia River in British Columbia, Canada. The area in which the fort was located runs for more than eight kilometers along the west side of the Columbia River. Fort Shepherd was an Hudson's Bay fort, built in 1858 in response to the surveying of the 49th parallel in 1846. It was not very successful due to the land being unsuitable for farming and settling and thus it closed two years later.1
However, when gold was found at Pend d'Oreille River, the fort reopened in 1863. It was then used as a stopping place on the route to the Kootenay Gold Rush and as a trading post for the Sinixt people, an Indigenous group, on whose traditional territory the fort stood. With the later construction of the Dewdney Trail, which led from Hope to Wildhorse, the fort became increasingly successful -- for a time.2
When the Kootenay Gold Rush came to its end, the fort was finally closed in 1870 and burnt down in 1872. Today a “cairn” --erected in 1951 -- marks the fort's locations. The lower Columbia River, which included Fort Shepherd, then and today is part of the traditional Sinixt territory. Although the Sinixt were falsely declared extinct by the Canadian government in 1956, members of the group continue to live in the area.3
The Sinixt used this area for fishing and hunting and continue the same traditions today. It is unclear what steps have been taken for reconciliation with the Indigenous peoples and this land, but the 2200 acres were donated in 2006 by the Teck Cominco Metals Ltd as a part of the Ecological Gifts Program. The area is now designated as a conservancy area in which the public can still hike, picnic, etc.4
Mentions of this place in the documents
Organizations in this document

Hudson's Bay Company

Places in this document

British Columbia

Columbia River


Kootenay Region