The Stó:lō peoples have lived in the area now known as Hope for thousands of years.1 The District of Hope is located on the Trans-Canada Highway, 150 km east of Vancouver.2 This area is home to the Chawathil, Cheam, Seabird Island, Shxw'ōwhámél, Yale, Peters, Popkum, Skawahlook, Spuzzum, Boston Bar, and Boothroyd Indigenous communities.3
Simon Fraser passed through this area in 1808, declaring it too treacherous for travel, and the land was not settled by Europeans until the late 1840s.4
In 1848, the HBC developed Fort Hope as a outpost along the brigade-route.5 In this enclosure from 1858, Douglas reports that Fort Hope is an outpost, put up in the cheapest and most simple form, for the accommodation of the brigades passing to and from the interior, and is in charge of a labouring servant. The townsite was laid out by James Douglas in 1858 during the Fraser River Gold Rush, and the Royal Engineers started construction of Caribou Road through the Fraser Canyon.6 Stó:lō oral histories state that Governor Douglas had come and stood on that point, right there on the corner of Park St. and the Highway of downtown Hope, and he faced over to Quemqemo—or Mt. Ogalvie—and said… all the land on the north side of that line, right up to where its bounded by the Fraser River and the Coquihalla and that straight line, would be made into Indian Reserve. And all of the land south of that line would become the town of Hope.7 That same year, trees were cleared and Stó:lō settlements and land use patterns marginalized.8
Today, Hope's economy is driven by forestry, tourism, and the service sector.9 Hope continues to be home to the Stó:lō peoples, whose relationships with the land continues to this day.
  • 1. Hope BC, Hope Area History, History Portal.
  • 2. John R. Stewart & Ken Favrholdt, Hope, The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2015.
  • 3. Hope BC, Hope Area History, History Portal.
  • 4. Ibid.
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. Keith Thor Carlson, Chapter 4: A Legacy of Broken Promises, in You are Asked to Witness: The Stó:lō in Canada's Pacific Coast History (Stó:lō Heritage Trust: Chilliwack, 1997), 61.
  • 8. Ibid.
  • 9. John R. Stewart & Ken Favrholdt, Hope, The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2015
Mentions of this place in the documents