Osoyoos, is an anglicized version of the Sylix word Sooyoos, meaning the narrows of the lake or the place where the two lakes come together.1 Osoyoos, a town of roughly 5,000 people, is located in the Okanagan region of British Columbia.2 The Indigenous Okanagan peoples have been in what would become known as Osoyoos for thousands of years.3
The first Europeans arrived in what would become Osoyoos, in 1811, were traders working for the Pacific Fur Company.4 The Hudson's Bay Company arrived in 1846 and set up a trading post in 1867, making Osoyoos a stopping place for traders working along the Fur Brigade Trail. In 1877, the Osoyoos Indian Band formed, currently home to 370 on-reserve band members.5
In 1927, an irrigation project brought more water to Osoyoos, transforming the area into a lush agricultural belt that continues today, with the town's plentiful orchards and vineyards.6 On June 30th, 1983, Osoyoos incorporated to become a town.7
The Osoyoos Indian Band continues to work hard to move from dependency to a sustainable economy like [it] existed before contact.8 In addition, the Band has a focus on supportive education and training and operates its own business, health, social, educational and municipal services.9
Today, Osoyoos's largest economic sectors are agriculture and tourism.10
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British Columbia