Mount Currie, British Columbia

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Mount Currie is a small, mostly First Nations, community in British Columbia, 164 kilometres north-west of Vancouver and 40 kilometres north-west of Whistler along Highway 99. "The Mount Currie settlement and mountain were named after Scottish settler John Currie, who located to Quebec in 1851. After failure as a gold seeker in California and the Cariboo, Currie turned to ranching and finally settled near Pemberton with his Lillooet Indian wife in 1885."[1] The area is traditional territory of the Lil'wat, a subgroup of the St'at'imc people who with the communities of Skatin, Samahquam and Xa'xtsa (Port Douglas) to the south comprise the Lower St'at'imc or Lower Lillooet. The Mount Currie Indian Reserve hosts most of the population of Mount Currie, who are known as the Lil'wat, their name for the spot, but west of the reserve there are non-native farms, industrial sites and tourist resorts, and on the mountain shoulder immediately north of the reserve is Owl Creek, the site of the original Catholic mission school which drew the Lil'wat from their former homebase at Pemberton Meadows so as to be close to their children. Owl Creek today is the name of a modern subdivision of mostly non-natives, though Owl Creek remains on the rail crossing on the CNR just outside the reserve.

Population[edit]

Mount Currie has a total population of about 2018[citation needed]. It is the main centre of the Mount Currie Indian reserve, with a population of close to 800.[2] Residents not inside the reserve are locally governed by the Sqamish-Lillooet Regional District

Economy and tourism[edit]

Although it is fairly close to Whistler, the community is not much reliant on the tourist industry. Most tourist industry in Mount Currie comes from outdoor activities in the nearby Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, the Birkenhead River or the Skookumchuck Hot Springs.

Mount Currie Reserve[edit]

The Lil'wat Nation operate their own school, gas station and grocery store. Their government is the Mount Currie Indian Band (Lil'Wat First Nation) of the Lillooet Tribal Council.

The Lil'wat people are very active in reviving their language and culture. Language is taught in the school, right from nursery to grade 12. There are resource elders who come into help. The “Clao7alcw” (Raven’s Nest) language nest program is conducted in the Lil’wat dialect."[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]