The chief of the Spuzzum in 1858, Kowpelst ("White Hat") was one of the first to work Hill's Bar at the onset of the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush and was considered a "friendly Indian" during the Fraser Canyon War of that fall between the American miners and the upstream Nlaka'pamux of Camchin. He was appointed as a magistrate by Sir James Douglas[disambiguation needed]. During the Fraser Canyon War, a few thousand miners from bars farther up the canyon thronged at Spuzzum in terror of the upstream Nlaka'pamux, and some villages and food caches of the Spuzzum people were destroyed by armed parties of miners coming up from Yale, even though relations with the Spuzzum were considered friendlier than with their Nlaka'pamux kin farther upriver.
^Carl Stromquist, an accomplished artist of aboriginal descent, is descended from the Spuzzum first nation. His ancestry can be traced back to Xem't'sene, who was not a chief per se, but noted as a "man of power" within the community and is recorded to have had 42 children with numerous wives.