Skatin First Nations

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The Skatin First Nations,[1] aka the Skatin Nations,[2] are a band government of the In-SHUCK-ch Nation, a small group of the larger St'at'imc people who are also referred to as Lower Stl'atl'imx. Skatin, the St'at'imcets version of the Chinook Jargon Skookumchuck, is located 4 km south of historic St. Agnes' Well Skookumchuck Hot Springs The community is 28 km south of the outlet of Lillooet Lake on the east side of the Lillooet River. It is approximately 75 km south of the town of Pemberton and the large reserve of the Lil'wat branch of the St'at'imc at Mount Currie. Other bands nearby are Samahquam at Baptiste Smith IR on the west side of the Lillooet River at 30 km. and Xa'xtsa First Nations; the latter is located at Port Douglas, near the mouth of the Lillooet River where it enters the head of Harrison Lake. The N'Quatqua First Nation on Anderson Lake, between Mount Currie and Lillooet, was at one time involved in joint treaty negotiations with the In-SHUCK-ch but its members have voted to withdraw, though a tribal council including the In-SHUCK-ch bands and N'Quatqua remains, the Lower Stl'atl'imx Tribal Council.

The site of the hot springs was used by travellers on the old Douglas Road prior to the abandonment of that route by most traffic in about 1864, when the Cariboo Road via the Fraser Canyon became the main access to the BC Interior from the Lower Mainland. The Oblate Fathers established a mission there and encouraged the native people in the surrounding wilderness to settle there. The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate instructed the natives in Christianity, and to this day the Church of the Holy Cross, Skatin, stands as a stunning example of the North American architectural style known as Carpenter Gothic/ Wood Gothic. In 1981, the Church was designated as a National Historic Site by Heritage Canada. A community-based group Ama Liisaos Heritage Trust Society is working on conservation of the church. A prominent feature are the simple but elegant stained glass windows, consisting of a checkerboard pattern of bright Red Mercuric glass & alternating bright Blue Cobalt Glass squares. The Glass was imported from Europe & brought in by mule by a gold prospector who had struck it rich in the Cariboo Gold Rush.

Work is slowly proceeding on the 7 Nations Highway re-connecting Harrison Hot Springs to Pemberton. The last 20 miles at the head of Harrison Lake leading to Port Douglas are in very poor repair ever since the Saw Mill closed at Port Douglas, around 1995. Work on the Harrison Lake Section was disrupted by the Wood Lake Wildfire Summer 2015.[3] The Western most section of Road was improved in the Spring of 2015 In-SHUCK-ch Forest Service Road / FSR was widened from 1 to 1 1/2 lanes to 2 lanes + two 1/2 lane shoulders (i.e. 3 lanes) for the length of Lillooet Lake. Take a basic Back-roads tool kit including flares, flashlights, shovel, jacks, tire iron, at least 1 spare tire - 2 is better, water for people & vehicle, refillable water cans, & several cans of run flat aerosols to re-inflate tires. Check latest up-dates before heading out.[4]


Skatin community includes about 30 houses, a band office, and a new school and gymnasium built in 2003. The population living at Skatin is 65 at the town site, 74 on other Reserves & 275 off Reserves,.[5] the majority living in the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland including Vancouver.

Indian Reserves[edit]

Indian Reserves under the administration of the Skatin Nations are:[6]