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 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.
Spuzzum First Nation has sixteen different reserves ranging greatly in size, and totaling 648 hectares (2.50 sq mi). The largest two (Spuzzum 1 and 1a) stand on the West Bank of the Fraser River near the mouth of Spuzzum Creek.
The 1878 Reserve Commission census found 237 people living in Spuzzum and neighbouring villages. The 1881 census listed only 146 people, but the number is dubious since that era (during construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway) would likely have been the community's peak population. Other estimates places the Indigenous population at the time around 400.
As of September 2015, the community had a registered population of 274, though only 46 lived on reserve.
^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.