From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Why is this only the Canadian side?[edit]

Although it may have been brought up before, it seems this page badly misrepresents what exactly the Okanogan is... Geologically, the Okanogan was a subcontinent that was caught between the Cascade plate and the North American plate when they collided, forming the Rocky and Cascade Mountains. The southern portion of the Okanogan is in Washington state in Ferry and Okanogan counties. The boundary of the subcontinent is conveniently marked by the course of the Columbia river. By having the term Okanogan direct to a page that only discusses the Canadian region is just as bad as if the page only discussed the American. Geologically, ecologically, historically, and even culturally, they are one region. Is there a way to create a single Okanogan page that discusses the region as a whole without playing national politics? Avgusztyn (talk) 06:35, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

The Okanagan is only in Canada, the Okanogan is in the U.S. Ie they are the same region, but the regions are spelt differently and you looked up the Cdn one. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:19, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Another reason[edit]

Although they are discussed separately, the Canadian Okanagan has more than one hundredtimes the population of its southern counterpart.

Bomb319 (talk) 16:42, 22 June 2015 (UTC)


I always had problems spelling this word correctly. I finally figured out why. In the US it is spelled Okanogan and in Canada it is spelled Okanagan. It is weird because it is not your typical word that is spelled differently like color/colour or theater/theatre. Anyways i am not sure how to handle this in wikipedia. It is the same region just different spellings in the two different countries. suggests????

Tpahl 18:32, 15 May 2004 (UTC)

Unless anyone says otherwise I am going to work to split this article into two groups, Okanogan and Okanagan

Roleypolinde 06:40, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Totally overhauled the page, hope you like

Roleypolinde 00:25, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

History section needs work[edit]

Just dropped by and noticed some stuff; the following quote is a note for myself for later to more accurately describe local history/geography:

. Within fifteen years, fur traders established a route through the valley for passing goods between the Thompson region and the Columbia River for transport to the Pacific. The trade route lasted until 1846, when the Oregon Treaty laid down the border between British North America and the United States west of the Rocky Mountains on the 49th parallel. The new border cut across the valley. To avoid paying tariffs, British traders forged a route that bypassed Fort Okanogan, following the Thompson and Fraser rivers to Fort Langley instead. The Okanagan Valley did not see many more outsiders for a decade afterward.

More like: the goods in question were often shipped from Fort Vancouver TO York Factory (on Hudson's Bay), i.e. the route was not down the Columbia to the Pacific, but the other way around; fur shipments from Ft Vancouver to York Factory. Similarly, the Brigade Trail's purpose was FROM Fort Langley, not TO it. And the Brigade Trail was an overland route, only barely using the Thompson and only the Fraser from Kequaloose (across the river from Spuzzum) to/from Ft Langley; it connected to Fort Kamloops via the Coldwater River, and the upper Nicola. The other "replacement" route(s) ran over the southern Canadian Cascades to the Similkameen.

Even during the Okanagan's era as the route the fur company "Express" took, there were not many outsiders in it; only when a fur brigade was passing through, or the occasional small HBC/NWC party; it's not as if the route was busy and there were hordes of fur traders in it....Skookum1 04:28, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Some Suggestions and Criticisms[edit]

  • "As of the year 2001, the region's population is approximately 297,601." The precision of the figure contradicts "approximately." -- PC

Origin of name?[edit]

The name derives from an Okanagan language word S-Ookanhkchinx meaning "Transport toward the head or top end".[citation needed]

That's really odd and isn't mentioned in any related link. Can anyone confirm this?Mzmadmike (talk) 02:36, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

I've seen it in some book/article somewhere, one from a tourism board I think; it might be on which is hte Okanagan Nation Alliance website and has some language/word stuff on it; I've seen it on smething semi-official if not official, though the BCGNIS entry doesn't have it though has a lot of variations on it. In Teit's section on the Okanagan people (Papers of the Jesup North Pacific Expedition) he does describe a fort at the north end of hte lake, Okanaqen but even he doesn't state that as the name-origin of the lake; I'm sorry I don't have the page city handy. One thing about S-Ookanhkchinx that you should realize is the prefix S- marks it as a noun; and that "ch" may be not "ch" likr "church" but like loch - Ookan'kheen(h)...."fits" a bit better once you take the S off; Osoyoos is the opposite, where "o" was added to teh Okanagan word suius....Skookum1 (talk) 04:01, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Re map[edit]

This is a demonstration of why I don't think Regional Districts are useful ways to describe regions in BC; it doesn't look like the shape or location of the Okanagan at all, because of those big bulges up the Columbia and up the Similkameen; and it looks as though a "tongue" of it isn't included, in the RD west of the Columbia one (Enderby or Spallumcheen, somewhere in that area); and the eastward bulge from Vernon is part of the Monashees portion of the Shuswap River Country (which isn't in "the Shuswap" according to my usage; more like "the Monashees"). I'll see what else I can come up with, but as mentioned such maps illustrate problems with the RD system rather than help illustrate the articles they're used on (except for RD articles).Skookum1 23:17, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Interesting site for expanding the Okanagan page and corrolary articles[edit]

Living Landscapes. Yahoo!Sirius 10:40, 8 May 2007 (UTC)


The article says the Okanagan is sometimes known as "Okanagan Country". I've never really heard this used- can anyone verify or provide a reference?

Okanagan Country is old-fashioned, but you still hear it in for example broadcaster talk where they might say "up in the Okanagan Country it'll be raining for a change": or "Charlie spent ten years in the Okanagan Country before moving to the Coast". Except other than in in older books it may be hard to find a print citation as it's part of speech; I'[d venture it's close to the sensE of "the Okanagan" the "Okanagan Valley" is because it can incluDe adjoining areas, e.g. Kaleden, Keremeos, etc; things that aren't in the Okanagan Valley per se. Yes, it's not as common as "the Okanagan" but that is a contraction of "Okanagan Country" the way "The Thompson is an abbreviated form of "the Thompson Country" (whcih surely you'reve heard) or the Cariboo is a short form of "the Cariboo Country" etc Chilcotin, Omineca, Peace etc. In some cases the w/wo "Country" remains in use, as with the Thompson Country or in cases like the Shuswap Country where (to me) the single-word remains the primary form, as it does in the case of Okanagan or Kootenay(s); there's no regular syntax to this; "the Lillooet" is rarely heard nowadays vs "the Lillooet Country" in the same way "Okanagan Country" is rarely hear/seen except in passing anyway; Kootenay seems to fall into the same category but Cariboo and Omineca and others the "Country" is still used in combination, while in other it must be to retain the sense e.g. Columbia Valley and Columbia Country have two different contexts. And while in the Okanagan's case the Country and the VAlley are (nearly) the same thing, in many case that's just not true, e.g. the Shuswap, orin the case of hte Cariboo where it's primarily the plateau ratehr than the river valley that's refered to.p; the Omineca Country's inhabited areas are mostly those not in teh Omineca drainage, for instance. The Shuswap is used around the lake, not the entire Shuswap basin; and unlike Cariboo or Chilcotin it's not "Shuswap District" ditto it's not "Okanagan District". Not taht you asked ;\D It came to me while preppin g to write this that these particularly B C-ian usages should probably be documented ina dictionary of Canadian English or Canadian geography; probably arne't but they should be....Skookum1 (talk) 22:48, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Also, I've read the OK valley is often seen as the northernmost extreme of the Sonoran biosphere system- some go so far as to say the area around Osoyoos is part of the Sonoran desert. Does anyone know anything to elaborate on this? If true, it should be part of the article. Dionix (talk) 21:05, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

As for the desert that's a decades-old tourism brag - I guess they mean "the northern end of the Great Western Desert which extends all the way down/up from Mexico". But it's not Sonoran Desert, whatever it is, and it's not Canada's only desert, unless you pretend Lytton, Lillooet, Big Bar, Ashcroft and Spences Bridge don't exist (which is waht the Okanagna tourism board would of coruse prefer). The Sonoran thing is part of a bigbranding ptich, including mock-Southwest architecture; I think they even used it at the Desert Cultural Heritage Centre, but which scientists they paid to write that up for them probably werrn't scientists. It's the northern tip of a particular biogeoclimatic thing becuase of some mouse or other, and a bunchgrass; but Lillooet has cacti and warmer summer and winter tempreratures, and is drier. But in BC Tourism, only Osoyoos is a desert go figure. I figure "consultants" - expensive gbuyt not very knowledgeable ones....Skookum1 (talk) 22:45, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:Bc3.png[edit]

The image Image:Bc3.png is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

The following images also have this problem:

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --08:54, 15 May 2008 (UTC)


First off, the RD-based location map that's used here is a good example of why I think RD maps aren't very useful, or relevant; better to use a terrain-based map like on Okanagan Trail and rough in the Okanagan's boundaries, rather than confuse the isseu by include the Similkameen and Shuswap (or, in previous incarnations of the RDs and/or electoral districts, the Boundary Country). RDs are an invention of the 1960s, so it's even more inappropriate to have a map based on them next to the history section....but what really prompted me to respond, though I don't have much time/energy to do much about it, is:

In 1859, the first European settlement was established when Father Charles Pandosy led the making of an Oblate mission where Kelowna is now. In the decades that followed, hundreds of ranchers came to settle on Okanagan Lake. The Fraser Canyon Gold Rush of 1858 eventually encouraged more settlement as some prospectors from the United States took the Okanagan Trail route on their way to the Fraser Canyon, although at the height of the rush the American adventurers who used the route did not settle because of outright hostilites from the Okanagan people, whom a few of the parties traversing the trail had harassed and brutalized. A few staked claims around the South Okanagan and Similkameen valleys and found gold and copper in places. A mining industry began in the southern Okanagan region, and more farmers, as well as a small service industry, came to meet the needs of the miners.

The Okanagan was only settled after the heyday of the Okanagan Trail, hwich might better be considered as a period of prolonged hostilities, in the face of which settlement was impossible; the revival of the Brigade Trail to the Cariboo was what half-launched setltlement, but it was really the military-land-grants that touched it off; at the moment I can't remmber when Mara and Vernon and the few others who started ranching in the 1860s got their start, but it was certainly not "hundreds"; t he service industry was only in the Osoyoos area, because of hte border crossing and the Dewdney Trail, as it was only the Similkameen and Boundary that got an early start; the OK is a latecomer in devleopment, depsite being the leading region fo the three today; copper in the OK? I guess so, but it strikes me that that's more of a reference to the Similkameen (and Boundary) than it is to the Okanagan; some gold was found around Okanagan Lake but no active mines were established in the valley until much later (1880s and '90s); it was the Similkameen and Boundary districts that were the focal point of mining in southern BC until the Silvery Slocan got going....anyway I don't have time to rewrite and research/cite all this properly but I encourage editors to this page to read more deeply in period sources to untangle the many modern-era fuzzinesses which ahve crept in from tourism brochures and "historical spin doctors". Some of the content of this paragraph and the preceding one seems "tangled" and should be rearranged more chronologically (and logically). Hopefully someone will see fit to write an Okanagan Mission article and the Pandosy bio.....Skookum1 (talk) 01:28, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Such a young wine industry?[edit]

I can remember my parents taking the family on a family vacation to the Okanagan in the early to mid 1980's, and one of the things I remember well is touring a family-friendly winery. I was suprised to read that 1989 is the industry's birth in BC. CalgaryWikifan (talk) 02:01, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

I assume that the infobox refers to the year the wine region Okanagan Valley was defined, rather than when the first vine was planted in the Okanagan area. Although, when I was there circa 2005, I got the impression that many of the wineries and vineyards were rather new. All this would probably be clearer if we had a separate article on the wine region with a good history section. Tomas e (talk) 16:13, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

The Okanagan in the US[edit]

The Okanogan/Okanagan Valley does extend down into Washington. Any reason this article does not include the portion in Washington? It's not a huge part, but it is part of the region. (talk) 06:00, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

I agree, though the term "the Okanagan" is used in BC, whereas I believe in Washington the more common expression is "Okanogan County". So this article is about the BC region, the Okanogan County article exists separately and is included in the See alsos or hatnote. Some items like Okanagan Highland, Okanagan Range and Okanogan River necessarily span the border.Skookum1 (talk) 21:30, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

No, in the rest of Washington, as well as in Oregon, northern Idaho, and northwestern Montana, saying "the Okanagan" means 'The Okanagan River Valley' whether it's in British Columbia or in Washington. This article is misleading and biased. "The Okanagan" is on both sides of the border, just as the Rocky Mountains and High Plains and Great Lakes are. Can you imagine having an article only on the Canadian side or US side of the Great Lakes? Rather ridiculous. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:50, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

You need to read more carefully - the spelling is different (Okanagan in Canada, Okanogan in the U.S.) you looked up the Cdn one so you are seeing information about the Cdn region. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:22, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

The article is not meant to be Canada-only, it is titled that way because the majority of the region is in Canada; the Okanogan River article is titled with the American spelling because most of its length is in the US. A section on the US side is welcome here; it's not as straightforward as Okanagan County as the Methow and other areas are in the US Okanogan; defining it and citing it is part of the issue for inclusion/expansion.Skookum1 (talk) 03:22, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Wine region needs split-off article[edit]

I "hid" the infobox for the wine region, which dominated the lede and gave the misapprehension that that's what this important region primarily is; I thought there was a photo before, can't find it in the edit history. Okanagan Valley (wine region) is waiting to be created; once it has, the relevant category can be moved there. Quite a while ago I removed, also, the claim that this was the only wine region in BC, which is just not factual (Cowichan Valley and the Fraser Valley are also wine regions)Skookum1 (talk) 21:30, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

As a Seattleite, the wine industry is the only reason to pay attention to the Okanagan Valley. Okay maybe curling. :P No, but seriously. I agree that the Okanagan merits a separate wine article much in the same way places like Puget Sound and Puget Sound AVA, Loire Valley and Loire Valley (wine), etc have separate wine articles. Beginning in January the Wine Project will be doing an article improvement drive that focuses on Canadian, American and Mexican wines throughout the month. It will be an excellent opportunity to create this article. AgneCheese/Wine 21:59, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, please do, I don't know enough about the subject to write it; we could stub it right now, using the infobox material (which has "heat units = identical to Bordeaux" which seems like a boast and probably not entirely true - knowing the BC wine industry's penchant for hyperbole/fudging). Do you know if the Keremeos area is part of the wine region? (the Similkameen Valley)? There's new wine attempts being made in teh Lillooet region (Fountain, BC was actually the site of the first vines grown in BC) and I think in the Boundary and parts of the Kootenays, but don't know if there's any formally designated wine regions). "Curling" huh? Good one, but that's more of a Nova Scotia obsession; these are all hockey and water sports/beach towns.Skookum1 (talk) 22:12, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Don't worry about stubbing it. Besides, I'm not a big fan of those infoboxes anyways and will likely not use it. As for curling, I will note that 2 time World Champion Kelly Scott is from Kelowna and that Vernon often hosts stops on the World Curling Tour (Essentially the PGA Tour of Curling) with the Twin Anchors Houseboat Cash Spiel and The Swiss Chalet National this year. So like I said, for a Seattleite at least, the Okanagan is usually about wine and curling. :) Though surprising neither Kelowna or Vernon have ever hosted a harvest spiel. :/ AgneCheese/Wine 22:31, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Trans continental highway[edit]

I really think a place like this should have the highway going through it. Right? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gizliz42 (talkcontribs) 21:12, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Duh. It does, it's called Highway 97.Skookum1 (talk) 21:39, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
He/she is meaning transcontinental, Highway 97 though is definitely trans-provincial, though N-S. The Crowsnest Highway is part of the transcontinental/cross-Canada network though, and it does run through the region. And it's not like you could build a highway straight from the Fraser Valley via Kelowna and across the Monashees and Selkirks and Purcells in and Rockies in a straight line, or even approximately one. Because o the Coquihalla some transcontinental traffic routes via Vernon and Kelowna to Merritt and so to the Coast...for those that like urban traffic congestion, that is.Skookum1 (talk) 16:14, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

Population figures[edit]

The population is listed as being 350,927 in 2009, but the 2011 census shows a combined 276,830 residents. Most likely, the reason that the article's population is large is because it includes the entire Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, but I've added the population of its electoral areas within the Okanagan region showing less residents. In addition, figures from BC Stats are usually overexerted from the actual 2011 census source. Thus, I believe the population figure should be changed. TBrandley (TCB) 19:20, 2 September 2013 (UTC) asadewewewqewqewqewqewqewqeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:42, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

What kind of particular lifestyle?[edit]

In the opening paragraph, this line is problematic: "The region is known for its dry, sunny climate, dry landscapes and lakeshore communities and particular lifestyle" First, there shouldn't be two "and"s and second, what kind of particular lifestyle?

I didn't want to go in and edit, but can I recommend "The region is known for its dry, sunny climate, orchards, lakeshore cottage communities and relaxed lifestyle. It is a popular holiday destination for Canadians, many of whom choose to retire here." Chellspecker (talk) 19:40, 25 June 2014 (UTC)


The usage and topic of Okanagan is under discussion, see talk:okanogan -- (talk) 05:04, 5 January 2016 (UTC)