Our History

Lheidli T'enneh

Learn Dakelh With Us:
"Dakelh" in the Carrier Language means "of the People".

Our History

9000 YBP
9000 YBP

Archaeological evidence supports First Nation occupation of the area between 8,700 and 9,000 YBP (Years Before Present). There have been two excavations in the last forty years that have provided significant radio-carbon dates.
The governance system in the past was through the Bahtlats, a community involved process which provided for participatory decision making. The Bahtlats were also utilized for specific purposes such as: coming of age, marriage, death, sharing of wealth and/or food. There are several clan and sub-clans that each had a male (Dene zah) and a female (Tseke zah) head person. The Lheidli clans are Frog (Lasilyoo), Grouse (‘Utsut), Beaver (Tsa) and Bear (Sus). In the past, there was also a medicine person that was held in high standing within the community. This person dealt with the
physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of the community members.
The roles in the community centered on the gathering, preparation and storage of caribou, salmon, berries, plants and medicines. Each member had a role and a responsibility; the lives of all the community members depended on it.
Oral history was the means of transferring knowledge. The use of legends was very important to express past occurrences and to pass on information.

1763
1763

Royal Proclamation of King George III. The document provides for commitments to the First Nations of Canada. One of the commitments was to enter into Treaties.

1793
1793

Alexander Mackenzie travels through Lheidli territory and follows ancient Grease Trail to Nuxalk Territory.

1808
1808

Simon Fraser establishes an advanced camp at Lheidli to explore the Fraser River to the ocean.

For the next 50 years, the fur trader would be dependent on First Nations to supply labor for building and hauling but more importantly dried salmon for food. This compromised the fur trader’s ability to only exchange trade goods for furs, forcing them to supply credit and at times cash purchases.

1820
1820

Hudson’s Bay Company establishes temporary trading post at confluence of Chilako and Nechako rivers.

1821
1821

Hudson’s Bay Company and Northwest Trading Company amalgamate.

1823
1823

Hudson’s Bay Company establishes trading post at Lheidli.

1824
1824

HBC closes trading post at Lheidli.

1829
1829

HBC re-opens trading post at Lheidli, till 1915.

1836
1836

Smallpox epidemic in northern British Columbia.

1839
1839

First census of Lheidli village: 75 men, 50 women and 62 children for a total of 187.

1850
1850

Measles epidemic.

1861
1861

Country Land Purchase Act

Pre-emption Purchase Act

Pre-emption Consolidation Act

Colonial Policy for the establishment of Reserve Lands.

1862
1862

Peak of the Cariboo Gold Rush

1867
1867

British North American Act (BNA) serves as the base document for the Canadian constitution. The BNA set out the rules for the government of the new federal nation. It established a British style parliament with a House of Commons and Senate and set out the division of powers between the federal and provincial governments.

Constitution Act s.91 (24) refers to Federal Government of Canada’s responsibility for First Nations and lands reserved for First Nations.

St. Joseph’s Mission established at Williams Lake.

HBC establishes Barkerville fur trading post.

1870
1870

Economic depression in B.C.

1871
1871

First Nations not allowed to fish commercially.

Schedule of all Indian Reserves (surveyed) in the Province of B.C.

1872
1872

Smallpox epidemic in B.C.

The right to vote in B.C. elections withdrawn from First Nations.

1875
1875

Revised BC Land Act provides for Indian Reserves (s. 60).

Land available to settlers free of charge.

1876
1876

First Federal Indian Act passed, consolidates all previous legislation concerning First Nations. 

Order in Council proclaims that the Fisheries Act of Canada extends to B.C.

First Nations people excluded from voting in Municipal Elections.

1877
1877

Federal Fisheries Act takes effect.

Federal Minister of Public Works presents Order in Council 486, to utilize Fort George as a route for proposed Pacific Railway line.

1880
1880

Indian Act amendment prohibits First Nations from assembling. (In effect to 1927)

1883
1883

On April 14th, Fort George Reserves approved.

1885
1885

Indian Act amendment prohibits First Nations from holding Potlatches (In effect to 1951)

Father Morice active in Northern B.C., handed out titles to First Nations as “church chiefs” and watchman, while the trading posts had “fur trade chief”, Indian agents had native police, all claiming to be leaders. This led to factionalism within the Nations and to the demise of the traditional hereditary and community chief system.

1886
1886

HBC establishes trading post at Stoney Creek.

1890
1890

Indian Reserve Commissioner, O’Reilly, directed to not allot fishing privileges.

1891
1891

Federal government grants BC railways with 100 foot right-of-way through Crown Lands.

1893
1893

Economic depression.

1895
1895

Indian Act amended to create current Chief and Council election system.

1897
1897

First Nation fishing devices destroyed by federal officials.

1901
1901

Largest sockeye run on the Fraser River recorded to date.

1903
1903

Incorporation of Grand Trunk Pacific Railway.

1906
1906

Delegation of B.C. Chiefs meets with King Edward to discuss the Indian Land Question.

Railway Belt Act approved.

Barricade (fishing) Agreements signed with Lake Babine Nation.

1907
1907

Economic recession.

Negotiations begin for the sale of Fort George I.R. No.1.

1908
1908

Lheidli members reject offer for sale of I.R. No.1.

1909
1909

Lheidli members reject second offer for the sale of I.R. No.1.

1912
1912

Economic depression.

Pacific Great Eastern Railway is incorporated.

1913
1913

On September 7th, remaining members of Lheidli were forced off the village site against their will, removed from their homes and the village was burnt to the ground.

As part of the sale of Lheidli village, contractors constructed approximately 20 new houses and St. Pius X Church at Khas T’an Lhe Ghulgh, Reserve No.2, (Bundle of Fireweed), and 4 houses at Hlez Ba Nee Chek, Reserve No.3, (Lake Behind the Dirt). While the new homes looked nice, they were constructed from poorly seasoned lumber that continued to shrink, making the houses drafty, cold and unsuitable for the winters in this area.

1914
1914

Grand Trunk Pacific Railway completes construction in Northern B.C.

1914
1914

Grand Trunk Pacific Railway completes construction in Northern B.C.

First World War Begins

1917
1917

Grand Trunk Pacific Railway completes construction in Northern B.C.

Federal Government imposes further fishing restriction.

Mission residential school established in Fort St. James, for First Nation children from north central BC. It was decided that the Nak’azdli Reserve was too close as the parents were interfering with the re-education of their children.

1918
1918

First World War ends.

Spanish Flu kills many First Nations in B.C.

1920
1920

B.C. First Nation population reaches lowest point on record.

1922
1922

A site considered removed enough from reserves and villages was chosen for the new Lejac Residential School on the south shore of Fraser Lake. Many First Nations helped with the construction in hopes that conditions would be much better for their children, but it soon became clear that little had changed. (Closed in 1976)

Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and Canadian Northern Railway merge to form Canadian National Railway.

1927
1927

Indian Act amended to make it illegal to obtain funds or legal counsel to pursue land claims.

1939
1939

Second World War begins and a few Lheidli men join.

1945
1945

Last Lheidli Hereditary Chief, George Jael, dies and buried at Reserve No.2.

End of Second World War

1949
1949

West Coast Transmission Co, incorporated.

1951
1951

Indian Act revised, reversing prohibition for First Nations to pursue land claims and the potlatch.

1953
1953

Pacific Great Eastern Railway extended to Prince George.

1960
1960

First Nation citizens were given the right to vote in the Federal Elections.

1964
1964

BC Hydro erects high voltage power transmission lines through Fort George IR No.2.

1968
1968

Indian Homemakers Association formed. Mary Pius involved.

1969
1969

Federal government introduces the “White Paper” (Statement of Government of
Canada on Indian Policy), which seeks to eliminate certain “privileges” of First Nations, by abolishing the Indian Act and the federal obligation to First Nations.

Chief Ronald Seymour represents Lheidli in the establishment of Union of BC Indian Chiefs.

1973
1973

Punchaw Lake archaeology excavation (FiRs-1) conducted by Dr. Fladmark of Simon Fraser University begins. Findings identified 43 house platforms and 57 cache pits. Evidence indicates that there was 4,000 years of habitation and the site had been utilized for 8,000 to 9,000 years. The 5,400 square meter site has and ancient east-west trail running across it. When Alexander Mackenzie passed through the area in 1793, he mentions in his journal that the First Nations already had European trade goods from ships on the coast. This trail is now referred to as the Nuxalk-Carrier Grease Trail.

1982
1982

Canada Constitution revision.

1985
1985

Bill C-31 legislation approved. This restored the status and Nation membership to First Nation women who lost their status due to marrying non-First Nation men. Also, the first generation of children received their status.

1992
1992

Lheidli Nation administers property taxes on reserve through Section 83 of The Indian Act.

1993
1993

Entered the BC Treaty Negotiation Process:

Stage 1 Statement of Intent accepted by the BC Treaty Commission on December 12, 1993

Stage 2 Readiness declared by three parties on November 02, 1995

Stage 3 Framework Agreement signed by three parties on August 26, 1996

Stage 4 Agreement in Principle signed by three parties on August 01, 2003

Stage 5 Final Agreement completed on November 29, 2006

Community vote held on, the Constitution was successfully passed, the Final agreement was rejected.

1997
1997

Lheidli Nation established LTN Contracting Ltd., this company is a partnership that specializes in timber harvesting.

2000
2000

Members approve Bill C-49 Land Code; this provides the Lheidli Nation the jurisdiction to manage reserve lands.

2010
2010

Fraser River archaeology excavation (FIRq-013) was conducted by Archer CRM. A notable artifact assemblage was recovered from the site as well as the recording of a high number of cultural features covering thousands of years of occupation. Radio Carbon analysis dates the site 8770+/- 60 YBP making this the oldest site in this region of Canada and putting the initial occupation shortly after deglaciation.

2012
2012

Lheidli Nation accepted into Fiscal Management Authority (FMA). The self-government initiative provides the jurisdiction to manage the property tax system.

Federal Government approves Bill C-3; this adds a third generation of disenfranchised members to the membership list.

2013
2013

Lheidli T’enneh Nation becomes a co-host for the 2015 Canada Winter games.

Lheidli T’enneh Nation is the host of the 37th annual Elder’s Gathering.

2015
2015

Lheidli T’enneh Nation becomes the first official Host First Nation of the Canada Winter Games

2017
2017

Lheidli T’enneh Nation and The Exploration Place sign a memorandum of understanding outlining The Exploration Place as the official repository of Lheidli T’enneh cultural material; they jointly open Hodul’eh a: A Place of Learning permanent exhibition 

Hodul’eh-a: A Place of Learning wins a
Governor General Award for Excellence in Community Programming

Community Research and Timeline provided by the Exploration Place.  For more information on the history of Lheidli T’enneh, we greatly encourage you visit their exhibit when they re-open in 2021.

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