The story of the Canyon War presented by Tuckkwiowhum elder Byron Spinks

For this Gold Rush Trail storyteller episode, we head to the heart of Nlaka’pamux territory in the Fraser Canyon to meet Tuckkwiowhum elder, Byron Spinks. Here, he shares with us the untold story of the Canyon War. The conflict began in the summer of 1858 when miners arrived in the Fraser Canyon with a yearning for gold and began mining without permission from the Nlaka’pamux Chiefs. After numerous miners staged violent attacks on the Nlaka’pamux people, Stʼatʼimc, Secwépemc, Okanagan and Yakima people travelled to the Fraser Canyon to help defend Nlaka’pamux territory and their people. Violence ensued until the 22nd of August 1858 when the Nlaka’pamux Nation led by Chief David Sexpínlhemx (Spintlum) negotiated a truce with Captain Henry Snyder to end the bloodshed and accommodate the newcomers. For more information visit Tuckkwiowhum Village First Nations Heritage Site and the Gold Rush Trail History Page.