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For us, the Peace River is not just a place.  It’s who we are.

teepees at the Treaty 8 signing in 1899

teepees at the Treaty 8 signing in 1899

Since time immemorial, First Nations people have lived in and around the Peace River Valley.  Indigenous people are deeply connected to the land.  Our customs, beliefs and values, still alive today, are shaped by our relationship with the landscape, the wildlife and the seasons.

The first peoples in this area speak Beaver and Cree. In 1899, the British Empire signed Treaty 8 with the peoples living in what we now call the Peace Regions of Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. The treaty acknowledges our rights “for as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the rivers flow.”

original farmhouse at the Ardill Ranch

original farmhouse at the Ardill Ranch

Along the upper Peace River, Fort St. John was established in 1794.  The Old Fort, as it is now called, was BC’s first non-indigenous settlement .

Homesteaders came from across Canada and overseas to our verdant valley in the late 1800s.  Many of the families farming, ranching and living around the Peace River today can trace our generational roots to those first settlers. 

cities, villages and rural residences are found all along the Peace River valley

cities, villages and rural residences are found all along the Peace River valley

Today, descendants of the Peace River’s first peoples live in Dawson Creek, Moberly Lake, Hudson’s Hope, Fort St. John, Peace River and other outlying towns, villages and rural areas. Our bustling communities also welcome newcomers each year, who find themselves
falling in love with the Peace.

For many residents of the Peace area, the magnificent breaks and glittering river below represent more than where we live.  The vast scope of the valley and the wildness of the land is expressed in us: the energy and enthusiasm of the northern people. 

 

 

 

 

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