Hope, Cascades & Canyons’ First Nations settlement period starts with the first traces of people living in the Fraser Valley. These first nation origins date from 8,000 to 10,000 years ago, when the Sto:lo First Nations were in the area. An important Sto:lo community was located where the District of Hope sits today. The community, called Ts’qo:ls, was a major population and transportation hub, home to thousands of people, and an essential stopping point for trade between nearby communities. In late 1782, a smallpox epidemic among the Stó:lo killed thousands, an estimated two thirds of the population. First Nations tradition continues throughout the community today.
An interesting document by Devon Drury of University of Victoria on First Nations spirituality and history can be found here.