The History of Osoyoos

As written by Ms. Dorothy Fraser in pages to come, the name Osoyoos, or more correctly Sooyoos (pronounced Sooyuss), comes from an Okanagan Indian word meaning "the narrows", or "the place where two lakes come together". This describes the ancient crossing place, a natural ford, now bridged by Highway 3, just past the lakeshore park. Here the early peoples caught salmon as these made their way upstream to spawn, and smoked them for winter food. A very old burial ground, too, lies hidden under some of the houses on the rise facing east.

Osoyoos is a very interesting place, with a very interesting history... please use the menu links to explore more about the First Nations Peoples, the Fur Brigade, the Gold Rush days and more - but we do recommend that you start here.

It's a Fact!


The Syilx and Secwepemc peoples lived in the Okanagan and Thompson valleys for thousands of years before the arrival of the fur traders in the early 19th century.

There were major Syilx villages at Oroville and Nk’Mip on Osoyoos Lake.