Nicola Athapaskans

Nicola Athapaskans

Nicola Athapaskans

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This article is for the extinct Athapaskan-speaking group of the Nicola Country of British Columbia. For the modern group known as the Nicola, see Nicola people.
The 'Nicola Athapaskans, also known as the Nicola people or Stuwix, were an Athabascan people who arrived in the in the migrated into the Nicola Country of what is now the Southern Interior of British Columbia from the north a few centuries ago but were slowly reduced in number by constant raiding from peoples from outside the valley (mostly Secwepemc), with the survivors, the last of whom lived near Nicola Lake, assimilated to the Scw'exmx-Syilx Nicola people by the end of the 19th C. The term Nicola for them is a misnomer, though a common one used by ethnologists and linguists - it commemorates a famous Okanagan chief who once held sway over the valley and its peoples as well as over the Kamloops Shuswap).

First appearing in the Bonaparte River valley and at Spences Bridge, they came into conflict with the Secwepemc and Nlaka'pamux peoples of that area, the Thompson Canyon, after journeying south to get away from "bad neighbours". At first in conflict with the Nlaka'pamux, peaceful terms were come to and they were invited to settle in the area of Nicola Lake and the upper Similkameen Country and lived alongside the valley's mix of Okanagan and Nlaka'pamux-speaking groups. The latter's name for them is the only indigenous name that exists for them, stuwix ("strangers"), as their own...
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