Seton Lake

The Seton Lake is a lake which lies to the west of Lillooet in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is situated in 243 m altitude, 22 km long and covers an area of 26.2 km ². Main tributary is the Seton Portage River, the main drainage of the Seton River, which empties into the Fraser River. At the upper end of the lake Seton Portage is located at the mouth of Seton Portage River short, connecting the Anderson Lake with the Seton Lake.

On the north side of the lake runs a railway line, now part of Canadian National Railways.

Lakeside Tsal'álh the First Nation, called band in official parlance Seton Lake lives.


In the language of the local inland Salish the original inhabitants Tsal'álh hot. The responsible Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development calls Seton Lake band. 642 people were listed in March 2011 as a recognized member of the tribe, of which 251 lived on the reserve, a further 102 in other reserves. Your own reserves are located at the western end of the lake and west of the lake, including Seton Lake 5A with an area of ​​350.4 ha, and slosh slosh 1 and 1A with 691.1 and 649.1 ha In addition, five other very small areas, one of which is located at the east end of Anderson lake. Overall, this is 1878.9 ha

The Seton and Anderson Lake was originally a contiguous lake, which, however, was divided by a landslide years ago at least 8,000. The Seton Portage, the main path during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush, the years 1858 to 1859 was for the Douglas Road was of great importance. Should the area have been inhabited at the time of the landslide, so should the Tsunami, the landslide must have caused, have destroyed any settlement.

The culture of the local Indians was strongly influenced by the coast, so of the many groups of the coastal Salish. The lake was mainly for salmon fishing is of great importance, that depended on fish from which every year the Fraser River migrated upwards. To the east of the lake they found a human -like ( anthropomorphic ) object that could be dated to an age of 1220 ± 85 years, and probably played a role in initiation rituals. The Seton Lake site ( EeRl 21), in which are numerous, difficult datable Piktographe is also heavily influenced by the coastal Salish and is one of the largest sites of its kind in western Canada. Of similar importance is the Bridge River site, the most important is the eastward location Keatley Creek site. At Seton Lake and the villages Slha7äs Tsal'álh the later Tsal'álh First Nation were. The Lh7us ( Slosh, saying, Slaoosh ) and Nquayt ( Nkiat ) at Seton Portage also belong to this group also called Seton Lake First Nation, as well as the Skeil and Ohin today.

The first European in the area was Francis Ermatinger of the Hudson's Bay Company. He went in 1827 from Fort Kamloops over the Peseline or Pasilico Lake (now Seton and Anderson Lakes ) and the Li -Li What [ Lillooet River ].

Alexander Caulfield Anderson (1814-1884), also from the Hudson 's Bay Company, explored the area in 1846, to find a path for the fur traders of Fort Kamloops to the lower Fraser Valley. They would be able to handle the Fraser Canyon. In 1858, he received from Governor James Douglas commissioned a route from Harrison Lake on the lakes in the region according to Lillooet to locate, which represented the main gateway to the gold fields at the upper Fraser and Cariboo area ( Cariboo Gold Rush ). On this occasion he named the Seton Lake to his late cousin Colonel Alexander Seton. After the submerged ship, whose troops Seton had commanded, the connecting road Birkenhead Strait was called. The Douglas Road was built from 1858, but they came quickly into disuse, although it was often repaired and rebuilt. At the end of this lake it was already close to the first gold mining locations.

During the railway construction which should connect the Atlantic with the Pacific coast of Canada, was created in order to develop even secondary ones, the Pacific Great Eastern Railway, which also happened to Seton Lake on its north side. She joined the Howe Sound north of Vancouver on the Pacific with Prince George, where the train should arrive by around 750 km. Below the lake already ensured 1885 a first major landslide, triggered by the railway works for a narrowing of the river. Other large landslides, as in 1913 and 1914 prevented the first salmon runs. The number of salmon was already declining by 1863 that started in the province of fish industry, which reached its peak in the 1890s. By 1915, its own fishing industry was operated on Seton Lake, which had to be given up due to lack of migratory salmon, although already inserting 1911 protection and assistance. An even more times landslide in 1941 prompted the International Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission to build on both sides of the river fish ladders and passageways.

The water level of the natural lake was by the Bridge River Power Project - lifted - Power generators are located on the north shore at the upper end of the lake at Shalalth. By this diversion performed the Bridge River, which originally led to Lillooet in the Fraser, in the lake, the Seton Lake discolored from blue to gray-green. The diversion of the river serve the La Joie and the Terzaghi Dam. In 1948, the mission began in 1946 dam was completed, the same year the construction of the La Joie Dam began on the north-west section of the Bridge River. The Mission Dam north of Seton Lake in 1960 to a part of the new Terzaghi Dam, which received its name in 1965. Despite warnings no salmon ladders were provided for the salmon. This in turn deprived the surviving above the dam bears one of their main foods.

Below the Seton Lake was formed on Seton River, another dam, which was completed in 1956. This dam raised the water level of the Seton Lake by a further 2 m.

1913, the Pacific Great Eastern Railway was built through the area in the middle. Where today Shalalth and Seton Portage are the best land was confiscated; simultaneously decreased salmon and wild stocks. Chief Peters in 1914 complained that outside of the reserves all the fish and all were gone wild, so that the Salish survival was barely possible. Your Traditional territory served to supply the web and the new emerging locations. The resident Indians, which operated until the 1950s agriculture was supported by the Canadian school system, the children forced into boarding schools like the residential schools to go, deprived of their cultural foundations, destroyed their language. Only with the resolution of these schools, where many children suffered brutal attacks, still occupy the courts, its own school, the Seton Lake School band emerged in the 70s. For several years, the lost agriculture with the help of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee is introduced at the request of the elders in the community of Seton Portage again beyond. 2007, Seton Lake Salish agreed with the government of British Columbia to the return of land that had been deprived of them by the McKenna - McBride Commission in the years 1913 until 1914. Since the 80s, the Seton Lake residents defend against further deforestation. So they blocked 1998 Lumberjack Ainsworth Lumber Company.