Oral tradition tells us that the Upper Similkameen people have lived in this valley since time immemorial. Our people live along the banks of the Similkameen and its tributaries. Our traditional territory is located in the upper Similkameen watershed between the US-Canada border (to the south), the Skagit Valley (to the west) and Aspen Grove (to the north).
Our name for the Hedley area is Snaza’ist (sna-za-ee-st), meaning striped rock place but there is more to it than just a name. Our elders tell us that chipmunk was teasing sasquatch and in his quest to get back at the chipmunk he kept swiping at the rocks and causing the stripes. Sasquatch finally got the chipmunk and that is why the chipmunk also has stripes like the rocks.