history of matsqui village prairie first nations near fraser river abbotsford bc canada

History of Matsqui Village Nearby the Fraser River in Abbotsford

Matsqui Village is a historical locality in the city of Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada. The village was once home to the Matsqui First Nation and was later settled by European settlers in the late 1800s. The village was originally named after the Matsqui people who have inhabited the area for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans.

The village played a significant role in the early history of Abbotsford and the surrounding area. In the early 1900s, it was an important agricultural center, with many farms and orchards located in the area. The fertile land and favorable climate made it ideal for growing crops such as berries, apples, and hops. The village was also a hub for transportation, with a railway station connecting it to other parts of the region.

During World War II, the Matsqui Village was home to a prisoner-of-war camp that housed German and Italian prisoners. The prisoners were put to work on local farms and helped to alleviate the labor shortage caused by the war. After the war, many of the prisoners chose to remain in Canada and became part of the local community.

In the 1950s and 60s, the village underwent significant changes as a result of urbanization and the growth of Abbotsford. The construction of the Trans-Canada Highway and the expansion of the nearby airport led to the demolition of many buildings in the village, including the original railway station. The village was gradually absorbed into the larger city of Abbotsford, losing much of its distinct character and identity.

Today, the Matsqui Village is a popular tourist destination, with several historical buildings and landmarks still standing. The Matsqui Trail Regional Park, which runs through the area, provides a scenic walking and biking route for visitors. The Matsqui First Nation continues to be an important part of the community, and efforts are underway to preserve and celebrate the village’s history and cultural heritage.

Matsqui First Nations

The Matsqui First Nation is a First Nations band located in the Fraser Valley region of British Columbia, Canada. The name Matsqui comes from the Halq’emΓ©ylem language and means “people of the river.”

The Matsqui people have lived in the area for thousands of years and have a rich cultural history. They traditionally relied on fishing, hunting, and gathering for their livelihoods, and their connection to the land and waterways remains an important part of their identity.

In the late 1800s, European settlers began to encroach on Matsqui territory, leading to conflict and displacement. The Matsqui people were forced onto a reserve located on the south side of the Fraser River, near present-day Abbotsford. The reserve was later relocated to its current location in the 1930s.

The Matsqui First Nation has faced many challenges over the years, including the impacts of residential schools, loss of land, and discrimination. Despite these challenges, the community has remained resilient and continues to work towards self-determination and cultural revitalization.

Today, the Matsqui First Nation is a thriving community with a population of over 600 members. The band operates a number of businesses, including a gas station, convenience store, and gaming center. They also offer cultural programs and services, including language classes and traditional arts and crafts.

The Matsqui First Nation is committed to preserving and celebrating their cultural heritage. They participate in cultural events and ceremonies throughout the year, including the annual Stó:lō Nation Salmon Festival. The band is also involved in a number of initiatives aimed at protecting the environment and promoting sustainable development.

Founding of Matsqui Village

Matsqui Village was not founded by a single individual but rather grew out of the settlement of European pioneers in the late 1800s. However, the Matsqui First Nation has lived in the area for thousands of years and has a long and rich history.

There are many famous locals from Matsqui Village who have made significant contributions to the community and beyond. One such person is Dr. James Douglas, who was born in Matsqui in 1837. Douglas was the first governor of British Columbia and played a key role in the development of the province during its early years.

Another notable figure is Tommy Douglas, who was the premier of Saskatchewan and a key figure in the establishment of Canada’s public healthcare system. Douglas was born in Falkirk, Scotland, but grew up in Matsqui Village, where his family owned a farm.

In addition to these prominent individuals, Matsqui Village has a rich cultural heritage and many local stories and legends. The village is known for its agricultural history, particularly its production of hops, berries, and apples. The Matsqui Trail Regional Park, which runs through the area, provides a scenic route for visitors to explore the village’s history and natural beauty.

Where is Matsqui Village

Matsqui Village is located in the Fraser Valley region of British Columbia, Canada. It is situated on the south side of the Fraser River, near the city of Abbotsford.

To get to Matsqui Village, you can drive from Vancouver, which is about 80 kilometers west. Take the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) east and then take Exit 87 to get onto Sumas Way/Highway 11. Follow the signs for Matsqui and turn left onto Riverside Street, which will take you to the village.

Alternatively, you can take public transit from Vancouver. Take the SkyTrain to the King George Station in Surrey and then transfer to the bus #503 to Chilliwack. Get off at the Abbotsford Airport stop and transfer to the bus #31 to Matsqui Village.

If you are coming from farther away, you can fly into the Abbotsford International Airport, which is located about 15 minutes south of Matsqui Village. From the airport, you can rent a car or take a taxi to get to the village.

Once you are in Matsqui Village, you can explore the area on foot or by bike. The Matsqui Trail Regional Park offers a scenic route along the river, and there are also several local farms and businesses that offer tours and activities.

Landmarks Nearby Matsqui Village

Matsqui Village is a quaint and picturesque settlement situated in the Fraser Valley region of British Columbia, Canada. This charming hamlet is surrounded by a plethora of noteworthy landmarks and attractions, including:

Matsqui Trail Regional Park – This idyllic parkland is a nature lover’s paradise, offering a multitude of hiking and biking trails through lush forests and along tranquil riverbanks.

Clayburn Village – A nearby historic district renowned for its well-preserved heritage buildings, including a century-old brick factory, a general store, and a schoolhouse.

Sumas Mountain – A prominent peak towering over the valley, offering stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Abbotsford International Airport – A bustling transportation hub, serving as a gateway to the rest of the world.

Fraser River – A majestic waterway flowing through the valley, providing a vital source of sustenance and transportation for the local community.

Mill Lake – A serene and scenic lake situated in the heart of Abbotsford, offering a peaceful retreat for locals and visitors alike.

Overall, Matsqui Village and its surrounding landmarks are a testament to the natural beauty and rich cultural heritage of the Fraser Valley region.


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