The Unconquered Country
Journey to Nemiah and the Chilcotin Plateau
I had mythologized it, I had romanticized it, I had wanted to visit for almost ten years.
In a province filled with remote and rugged places, the Nemiah Valley remains distinct. It is a land of wild horses and grizzly bears, of giant wind-worn turquoise lakes framed by jagged peaks and sprawling golden pasture. But what really sets Nemiah apart is its history: in 1864, at the height of the Cariboo Gold Rush, the Tsilhqot'in First Nation successfully resisted European incursion into their territory. The Nemiah Valley and Chilko Lake would remain off the grid for another 100 years, the people free to continue their traditional ranching lifestyle without interference from government or corporations and without much contact with the outside world. It wasn’t until the mid 1970s that road access was built, and the Xeni Gwet'in once again fought hard for their land — this time to protect it for everyone by designating it as a provincial park.
Head over to Field & Forest for the full write-up