Tracks and Trails  

Historic tracks and trails

Before Father Pandosy planted apples and before Westbank First Nations' reserves were established, a large track of land located in the West Kettle River Valley approximately 40 kilometres or 25 miles east of Kelowna was being utilized as a trap line. A long historic use within the Derickson and McDougal Westbank First Nations families extending back to the year of approximately 1850 can be affirmed. The trap line is about 40,000 acres or 16,000 hectares and is approximately 35 miles in length. It consists of Two John lake, Derickson Lake, Mount Moore, Jubilee Mountain and St. Margaret Lake. The trap line crosses West over the West Kettle River and also uses Forest Service Road 201. Another way to visualize the trap line is to consider standing at the top of Big White Mountain, look West over the West Kettle River, and what you see would all fall within the Derickson Trap Line Registration Number 0812-017.

The trap line was given to Mickey Derickson in the early 1900’s from his mother-in-law who was a McDougal. In the year of 1926, Mickey Derickson registered the trap line to satisfy a new requirement from the government of BC. Marten was the main fur bearing animal of the trap line. The trap line was transferred in January of 1967 to Dave, Harry and Richard Derickson, sons of Mickey Derickson who spent many winters on the trap line. In turn, the three Derickson brothers transferred their registered interest in July 1993 to their sons and daughters of whom are 15 registered family members of TR-0812-017. Harold and Richard Derickson used the trap line as late as 1989.

For many years the Greystokes have been a winter outdoor recreation mecca for Okanagan snowmobilers, snowshoers and cross country skiers. The trap line partially lies within the Greystokes protected area and co-exists perfectly with other recreation uses of the area. When I met Ray for an interview, though he later told me his age is 60, his enthusiasm and desire to begin productive outdoor activity on the trap line made him seem much younger and I could never have guessed his true age.

Today, Ray Derickson, a registered family member of the Trap Line TR-0812-017, Okanagan Indian Tribe, Westbank Indian Band, Registration No. 601-000-8101, has the interest and desire to research the Trap Line and exercise his aboriginal right to trap the fur bearing animals. The first activity that Ray wishes to complete would be to explore the land and possibly build a trappers cabin. The Cabin could also be used for a snowmobilers and snowshoers on guided winter vacations in addition to winter recreationists who become lost.

When one looks at the trap line and realizes the vast area and opportunity to be explored, then a business plan becomes a necessity! Whether you are aboriginal or not, if you are interested in exploring the area along with Ray for the consideration of back country cabin building, guided snowshoeing/snowmobiling or giving new and managed life to the trap line, email Ray at [email protected]

View a pdf map of the Trap Line at:

Derickson Trap Line BCLCS

Clayton Kessler is the webmaster of TracksAndTrails.ca, a website he has been posting his hiking trips and other outdoor information on for the last six years. Clayton is also a Central Okanagan Search and Rescue volunteer and a certified Amateur Radio operator - call sign VA7CBK. He is happily married with three teenage boys ages 13, 15 and 17.

Clayton has created and sold two business. Both are still operating with the last one being an outdoor product that is sold throughout retail stores across Canada. He can be reached by leaving a text, audio or video comment on his website at www.TracksAndTrails.ca. He will answer all your outdoor questions even if he has too go to great lengths to have it answered!

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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