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History of Whistler

Whistler is a place where mountains, rivers and First Nations people have met for millennia. The Coast Salish First Nations people inhabited the land around Whistler for many thousands of years, hunting, gathering and trading long before European settlers arrived.

At one time, tens of thousands of Coast Salish First Nations people lived, traded and thrived between the Vancouver, Howe Sound and the Lillooet areas. In fact, some of the hiking routes between Howe Sound and Deep Cove (on the north shore of Burrard Inlet, near Vancouver) are the same routes traveled on by the Coast Salish First Nations peoples.

The Whistler valley was an isolated wilderness frequented by two First Nations: the Lil'wat Nation from the Mount Currie area (north of Whistler, near Pemberton), and the Squamish Nation who lived in an area stretching from present-day North Vancouver to the Squamish River watershed and the northern part of what is now called Howe Sound.

Whistler was often a waypoint for trading routes between the Squamish and Lil'wat Nations because it was rich with wildlife and resources.

Whistler's European history owes much to the pioneering spirit of Myrtle Philip. As a visionary of the early 1900s she set about to establish Whistler as one of the most popular summer resorts in western Canada.

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