Canyon War: The Untold Story (2009) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • The Canyon War uncovers the tumultuous events of 1858 in British Columbia, an untold story of a war swept under the carpet for 150 years. It was the days of the Fraser River Gold Rush, which saw some 30 to 40 thousand gold seekers flood into the Fraser Valley, culminating in the Fraser River War in August of that year. Many lives were lost, both Native and non-Native, until peace was finally concluded in Lytton through diplomatic efforts of N'lakapamux Chief, Spintlum, and an American miner and militia Captain Henry Snyder.

    The film documents the roots of the war, as well as how two leaders managed to bring it to an end despite heavy odds and higher stakes. The efforts of Chief Spintlum of Lytton and Capt. Henry Snyder of San Francisco prevented the war from spreading south of the border something that would have almost certainly resulted in U.S. troops occupying the mainland of B.C.

    The significance of the conflict was downplayed by Gov. James Douglas, who was helpless to intervene in the war despite having instructions to prevent bloodshed between the miners and the First Nations. The full extent of the struggle has never been told until now.

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