Early Missionaries in the Okanagan

Sara Klick Socials Studies 9 Block:G


When the Fur Brigades ended in 1847, the Protestant Missionaries were already established in the Oregon Territories. However before this settlement, David Stuart was the first to see the Okanagan Valley, by travelling on the Fur Brigade Trail. He set up a settlement on the head of Okanagan Lake. Soon after in 1849, Father Pandosy arrived in the Okanagan Mission and made the first permanent white settlement. After he had attracted many people to the Valley, and the settlement was growing strong, they had laid out plans for the rest of "Kelowna" to be established.


The first Missionaries settled around the area now known as Mission Creek. They were very attracted to the land because of the rich agriculture, and believed that they could attract others as well. They built churches and brought Catholicism to the Mission. When they attracted settlers, they were well educated and were soon Baptized after arrival.

Role of the Okanagan Fur Brigade Trail

In 1811, David Stuart from the Pacific Fur Company; established the Fur Brigade Trail, while following this trail, he found the Okanagan Valley. He was the first white man to see the Valley and soon made a settlement on the head of the Okanagan Lake, the only reason he found the Valley was because of the trail. The Okanagan Fur Brigade Trail was a vital transportation Network. Large trains, men, and horses brought good in and out of the Valley via the Brigade Trail.

Father Pandosy

Early History

Father Pandosy was born into a wealthy land owning family. He worked with a small group of Oblates of which he was called on the go to the Okanagan. Pandosy wanted to travel the world, living in France all his life wasn't satisfying him, so when Canada called, he answered. He then arrived in the Okanagan Valley in 1859, and built the first permanent white settlement.

Reasons for Settlement

Pandosy wanted to start a new colony in the interior of British Columbia. He was just as much a farmer as he was a Priest, meaning that he was also attracted to the rich agriculture that came with it. The land he was claiming was more for religious purposes than for the fur trade.

Early Accomplishments

- was sent to convert the Yakima Indians to Catholicism

- established 2 new colony's at this time

-built the Mary Immaculate Conception Church

- baptized 121 people in the mission

-Convinced Aboriginal Chiefs to settle and improve the lands

Legacy Today

Father Pandosy built the Mary Immaculate Conception Church soon after he had settled in his new found land. The School/church educated all people whom followed. The Father Pandosy Mission is now 4 acres long and has historic buildings. The land is still used today as a worship sight.

Interesting facts

- The Pandosy Mission is now a museum

- the original area known as the Mission, was once called L'anse au Stable

Driving Question

The impact that Father Pandosy had on the growth and development of the Okanagan Valley was that he had attracted many people to the Valley and had created the first white settlement. He built the Mary Immaculate Conception Church which had educated all people who had followed. This meant that Catholicism was now in the Okanagan Valley. Pandosy taught all Native people the English Language.