Missionaries in the Okanagan Valley

Taylor Schwartzenberger Block H


Protestant missionaries were established in Oregon territories in 1847. In the Summer of 1858, Father Pandosy, Father Richard and a small group of Oblates were all sent to Esquimalt. They then discovered the Okanagan Valley and made a settlement in 1859. Only two years later in 1861, they managed to baptise 121 Aboriginals. Pandosy's brother's house was added to the site in 1865. About 30 years later in 1896, the mission and all of its properties were sold to Father Eumelin and his family. In 1902, Father Eumelin continued to run the mission as a priest. Finally, the land was bought by the Kelowna Land and the Orchard Company in 1906.


The Missionaries were a very important part of the Okanagan Valley. Father Pandosy and his team (including Father Richard) all travelled around until they found a good place to settle. They made an establishment that grew into something huge. Even after Pandosy's death, the mission continued to grow strong. They were very successful with what they did.

Role of the Okanagn Fur Brigade Trail

By the time the last of the Fur Brigade Trail passed through Okanagan (1847), they were already in Oregon. So, when the Missionaries came back to the Okanagan, there was an easy path for them to follow to find a settlement.

Father Pierre Richard

Father Richard was involved in the discovery of the Okanagan Mission. Pandosy and Richard both decided they wanted to make a new establishment, so they travelled until they found a good spot. Richard also studied in a minor seminary of la Charteuse and joined in the Notre-Dame on October 19, in 1849. He was known for his strong health, since he lived until he was 80 years old.

Reasons for Settlement in the Okanagan Valley

Both Pandosy and Richard went to Vancouver Island in the summer. Pandosy stayed for the winter to get the supplies they need. They both then continued until they found a Native Village, south of the Okanagan Lake. They discovered the Mission Creek in the spring, built houses, and made an establishment. The main reason they wanted to make an establishment here was to baptize Natives, traders and settlers to lay the basis for other missionary effects. In 1900, the establishment became known as the Okanagan Valley.

Accomplishments in North America

On March 11, 1854, Bishopde Mazenod ordained Richard to priesthood. Richard spent a lot of time In Esquimalt with Pandosy, and came back to create the establishment. When he was 73 years old, Richard was assigned his last mission in Squamish. It lasted from 1899 to 1907.

Accomplishments in Okanagan Valley

He found a place to create an establishment. He also baptized many Natives and traders while their establishment was running. His signature is on the registers of Priest Point (1857-1858).


  • Father Jacques Santoni states that Father Richard's jaw bone is out of joint, which causes his pronunciation to be "difficult and ungraceful"
  • Richard studied theology in the major seminary of Mareille (1850-1854)
  • this establishment was the first white settlement