Tourism Harrison Newsletter

Sasquatch Days 2013

Sasquatch Days 2013




Only one month away!  Sasquatch Days 2013 will be held on June 8th and 9th on the beach front here in beautiful Harrison Hot Springs.

This cultural event is a collaboration between the Village of Harrison Hot Springs and the local First Nations Band of the Sts’ailes and includes War Canoe Races, Men’s, Women’s, Mixed Doubles, Buckskins, Small and Large Canoes.  There will be a salmon barbeque, Drumming, Artisans, Sasquatch Talks, Medicine walks, Games and Cedar Weaving.

Ever wonder what the difference was between War Canoes and Dragon Boats?
Dragonboats are the basis of the team paddling sport of dragon boat racing an amateur watersport which has its roots in an ancient folk ritual of contending villagers held over the past 2000 years throughout southern China. While ‘competition’ has taken place annually for more than 20 centuries as part of religious ceremonies and folk customs, dragon boat racing has emerged in modern times as an international sport, beginning in Hong Kong in 1976.
Typically, a war canoe will be faster than a dragon boat over any given distance, because of a better hull shape (narrower and without the characteristic ‘w’ shape of dragon boat hulls), lighter construction, and the kneeling position allowing for a fuller, more powerful stroke than the sitting position used in dragon boats.

The term ‘war canoe’ is derived from large Native American canoes intended for war, and war canoeing was in fact a popular sport in Vancouver,  before large gatherings of indigenous people were outlawed for a time beginning in 1922.  War canoeing among indigenous communities is enjoying a revival today, although there as yet has been little interaction with non-indigenous teams.

A war canoe holds 15 paddlers including one coxswain, or cox, for steering. Native Americans also utilized canoes in warfare, ranging from small, lightweight canoes for rapid raids to large, ceremonial canoes amply decorated for conferences and other events. As an attack craft, a canoe is actually quite well designed, because it can be easy to maneuver with a skilled crew, and it can be extremely fast with a lot of paddlers working together to propel the canoe. Native American war canoes are sometimes seen at ceremonial events held by groups with a tradition of canoe building

Top This!

Top This!




Mount Cheam - YES you can!  The top of our world!

Mount Agassiz's the Campbell Lake Trail - Don't underestimate it, getting to the top is tough! This is our answer to the Grouse Grind!

Mount Woodside once you get to the top, hang glide down!

Bear Mountain Summit and see forever why this hike is tops in our book!

The top of the lake bring out your quads and 4 x 4's or twice yearly by boat with Shoreline Boat Tours

The top of Mount Breckenridge - Glacier helicopter tours you know you want to!

Top up my coffee - Miss Margaret's, Marius Cafe Deli, Oasis Coffee & Bistro, Beach Bites Cafe, Chantilly Ice Cream, Chuck and Kitty's Country Cafe, and, Muddy Waters Espresso Bar & Cafe

Take the top off the beer Sand, sun, beer, music, great food need we say more?

Take your top off highly recommended if you are going swimming!

Top up your tank the Husky Gas Station for all motorized vehicles and Killer s Cove Marina for all boats.

Top up on groceries for all your picnic and camping needs The Husky Gas Station, the Harrison Lake Market, Papples Market and Marius Cafe Deli.

How about some amazing toppings for the best pizza in town??  Check out the Village Pizzeria.

Topping the ball Need some help with that?  Ask one of the Pro's at the Sandpiper Golf Resort or the Harrison Resort Golf Course

One of the Top fish for sushi?  Salmon!!  Kitami Restaurant and Yukiya Sushi

Take the top down the perfect drive if you've got a convertible.

Unscrew the top of the wine bottle and toast yourself for your discerning good taste in choosing a place like Harrison!

Harrison Bald Eagle Festival

Harrison Bald Eagle Festival





The Laroan and her captain Steve Dunn, took thirty passengers on a three hour cruise of the Harrison River on an incredably beautiful Sunday afternoon. The emerald water created by the minerals of the gracier water which feeds Harrison Lake and River, added a touch of whimsy to the incredable wilderness landscape. Bald Eagles resting in the branches of deciduous trees looked alot like ornaments on christmas trees and the birds out hunting at times filled the air.  It's hard to imagine outright laughter in this setting, but sure enough it filled the boat when we were able to witness a tug of war between a young eagle and a seagull as they squabbled over some made in BC Sashimi.

Did you know that when a bald eagle loses a feather on one wing, it will lose a feather on the other in order to keep its balance? Or, that it's believed that bald eagles choose one mate for life. To impress each other, males and females perform special courtship dances in the sky. The dance involves locking talons and cart-wheeling through the air.

The bald eagle is Canada's largest bird of prey. It gets its food by direct capture, scavenging and stealing prey from other animals. Its diet consists primarily of fish. However, if fish are scarce, eagles refuse to go hungry and instead feast on rabbits, squirrels, birds and even young deer! It builds the largest nest of any North American bird, up to 4 meters (13ft) deep, 2.5 meters (8.2ft) wide, and one metric ton (1.1tons) in weight and reaches sexual maturity at four years or five years of age.

Bald Eagles are not actually bald; The word bald comes from the word piebaldwhich is used to describe something that is spotty or patchy.

The adult is mainly brown with a white head and tail. The sexes are identical in plumage, but females are larger than males. The beak is large and hooked. The plumage of the immature is brown.

The Bald Eagle population was severely affected in the mid-20th century by a variety of factors, among them the thinning of egg shells attributed to use of the pesticide DDT.  Female eagles laid eggs that were too brittle to withstand the weight of a brooding adult, making it nearly impossible for the eggs to hatch.

Other factors in Bald Eagle population reductions were a widespread loss of suitable habitat, as well as both legal and illegal shooting.  In 1984, the National Wildlife Association listed hunting, power-line electrocution, and collisions in flight as the leading causes of eagle deaths. Bald Eagle populations have also been negatively affected by oil, lead, and mercury pollution, and by human and predator intrusion.

Sts'ailes...the Beating Heart

Sts'ailes... the beating heart







North of Highway 7, running along the west side of the Harrison River, lies the village of Sts'ailes, whose traditional territory includes Harrison Hot Springs and Harrison Lake and includes the watersheds of Harrison Lake and River, Chehalis River and the Fraser River. The name Sts'ailes, meaning the Beating Heart, comes from halfway up the west side of Harrison Lake. In this area, Xals, the Transformer, battled a once-powerful shaman called the Doctor and turned him to stone. 

In an effort to preserve and limit him, Xals broke apart pieces of his body and spread them throughout the territory, creating landmarks. Where his heart landed became known as the village of Sts'ailes. The usual English name Chehalis is identical to that of the much more numerous Chehalis people of southern Puget Sound in Washington. By Sts'ailes tradition, the southern Chehalis were separated from their homeland as a consequence of the Great Flood. Fish and seashell fossils found in abundance near Mystery Creek (cited as one of the meeting places of Sasquatch) deep in Sts'ailes territory, seems to support this Native American Hypothesis. The culture in Sts'ailes runs very strong. They take great pride in what they do and how they carry themselves particularly through their ceremonies and in their spirituality. They "live" the culture.

The people of Sts'ailes perform many ceremonies such as The First Salmon Ceremony and Ground Breakings for new buildings.  The drummers of Sts'ailes have  vast knowledge of traditional songs and their artists are well known in the territory and beyond. With a focus on traditional teachings, personal growth and high academic standards at all levels, the Sts'ailes education department is a model of educational achievement.

From pre-school age, Children of the community are gently guided through an education curriculum that includes cultural education and the Halq'emeylem language.  Through workshops, children and teens are being taught traditional skills such as drum making, drumming and singing.  If Sts'ailes village is the Beating Heart of the territory, the community school is the Beating Heart of the Village.

What today is known as the Sasquatch Crossing Eco Lodge, was first a private estate built on Sts'ailes traditional territory in 1903.  About 15 years ago, it was remodeled into an Eco Lodge. 

Then in the spring of 2009, Sts'ailes purchased the beautiful building and the Eco Lodge is now fully owned and operated by the band.  Recently, the band opened a renowned retreat facility known as Lhawathet.  The new building provides accommodations, catering and meeting space for conferences and gatherings, business retreats and meetings. Archaeological findings indicate that Sasquatches were known by humans up to 10,000 years ago.  The word Sasquatch comes from the Coast Salish word Sasqac, which is the name of a spiritual creature who is believed to have the ability to change to human form at will. Pictures courtesy of, see also

Visitor's Guide