Internment in the Shuswap
Mara Lake has been the ancestral territory of the Secwépemc people for thousands of years. When Europeans arrived they were drawn to the lake's sandy beaches and the abundant reserves of timber in the area. The settlement of Sicamous was established at the lake's north end, and Mara at the south end. It was during the First World War that a road along the lake's edge was constructed to connect these two communities. It was built by forced labourers, men who had been interned as part of Canada's First World War Internment Operations.
Today Mara Lake remains a popular destination for all sorts of summer recreation, and Sicamous advertises itself as the Houseboat Capital of Canada.
This project has been made possible by a grant from the Endowment Council of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund.
We respectfully acknowledge that Mara Lake lies within the ancestral, traditional, and unceded territory of the Secwépemc First Nations.
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Then and Now Photos
Guards on the Ferry
Internment Camp Hut
Aerial View of the Camp
Building Sicamous Bridge