Powell River officially started off as an industrial centre. Before that the area was part of the Sliammon First Nation's territory.
Today this upper Sunshine Coast community is best-known as an outdoor recreation mecca with a friendly, laidback vibe.
For thousands of years before the coming of Europeans, the Sliammon First Nation inhabited the upper Sunshine Coast. Part of the larger Coast Salish people, they engaged in fishing, hunting, and trade, and were noted for their totem poles, cedar canoes, and unique language.
Powell River Name
Powell River was named after Dr. Israel Wood Powell, British Columbia's first superintendent of Indian Affairs (1872-89). He had originally come to BC in 1872 during the Cariboo gold rush. In 1881, Powell was traveling up the BC coast, and when a short river draining a large lake was spotted on the coastline, it was decided that the site would be named in his honour. Hence, Powell River, and Powell Lake.