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The region encompasses 94,199 square kilometres of land, stretching from Princeton and the Cascade Mountains in the west to the Monashee Mountains and the Alberta border in the east; and from the Washington state border in the south up to Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains in the north. This area is renowned for its sunny climate, beautiful landscapes, and in the south, Canada’s only desert terrain. With approximately 545,500 residents, it is the third most populous development region in B.C. after Lower Mainland Southwest and Vancouver Island and Coast. Approximately 3.43% of the Thompson Okanagan regional population are First Nations.
The region’s moderate climate has, since time immemorial, made it a desirable and fruitful place to live. Its mountains, rivers, large lakes, and fertile valleys comprise the traditional territory of numerous First Nations: towards the region’s western border lie the eastern reaches of the Sto:lo territory; in the south central portion of the region lies the traditional territories of the Nlaka’pamux and Okanagan, respectively centred around the Nicola and Okanagan valleys. Further north, towards and beyond Kamloops is traditional Secwepemc territory.