MERRITT, city, pop 6,998 (2006), lies at the confluence of the NICOLA and Coldwater rivers between HOPE and KAMLOOPS on the COQUIHALLA HWY, 270 km northeast of VANCOUVER. It is the commercial centre of the Nicola Valley. Inhabited by the NLAKA'PAMUX (Thompson) and OKANAGAN nations, the valley was used as part of a FUR TRADE supply route between Fort Kamloops and the FRASER R during 1848–60. During the GOLD RUSH into the CARIBOO, a market for CATTLE developed and lush grazing lands in the area...

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