People Group Highlights

“All nations will come and worship before you."

- Revelations 15:4

Okanagan of North America


People Group Info

Total Population: 6,000

ROP3 Code: 107611
IMB Affinity Group: American Peoples
Affinity Bloc: North American Peoples
People Cluster: North American Indigenous
Language: Okanagan - (oka)
Religion: Christianity
Country of Origin: United States

Photo of Okanagan Elder Maggie Kruger.

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Majority Located Where

  , BC - 3,900

  , WA - 2,100

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Brief Profile

The Okanagan (self name Syilx) are a Native American people who reside in Washington state on the Colville Indian Reservation, where they are sometimes known as Colvilles. They are also a First Nations people who reside in British Columbia, Cananda. The various Okanagan communities in British Columbia and Washington form the Okanagan Nation Alliance.

According to the Okanagan Nation Alliance website, "The word “Syilx” takes its meaning from several different images. The root word “Yil” refers to the action of taking any kind of many-stranded fiber, like hemp, and rolling it and twisting it together to make one unit, or one rope. It is a process of making many into one. “Yil” is a root word which forms the basis of many of our words for leadership positions, as well. Syilx contains a command for every individual to continuously bind and unify with the rest."

Almost all Okanagan people speak English today, but some Okanagans, especially elders, also speak their native Okanagan language.

Prayer Points

  • Pray God will provide for the physical and spiritual needs of the Okanagan people.
  • Pray Christians who encounter Okanagan people will share Christ both in word and deed.


People Group Resources

Native Americans - Worldview and Trends
Learn about Native Americans, their Worldview and Trends.


Learning Resources

Learn more about "Learning Paths"
Online Courses for embracing, encountering and engaging diaspora people. Work at your own pace. Begin anytime and complete the course according to your schedule. Interactive, Hands-On Application.

Learn more about "Reaching the Nations"
This book delineates five disciplines Christians should develop in order to effectively reach the nations. More specifically, it will guide Christians to develop an engagement strategy in their locale.


Other Resources

Prayer Guide for Unreached Peoples
A 30 day guide to pray for unreached people groups.

Prayer Guide using the GOSPELS acronym
A prayer guide that utilizes the acronym GOSPELS to pray for workers among diaspora.

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"After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb."
(Revelation 7:9, NIV)
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