The Cassiar District lies in British Columbia's northwest corner; it historically encompasses the Stikine and Dease River watersheds and that of the upper Taku, NASS and Kechika. It is known for its spectacular scenery, particularly the magnificent STIKINE RIVER valley, with its glaciers, grand canyon, lava beds and volcanic cones nearby. Two large provincial parks (MOUNT EDZIZA and Spatsizi Plateau) lie along much of the Stikine.
Most of the Cassiar District is the traditional territory of the TAHLTAN. Cassiar is derived from the name of another native group, the KASKA, neighbours to the Tahltan. Hudson's Bay Co traders made exploratory trips into the area in the 1830s and 1840s. GOLD RUSHES in 1862 and 1874 brought thousands of people to the Cassiar, and some stayed to develop the fur trade. Placer mining and trapping continue along with hardrock gold and jade mining, outfitting big-game hunting and most recently, logging. Asbestos was mined at Cassiar from 1952 to 1992. When the mine shut down the community was abandoned and nearly one-third of the district's population left. The remaining major settlements are Dease Lake, Telegraph Creek and Iskut.