In Canadian folklore, the Ogopogo is a lake monster said to inhabit Okanagan Lake in British Columbia, Canada. Some scholars have charted the entity's development from First Nations folklore and widespread water monster folklore motifs. The Ogopogo now plays a role in the commercial symbolism and media representation of the region.
According to Radford, the Ogopogo is "more closely tied to native myths than is any other lake monster." The Secwepemc and Syilx natives regarded the Ogopogo, which they called the Naitaka, as "an evil supernatural entity with great power and ill intent." The word "n'ha-a-itk" has various translations, such as "water-demon", "water god", or "sacred creature of the water".[7] In native lore, Naitaka demanded a live sacrifice for safe crossing of the lake. For hundreds of years, First Nations would sacrifice small animals before entering the water. Oral traditions often described visiting chief Timbasket, who rejected the required sacrifice, denying the existence of the demon.
Upon entering the lake on a canoe with his family, Naitaka "whipped up the surface of the lake with his long tail" and the canoe and its occupants were sucked to the bottom of the lake. The Naitaka was often described as using its tail to create fierce storms to drown victims. In 1855, settler John MacDougal claimed that his horses were sucked down into the water, and nearly his canoe before he cut the line.[8]