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Eight Resources to Learn about Indigenous Kamloops

Weyt-kp (Hello):

Kamloops has a strong Indigenous history. Secwepemc (pronounced Se-KWEP-umk-wh) means “The People”. The word Kamloops comes from the Secwepemc word Tk’emlúps, meaning “where the rivers meet” and refers to the convergence of the North and South Thompson rivers.  The Tk‘emlúpsemc, ‘the people of the confluence’, now known as the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc are members of the Interior-Salish Secwepemc (Shuswap) speaking peoples of British Columbia. This traditional territory stretches from the Columbia River valley along the Rocky Mountains, west to the Fraser River, and south to the Arrow Lakes. Most Secwepemc people live in the river valleys.  Today Tk’emlups Te Secwepemc is one of the 17 bands in the Secwepemc Nation.  

Please learn about Indigenous People History in Kamloops. Here is the list of resources that can help you:

  1. The Secwepemc Museum and Heritage Park

The Secwépemc Museum and Heritage Park is a non-profit organization, dedicated to the preservation and revitilization of Secwépemc culture and language. Secwépemc museum is home to a variety of exhibits that offer an insightful glance into the culture and heritage of the 17 bands within Secwépemculecw (Secwépemc land). These displays encapsulate life before contact, as well as an informative exhibit about the Kamloops Indian Residental School.

The website http://www.firstnations.eu documents in pictures with commentary the environmental havoc caused by European settler society to the pre-colonial world of what is now known as British Columbia (BC). It argues that the road back to environmental sanity must go through the restitution of past wrongs to First Nations by means of strong support for their land rights over and against the continuing rapacious and short sighted destruction of primaeval forests, ancient trees, wild salmon runs, grizzly bear habitats, etc. The European First Nations website links political activism with the results of scholarly and scientific studies by juxtaposing historical images with representations of current affairs.

Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc promote and ensure the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc First Nations individuals, families and communities.  Learn more about the Band that currently has approximately 1,000 members living on and off its 33,000-acre (130 km2) reserve. The reserve supports a variety of uses including residential, industrial, commercial and agricultural. In 1999, the TIB purchased Harper Ranch, now known as Spiyu7ullucw Ranch Corporation, which added 20,000 acres of fee simple land and crown leases for resource development and other economic opportunities and watch their promotional video part 1 and part2. The Kamloops Indian Band Timeline documents challenges and success milestones experienced by Indigenous People of Kamloops.

Jenna K. Foster’s undergraduate thesis documents history of The Kamloops Residential School: Indigenous Perspectives and Revising Canada’s History. The goal of Foster’s thesis project is to reveal a part of Canadian history that is not widely known to the general Canadian public. The study examines the Kamloops Indian Residential School (KIRS). 

The book by Marianne Ignace, Ronald E. Ignace provides an exploration of Secwépemc history told through Indigenous knowledge and oral traditions.

The White Buffalo programs and services have been created to raise the health status of Aboriginal peoples by providing holistic health care that includes physical, emotional, spiritual and mental health provisions for individuals, families and the Aboriginal community. The Society and staff are dedicated to teaching and encouraging balanced, healthy lifestyles. Our programs, resources and services are culturally based and support traditional Aboriginal values that reflect the connected nature of physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental well-being.

KAFS provides and promotes culturally based, inclusive programs, supports and activities to enhance holistic well-being and pride in Urban Aboriginal Peoples.

Thompson Rivers University is dedicated to Indigenous student success, to fostering meaningful relationships with Indigenous communities and to promoting Indigenous knowledges and scholarship. Through collaboration, innovation, respect and humility, the university fosters a welcoming environment that is grounded in the principles of reconciliation and is able to address the calls to action placed on everyone in this country.

If you have any other resources that can help newcomers to Kamloops learn about local Indigenous History please share your suggestions with me via e-mail at okondrashov@tru.ca

Kukwstsétsemc (thank you in Secwepemcstin)

Oleksandr (Sasha) Kondrashov

Updated March 2019


1 Comment

  1. […] addition to the Indigenous Kamloops resources please check the following links to strengthen your knowledge of Kamloops and its […]

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