Our History

Our History

At one time the Secwepemc people occupied one large Traditional territory covering approximately 145,000 square kilometers. In 1811, after European contact, the colonial government divided the Secwepemc people into 17 distinct groups with specific parcels of land designated to each.

The Kamloops Reserve land base was established in 1862 under the direction of Governor James Douglas. It is located east of the North Thompson River and north of the South Thompson River, adjacent to the City of Kamloops.

The word Kamloops is the English translation of the Shuswap word Tk’emlúps, meaning ‘where the rivers meet,’ and for centuries has been the home of the Tk’emlupsemc, ‘people of the confluence.’

Tk’emlúps has always occupied a place of great economic importance in our region. Traversed by two major waterways, traditional Tk’emlupsemc territory was the center of major traffic and trade routes. Due to our community’s great economic and military strength, as well as our ancestor’s pivotal role in the creation of peace accords, the Tk’emlupsemc were designated the Secwepemc7uwi,‘ the real Shuswap’.

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