Kamloops Indian Band

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The Kamloops Indian Band, also known as the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc, is one of the largest of the 17 groups into which the Secwepemc (Shuswap) nation was divided when the Colony of British Columbia established an Indian reserve system in the 1860s. The Kamloops Indian Band is a First Nations government within the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council,[1] which represents ten of the seventeen Secwepemc band governments, all in the southern Central Interior region, spanning the Thompson and Shuswap districts.


Even prior to European contact, the Secwepemc settlement Tk'emlups, meaning "river junction," was an economically important centre within the area that later came to be called the British Columbia Interior. The reason was its very favourable location at the confluence of two major navigable rivers, the South Thompson River and the North Thompson. Europeans who settled in the area brought the native name into the English language as Kamloops, which became the name of Fort Kamloops, one of the main posts of the Hudson's Bay Company (originally built by the North West Company).

Leaders of the Kamloops band of Secwepemc were notable in the history of the colonization of British Columbia. Kwa'lila was a c.1800 chief who invited his better-known nephew Nicola to the Nicola Valley and passed on the mantle of the Kamloops chieftaincy. Nicola was the presiding chief at Kamloops, and also jointly Grand Chief of the Okanagan people, during the Fraser Canyon War and the associated troubles of the Okanagan Trail, and was made a magistrate enforcing British law by Governor James Douglas. Nicola's son Chilliheetza, or Txelexitsa, figured prominently in native/colonist politics in the later 19th Century, as have other chiefs of the Kamloops band since. Other notable Contact-era chiefs were Chief Tranquille and Chief Lolo.

The city of Kamloops is now a major regional urban centre with circa 92,000 residents. The Kamloops Indian Band's business district functions economically as a part of the city, though it is separately administered by the Band. The golf course and resort/recretional community of Sun Rivers is located on the main Kamloops Reserve.

Controversy over the Sun Peaks Resort in regard to native title has involved Kamloops band members.


The Band currently has circa 1,000 members living on and off its 33,000-acre (130 km2) reserve. It has active language and cultural programs and its Sk'elep School of Excellence is one of the largest First Nations elementary schools in British Columbia (Sk'elep is the Shuswap language name for "the Trickster", Coyote).

Indian Reserves[edit]

Some of the Indian Reserves under the administration of the Kamloops Band include:


  1. ^ Indian and Northern Affairs Canada - First Nation Detail
  2. ^ Indian and Northern Affairs Canada - Reserve/Settlement/Village Detail
  3. ^ "Kamloops Indian Reserve 1". BC Geographical Names.
  4. ^ Indian and Northern Affairs Canada - Reserve/Settlement/Village Detail
  5. ^ Indian and Northern Affairs Canada - Reserve/Settlement/Village Detail
  6. ^ Indian and Northern Affairs Canada - Reserve/Settlement/Village Detail
  7. ^ Indian and Northern Affairs Canada - Reserves/Settlement/Village Detail

External links[edit]