Pre-Contact Secwepemc Worldview: The Secwepemc people believe that the world was made good to live in by the all powerful “Old One” with the help of Coyote.

Pre-Contact Traditional Territory: As recently as 200 years ago, only Secwepemc people lived on the interior plateau of what is now called British Columbia.

Timeline History

1858: Gold is discovered in sand bars in Kamloops and thirty thousand American gold seekers invade Secwepemc territory in what would become known as the 'Fraser Canyon Gold Rush.'

1923: The Kamloops Residential School is built because the Federal Government amended the Indian Act to include compulsory attendance at residential schools by all Indian children.

1867: St. Joseph's Mission opens south of Williams Lake. Three generations of Chilcotin, Carrier and Secwepemc are taken there in an attempt to assimilate them into 'good British subjects.'

1854: Joseph Trutch was appointed Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works for British Columbia and later became responsible for Indian Affairs.

1969: George Manual, Secwepemc leader, was one of the leading protesters against the White Paper policy. This action initiated the formation of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.

1882: Father Le Jeune arrives in Kamloops to teach Secwepemc people how to understand the Bible. Over the years he was able to teach and converse with Natives in their own language.

1909: James Teit recorded cultural lifestyles, stories, and dialects of the Secwepemc people. He adopted the lifestyle of the Native people and was well accepted by them.

1849: James Douglas, Chief Hudson's Bay official, becomes Governor and enters into treaties with fourteen First Nation communities on Vancouver Island. He was a firm supporter of Aboriginal rights and title.

1977: The Kamloops Residential School closes and today it is administered by the Tk’emlups Indian Band and houses several Native organizations and businesses that serve the needs of the Native people.

1982: The 17 Secwepemc Bands representing the Secwepemc Nation signed a declaration to work in unity to preserve, record, perpetuate and enhance Secwepemc language, history and culture.

1972: The Clinton Indian Band relocates 200 kilometres away from traditional territory, due to a land exchange with the Federal Government. The Band is now known as the Whispering Pines Clinton Indian Band.

​​​Secwepemc Cultural Education Society

Secwepmec Education Training Centre


1983: The Secwepemc Cultural Education Society establishes and is devoted to promoting and preserving the Secwepemc language, culture, and history. The Secwepemc mission is to work in unity

Pre-Contact Seasonal Lifestyle: The Secwepemc seasons revolved around the seeking out of food as it became available. By late fall, the coming cold to the interior plateau was what dictated the major activity.

1862: The Secwepemc people did not have immunity to smallpox, the first disease brought by immigrants. It is estimated that about 1/3 of the Secwepemc population died in the smallpox epidemic of the 1860's.

1910: The Secwepemc, Nlhakapmux, and Okanagan Nations presented the Memorial Document to Sir Wilfred Laurier, Prime Minister of Canada, in Kamloops.

1867: St. Joseph's Church was built by Catholic missionaries and the Tk'emlups people. This was the first church established in Kamloops, BC.

1975: The Secwepemc rejected the “Department of Indian Affairs” services and funds in Kamloops. They protested until the office was closed and the administration of programs was turned over to them.

1913: A reserve commission was given a mandate to begin the process of allocating land to Indians in 1875. By 1910 all the Indian reserves were established.

Pre-Contact Summer Dwellings: The search for food directed the migration of Secwepemc people. During the warmer months, Secwepemc people constructed summer homes out of available resources.

1891: George M. Dawson explores western Canada under the Canadian Government and publishes 'Notes on the Shuswap People of British Columbia.'

Pre-Contact Winter Dwellings: Before the arrival of Europeans, Secwepemc people were living in pit house dwellings along lakes and rivers during the winter months. The houses were large, perhaps housing an extended family.

Metéltwecw-kt Es Knúcwetwecw-kt
"Everyone come together to help one another."

1914: In order to help Canada in its efforts to restore world peace, many Secwepemc and First Nations joined the armed forces and fought in World War I and II.

1821: The Secwepemc people and Hudsons Bay Company begin their mutually beneficial relationship, as the fur trade economy depended on First Nations people.

1890: The Kamloops Industrial School is built and later becomes the Kamloops Residential School, an era that began the breakdown of Secwepemc family systems and values.

1876: The first Indian Act passes and defines the legal status and rights of all First Nations people. The federal Department of Indian Affairs is established to carry out this policy.