The People

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw (NStQ) is comprised of four bands with over 2,500 members, which are: Tsq’escen’ (Canim Lake), Stswecem’c Xgat’tem (Canoe Creek/Dog Creek), Xats’ull/Cmetem’ (Soda Creek/Deep Creek), and T’exelc (Williams Lake). We have occupied our traditional territory, encompassing 5.6 million hectares of land, for over 10,000 years.

The Shuswap are part of the Interior Salish People, who, by and large, are often called a semi-nomadic society, who gathered berries in the summer, and hunted and fished year round, trading with other First Nations while, in the later years, trading with pre-settlement Europeans. We lived in semi-subterranean dwellings known as 'pithouses' during the winter, and then lived out in the open during the summers, often traveling. The Shuswap are often recognized for their artful basket-making techniques.

We are known as the people from where the water flowed, where we held jurisdiction and managed large tracts of the Fraser River and the surrounding area and watersheds. Our combined traditional territory spans between 5,300,000 hectares and 5,600,000 hectares. This is the territory we call Secwepemcul'ecw (pronounced shuh-kwehp-im-oo-loo).

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw shared a common ethnic origin, culture, historical tradition, language and had their own governments.

Antoine Harry & Lawrence Camille

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