Beyond written record or memory, the Secwepemc people lived in their traditional territory which spans the interior of British Columbia, west from the Columbia and Fraser rivers and south to the Arrow lakes.

They lived in groups of semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers in semi-permanent homes in spring, summer and fall, and more permanent homes or pit houses (c7es7iskten) in the river valleys in the winter.

They believed that all resources in their territory were to be shared among members of the nation; therefore, they not only hunted and gathered in areas surrounding their own villages, but also in areas surrounding other's villages. Their deeply rooted value of community remains strong. A key centre for gathering was Kamloops. The word Tk'emlups (Kamloops) means 'where the rivers meet' and signifies its value for connection and trade. Kamloops, the city in which one campus of Thompson Rivers University is situated, has always been and remains the home of the Tk'emlupsemc people of the Secwepemc nation.

Prior to European settlement, there were 30 Bands of Secwepemc people who lived independent of each other in their traditional territory. Today, there are 17 Secwepemc Bands.

We recognize that TRU campuses are situated on traditional Secwepmec territory, and we honour the culture, language, and traditions of the Secwepemc people. Our Kamloops campus lies within Tk'emlups territory and the William's Lake campus lies within the territory of the T'exelcemc First Nation (William's Lake Band) and the Xat'sull First Nation (Soda Creek Band).

References: Muckle, R. (2007). The First Nations of British Columbia: An Anthropological Survey. (2nd ed). UBC Press: Vancouver.
McMillan, A. & Yellowhorn, E. (2004). First Peoples in Canada. (3rd ed.). Douglas & McIntyre: Vancouver.
Jack, R., Matthew, M., & Matthew, R. (1993). Shuswap Community Handbook. Kamloops: Secwepemc Cultural Education Society.

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