The Kamloops Indian Band
, also known as the Tk’umlups Indian Band
, 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
, which represents ten of the seventeen Secwepemc band governments, all in the southern Central Interior
region, spanning the Thompson
districts. Four Secwepemc governments in the Cariboo
district form the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council
, while three bands (High Bar
, Alkali Lake
, and Canoe Creek/Dog Creek First Nations
) have no tribal council affiliation.
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).
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 Band currently has circa 1,000 members living on and off its 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