The word Kamloops comes from the Secwepemc word Tk’emlúps, meaning "where the rivers meet" and refers to the convergence of the North and South Thompson rivers.
Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc
In the Kamloops area, the Tk‘emlúpsemc, ‘the people of the confluence’, now known as the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc are members of the Interior-Salish Secwépemc speaking peoples of British Columbia. Similar to other governments, there is an elected Chief & Council, which is currently led by Kúkpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir.
Kamloops Indian Residential School - Missing Children
In May 2021, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc confirmed that the remains of 215 children were found at the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. These missing children were students of the Kamloops Indian Residential School, which operated from 1890 to 1978.
This work was carried out by the C7élksten̓s re Secwépemc ne Ck̓úl̓tens ell ne Xqwelténs (Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Language and Culture Department), alongside ceremonial Knowledge Keepers, with ground penetrating radar technology. More than 4,100 children died while attending residential schools across Canada.
The Secwepemc Museum displays incorporate the oral history and legends of the Secwepemc people.The Heritage Park is a 4-hectare park for our museum guests to enjoy. Various trails lead our guests through our ethnobotanical gardens which have indigenous plants utilized by the Secwepemc.
The Kweseltken, or "my relations", Farmer's and Artisan Market is a community market that showcases local crafters, producers, and agricultural growers. This Indigenous market is hosted seasonally on Sunday mornings at the Kamloopa Powwow Arbour from July to October.
The annual Kamloopa Powwow is the largest gatherings of Indigenous culture in Western Canada celebrating the Secwepemc people. The Kamloopa Powwow is held annually over the August long weekend. This major gathering stands for encouragement, rejuvenation, and understanding of Indigenous cultures and welcomes over 20,000 spectators throughout the weekend.
Tour the traditional waters of the Secwépemc. Learn the history from a knowledge keeper who will tell you the stories to the sound of their paddle gently guiding you down the South Thompson River. Take in the eagles and hawks soaring, see mountains and historical sites from the path our ancestors have travelled for generations.
The Kekuli Cafe is locally-owned Indigenous restaurant serving up authentic Indigenous cuisine like bannock, flatbread, and more. The Kekuli Cafe is slated to open downtown Kamloops in winter 2021.
Join your guide, Michelle of the Tahltan Nation, in exploring the scenic snowshoe trails surrounding Kamloops while learning about the local indigenous culture and land. Adventure through the beautiful and peaceful trails located on traditional unceded territory of the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc people.
This two-day itinerary features visits to Secwepemc hosts in and around Kamloops and experiences on the traditional waterways of Secwepemc’ulecw, including the South Thompson River.
Not yet open to the public
The McAbee Fossil Beds is a heritage site east of Cache Creek. The McAbee fossil beds were deposited in a lake during the Eocene Epoch, over 50 million years ago. The heritage site is closed to the public while interpretive components are installed. The site is scheduled to re-open with interpretive hiking trails in spring 2022.