Heritage and Culture

The Shuswap or Secwépemc people occupy a vast territory in BC's interior. This traditional territory stretches from the Columbia River valley along the Rocky Mountains, west to the Fraser River and south to the Arrow Lakes. Most Secwépemc people live in the river valleys.

The Tk‘emlúpsemc, ‘the people of the confluence’, now known as the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc are members of the Interior Salish Secwépemc (Shuswap) speaking peoples of BC. The word Kamloops is the English translation of the Tk’emlúps, meaning ‘where the rivers meet.’ For more information, visit: Tkemlups.ca

Learn Secwepemctsin

Secwepemctsin, the language of the Secwépemc people, uses many sounds not found in the English language. Secwepemctsin developed as an oral language and was only recently prescribed a writing system, which is limited in its ability to accurately represent Secwepemctsin phonetics.

The City regularly offers Beginner Secwepemctsin language courses through our activity guides. 

Current Courses

For further information on Secwepemctsin and other First Nations languages, visit: FirstVoices.com

Everyday Secwepemctsin words and phrases

With audio recordings curtesy of Ted Gottfriedson, Language and Culture Department Manager, at Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc.

EnglishSecwepemctsinListen
KamloopsTk’emlúps
ShuswapSecwépemc
The people of the confluenceTk’emlúps te Secwépemc
Trail in Peterson CreekXget'tem' Trail
HelloWeytk/Weytkp (plural)
Goodbyepútucw/pútcwiye (plural)
I am…/My name is…(Name) ren skwekwst.
PleaseDoes not exist 
Thank youkukwstsétsemc
You’re Welcomele7 ren púp’smen OR me7e
Excuse mere st’7ékwen (when passing behind)
I’m sorryTa7 k sts’xwentsín
Yesmé7e
Notá7a