About Our Archives

Preserving Our Rich Heritage

Exploring The Secwépemc Cultural Archives

The Secwépemc Archives is an important cultural resource that has been part of the Museum since its establishment in 1982 by the 17 bands of the Shuswap Nation.

Over the years the archives have become an important repository for historical documents, photographs, oral history tapes and transcripts of interviews with Elders and Knowledge Keepers, genealogical and census information, videotapes, CDs, and films, microfilm of the government “Black series” (RG10), books on Indigenous topics, reports relating to land claims research such as the Douglas Specific Claim and industrial projects such as the Ajax Mine proposal, maps and plans, and artwork including a large body of paintings and drawings by the late Dave Seymour.

The Books

Preserving Traditions

The books include copies of the valuable works of ethnologist James Teit, geologist George Dawson, anthropologists, and archaeologists who have undertaken research in the area. There are materials about ethnobotany, and in the Archaeology repository of the museum many documents relating to the fieldwork that has been undertaken in the Nation.

There are copies and original records of the Kamloops Indian Residential School including documents and photographs about the history of the school. The former St. Joseph’s Residential School in Williams Lake constitutes a small collection, as well as general information about residential schools across Canada.

The archives also hold newspapers such as the Secwépemc News, newsletters such as the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Lexéy’em, correspondence of the Mika Nika Club and the Secwépemc Cultural Education Society (the founding organization of the museum and archives), the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council (SNTC), the Central Interior Tribal Council, and other organizations.

All of these records contain invaluable information about the Secwépemc people, their culture and traditions, and their traditional territory, Secwepemcúl̓ecw.

Hand made basket full of beadwork

Archives are a “living” resource and archival work is never finished, whether it is collecting, undertaking research, or organizing material for public use.

We are in the process of organizing and cataloguing many of the archival materials, digitizing photographs and other materials into a content management system, creating finding aids, and writing descriptions to help future researchers find material they are looking for.

More About The Archives

Contact the Archivist

The Archives is currently closed to researchers, but we are available to respond to questions and accept phone, e-mail, and mail enquiries at the contact information below. We are also able to accept donations upon appointment.

Contact the Archivist, Kenneth Favrholdt, to learn more or to make a donation.