The lands and natural resources are fundamental to the Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw culture, traditional practices and way of life, having sustained the people since time immemorial. Existing Title and Rights over their Secwepemcul’ecw (territory) means continuing to practice those rights as they have for thousands of years by hunting, fishing and collecting plant products for food, social and ceremonial purposes. Archeological evidence points to the Secwepemc culture being as old as 10,000 years.
Fisheries management has always been and is a very important component of Northern Shuswap culture. Like many other First Nations the Northern Secwepemc rely on the fisheries resource for food, social and ceremonial purposes. Salmon are also an important trading and economic commodity of the Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw culture but conservation of the resource continues to be a key objective in our practices and beliefs. The Northern Shuswap proudly continue to harvest salmon from their traditional areas on the both the Fraser and Chilcotin Rivers and do so in the same manner that their ancestors did, by utilizing dip nets. The lakes and streams are also important, where trout and other species of freshwater fish are harvested for food and managed for ecosystem diversity and health.
A Secwepemc perspective on sharing resources (from http://xatsullheritagevillage.com/history-and-information/ )
“Inter-marriages between neighboring communities was an important survival strategy, for failure of the annual salmon could result in starvation or migration and these relations could be relied on to share hunting and fishing territories.
As with many other First Nations, the Xat’súll Nation followed a hunting and gathering lifestyle centered in family groups and focused on the Fraser River and the salmon. Patterns of land use were at harmony with the natural processes.”