Pictured l-r) Simpcw Councillors Tina Donald, Ron Lampreau Jr., Jules Philip, George Lampreau, Chief Shelly Loring, Councillor Alison Green, and kneeling, Former Chief Nathan Matthew. (Simpcw First Nation photo)

Simpcw unveil ‘Welcome to Secwepemc Territory’ sign at Jasper National Park

Simpcw First Nation unveiled a ‘Welcome to Secwepemc Territory, Homeland of the Simpcw People’ sign at the western entrance of Jasper National Park on July 1, with a large group of Band members in attendance.

“Approximately 100 Simpcw members made the trek to Jasper National Park for the ceremony,” said Simpcw Chief Shelly Loring, “The ceremony involved a pipe ceremony to re-awaken the ancestors of the area, open the pathway and corridors of travel for the People of the Simpcw and Secwepemc Nation and bless the site. The Simpcw people were overcome with emotion and pride . Jasper was and continues today to be a high use area for the Simpcw People. This is the first of many ceremonies that will occur on the ancestral lands of the Secwepemc and Simpcw People. Any disturbance to the site and sign would be a desecration of this spiritual site.”

The 9 a.m. unveiling ceremony was followed by Simpcw drumming in the Jasper Canada Day Parade, and later a luncheon at the Jasper Cultural Area. Simpcw is a division of the Secwepemc, or Shuswap, Nation.

The Simpcw Territory extends from south of Vinsulla and north to Kakwa Park, from west of Goat River and east of Jasper, including the Big Bend of the Columbia River and northern Adams Lake, from south of Squam Bay. In total, Simpcw Territory covers approximately 5,000,000 Ha of land, which the Simpcw people have used and enjoyed “since time immemorial”. Find out more at: http://www.simpcw.com

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