Paddleboarders on Kalamalka Lake near Vernon

(Andrew Strain photo)

Thompson Okanagan

Culture & History

Across an area rich in history and natural beauty, the region's Aboriginal populations continue to leave an indelible mark on life and landscape.

The region's First Nations inhabitants share a common background, language and culture.

Collectively referred to as the Interior Salish, the Okanagan, Secwepemc (Shuswap), and Naklakapmuk (Thompson) were semi-nomadic, moving between seasonal hunting and fishing grounds before settling into pit houses for the winter.

Groups of up to 30 inhabited these circular pit houses, known as kekulis. See one of these remarkable structures and learn more about the Interior Salish culture at the Secwepemc Museum & Heritage Park near Kamloops, or at the Nk'Mip Desert Cultural Centre near Osoyoos.

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