Neskonlith Indian Band

Preferred Name:
Alternative Name:
Formerly Neskainlith (Pre-1989); Alternate Salmon Arm, Halaut (Circa 1898) (Variation Halowt), South Thompson (1877); Part Of Secwepemc; Traditional Name Sk'Emtsin
BC Regional Office:
Thompson Okanagan (Kamloops)
Thompson Okanagan
Reserve Land Area:2,811.20 ha
Chief Irvin Wai
Shirley Anderson, Michael B. Arnouse, Mindy Dick, Joan Hooper, Francis Narcisse
Governance Structure:
Custom Electoral System
Population Total:671
Address: P.O. Box 318
V0E 1M0
Community Description

The Neskonlith Secwepemc community is one of five Lakes Division Communities of the Secwepemc Nation.  The Lakes Secwepemc inhabits the eastern most part the Secwepemc Territory in and around the South Thompson River and the large Shuswap, Adams and Mara Lakes.  Traditionally this complex of waterways played a large role in the Lakes Secwepemc travel patterns.

Lake Division Secwepemc Winter villages were almost exclusively on the River Terraces on dry, well-drained sites near major streams and along lakes within the Lakes Division territories with good south exposure and shelter from the valley winds. Villages were often near an important fishery, so there were many small villages of a few families scattered up and down the main rivers and along major lakes.  Pit houses were the preferred c7’Istkten (winter homes), but there were other styles of insulated houses as well.

The Lakes Secwepemc delayed their move into the village as long as good weather held, but usually they were settled in by November. Early in winter, the villages were used as a basecamp for hunting and fishing expeditions while the houses were readied for the swucwt (snow) season.  Ts’i7 (deer), Ten’Iye (moose) and SweIaps (sheep) moved down from the mountains in their autumn prime and closer to the villages. These important food animals were in their rut in November, and easy to bait and call.