kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem First Nation)


kʷikʷəƛ̓əm is situated along the Coquitlam River in southwestern BC. The on-reserve community members reside at IR#1, the ancient village site of slakəya̓nc, near where the Coquitlam River meets the Sto:lo (Fraser River).

They have a second reserve, IR#2 (or setłama’kmən) located upstream which is currently under development for the future economic growth of the Nation. Since time immemorial, the lands encompassing the Coquitlam River watershed and part of the Pitt River watershed have been the ancestral core and traditional territory of kʷikʷəƛ̓əm.

The name kʷikʷəƛ̓əm means “Red Fish up the River” in hən̓q̓əmin̓əm, the traditional language spoken along the lower Sto:lo (Fraser River). This name reflects the strong connection between the community and the lands where kʷikʷəƛ̓əm people have always made their home.

Traditionally a fishing community, kʷikʷəƛ̓əm peoples continue to carry on the legacy of their ancestors as the stewards of the lands, water and resources within their traditional territory. The Nation has approximately 100 members, with roughly half living off-reserve throughout Canada and the United States, while the others remain on-reserve at IR#1.

kʷikʷəƛ̓əm and səmiq̓ʷəʔelə

səmiq̓ʷəʔelə/Riverview reside at the heart of kʷikʷəƛ̓əm core territory. These watershed lands have sustained kʷikʷəƛ̓əm for over 9,000 years – for food, medicine, ceremony and as a place of safety during times of need. Dozens of hən̓q̓əmin̓əm place names and archaeological sites dot the landscape surrounding səmiq̓ʷəʔelə and these slopes, in the words of the Elders, “carry the history” of kʷikʷəƛ̓əm people, ancestors and culture.

The past century of development at Riverview represents a history of loss for kʷikʷəƛ̓əm – the loss of traditional lands, the decline of valued local natural resources, the alteration of culturally and spiritually important places and landscapes and the loss of voice in land management and stewardship decisions.

Today, as səmiq̓ʷəʔelə moves into a new phase of building and revitalization, kʷikʷəƛ̓əm celebrates the efforts undertaken by the Nation and BC Housing to move forward in a new relationship as partners in the rebuilding of səmiq̓ʷəʔelə/Riverview.

For more information: Kwikwetlem First Nation