As Lower Nicola Indian Band Members, living on or off reserve, we all have connections to our lands. Our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents have lived on our lands and taken care of them for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In the past, we made decisions about our lands that were based on our traditions. We knew the right way to live and to care for our lands. We chose our leaders, knowledge keepers and stewards according to our unwritten protocols and traditions. Each had a role in caring for our lands, and each had a role in making decisions.

Our Land, Our People, Our Future.

Things began to change in the 1860’s – 1870’s with the setting aside of reserve lands. Outside governments made it illegal for us to gather together to make decisions about our future. Our traditional governance was replaced with an election system under the Indian Act. Families and communities were split, and many of our children were taken from the land and put in schools. Despite these challenges, we keep our traditions alive, passing this knowledge on to younger generations.

Our community and families have grown, and many have moved away to pursue work, post-secondary education or for other opportunities. We are all still Nłeʔkepmx. We can trace our histories and traditions back to our ancestors. But as a community, we have lost our common understanding of how and why decisions were made in the past. Many have forgotten that it is our traditional protocols and teachings that must continue to guide us. It is time we gather together, to share and remember.

The Traditional Holdings Project seeks to engage the community and conduct research in order to help guide efforts towards resolving issues arising from Traditional Land Holdings on LNIB lands. Traditional Land Holdings or Traditional Holdings are sections of LNIB reserve land occupied by Members, and to which those Members have asserted an interest or right, but are not formally recognized as allotments by LNIB.

Come Share Your Stories and Teachings

Phase 1 of the Traditional Holdings Project took place from March 2019 to March 2020. This first Phase saw the project team carry out Community Engagement through interviews, meetings, surveys, as well as conduct research and review of historical records.

Phase 2 of this project is currently underway. More details will be provided in the monthly newsletter and through uploaded documents and links posted online. For more information about this project email the Lands Department or call the Lands office at 250-378-5157.