Band officially changes name to Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc

What's in a name? For the Kamloops Indian Band, its name is a part of its history.

The band received official confirmation from Ottawa that it is now known as Tk'emlups te SecwÉpemc (TteS), its traditional name.

In English, the name means the Kamloops division of the SecwÉpemc (Shuswap) nation.

"This goes back to our customs, traditions and cultural values," Chief Shane Gottfriedson said Tuesday. "This is the traditional way we pronounced it."

He said bands across Canada are known by First Nation's names. It only seemed appropriate that Tk'emlups was as well.

"Not every reserve goes by the Saskatchewan Indian Reserve or Cache Creek Indian Reserve. They have their traditional names," said Gottfriedson.

Tk'emlups first contemplated a name change when it pursued the Douglas Reserve Initiative, the band's specific claim to lands it maintains were unjustly removed from its reserve in the late 19th century.

The band proposed the renaming in 2009, a move that was supported by members during a referendum. Kelley O'Grady, the band's marketing, communications and events co-ordinator, said the change was only formally accepted by Aboriginal Affairs Northern Development Canada last week.

A number of B.C. First Nations also applied for a name change. She said the wait was likely the result of the government wanting to approve several changes at once.

Lillooet, Cowichan Lake and Nanaimo are among the bands to revert to traditional names.

The band adopted the Tk'emlups brand in 2009 and doesn't intend to alter its logo at this time, said Gottfriedson. However, Tk'emlups will eventually adopt a new marketing strategy.

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