Secwepemc First Nation
According to the legend of The Balancing Rock, located 10 minutes from Kamloops, one very strong man won the Secwepemc's rights to the land around Kamloops Lake over the rival Okanagans. The Secwepemc people of Kamloops have survived for 10,000 years despite the arrival of the white man and fur trade, a terrible smallpox epidemic and the colonization of First Nations by the Government of Canada under the Indian Act in the 19th Century. Today, the Kamloops Indian Band is the largest of the 17 Secwepemc bands in BC. More than 1,000 members live on and off the Secwepemc Kamloops Reserve that is located northeast of where the North and South Thompson rivers meet. The Kamloopa Pow Wow and a Secwepemc Cultural Education Society established in the 1980’s has helped to preserve the Secwepemc’s rich language, history and culture. The Secwepemc Museum and Heritage Park contains photographs, illustrations and artifacts that help to explain this First Nation's oral history and culture. Included in the 5-hectare Heritage Park, located along the banks of the South Thompson River, is the archaeological remains of a 2000 year-old Shuswap winter village.
Bill Miner Train Robbery
If you’re going to rob a train, make sure you hold up the right one: someone forgot to remind Billy Miner of this when he robbed a train just east of Kamloops in 1906. Canada’s second and last train robbery yielded Billy Miner and his gang only $15.00, not worth the effort even in those days. According to the Kamloops Heritage Railway Society, Billy Miner stopped the train and unhitched the wrong car from its locomotive. To add insult to injury, Billy Miner and his crew were caught soon after near Douglas Lake south of Kamloops. The Spirit of Kamloops railway lets present day Kamloops visitors experience the Billy Miner train robbery and learn how not to rob a train!