Members of a Nlaka’pamux community, circa 1914.
|3,105 (2016 census)|
|Regions with significant populations|
Canada ( British Columbia),|
United States ( Washington)
|Christianity (Anglicanism and Catholicism), Animism|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Okanagan, Nicola people, Nicola Athapaskans|
The Nlaka'pamux or Nlakapamuk (// ing-klə-KAP-mə; Salish: [nɬeʔképmx]), also previously known as the Thompson, Thompson River Salish, Thompson Salish, Thompson River Indians or Thompson River people, and historically as the Klackarpun, Haukamaugh, Knife Indians and Couteau Indians, are an indigenous First Nations people of the Interior Salish language group in southern British Columbia. Their traditional territory includes parts of the North Cascades region of Washington.
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Frontier-era histories and maps transliterate the name Nlaka'pamux as Hakamaugh or Klackarpun; they were also known as the Couteau, Kootomin or Knife Indians. In the dialect of the Thompson language used by the Ashcroft Indian Band, the variant Nl'akapxm is used.
The Nlaka'pamux of the Nicola Valley, who are all in the Nicola Tribal Association reserves refer to themselves Scw'exmx and speak a different dialect of the Thompson language. Together with the Spaxomin people, a branch of the Okanagan people (Syilx) who live in the upper Nicola valley and also belong to the Nicola Tribal Association, they are collectively known as the Nicola people, or Nicolas.
The Nlaka'pamux were the object of both Anglican and Roman Catholic missionary efforts in the nineteenth century, resulting in the vast majority belonging to one of the two denominations by the beginning of the Twentieth Century.
The Nlaka'pamux Nation Tribal Council despite its name does not include all Nlaka'pamux people, but is one of two main tribal bodies within the region, the other being the Nicola Tribal Association. The Lytton First Nation or Lytton Band, focussed on the town of the same name, which is named Camchin or Kumsheen in the Nlaka'pamux language and is one of the largest Nlaka'pamux communities, does not belong to any of the three Tribal Association. Lower Nicola Indian band is also independent of all and any Tribal affiliations and is located in Lower Nicola, British Columbia, Canada.
The Nlaka'pamux speak an Interior Salishan language named nɬeʔkepmxcín, usually transliterated as Nlaka'pamuxtsn and known in English as the Thompson language. The Scw'exmx of the Nicola Valley speak a dialect also called Scw'exmx.
Compiled by Laurence C. Thompson and M. Terry Thompson
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