The Scw'exmx are the People of the Creeks.
The word is taken from the name of the Nicola River, Scw'ex, which means “creek.” There are five (5) bands in the Nicola Valley who comprise the Scw'exmx: nc’tetkʷu (Coldwater Indian Band), sulu̓ s (Lower Nicola Indian Band), nwéyc (Nooaitch Indian Band), sxéxn̓ x (Shackan Indian Band) sp’ax̌ʔmi̓n and nɬq’aɬməlʔx (Upper Nicola Band), along with the urban Indigenous population of the Nicola Valley. Four (4) of the bands are members of the nłeʔkepmx Nation and the fifth, Upper Nicola Band, is a member of the syilx Nation.
Scw’exmx Child and Family Services Society works with community representatives and leadership to implement strategies toward a collaborative vision. SCFSS is committed to working with all communities to reinforce teachings and language throughout provided services.
The communities guide Scw’exmx Child and Family Service Society on this pathway of change toward our vision that we are all somebody’s seventh generation. By working together in a respectful and meaningful way, the Society and communities will support each other to implement action and change.
Upper Nicola is the only syilx (Okanagan) community in the Nicola Valley. In the 18th century, ancestors of Upper Nicola permanently inhabited the Upper Nicola and Salmon River watersheds as a result of the Fish Lake Accord with the Kamloops Shuswap tribe. Within the two communities of spaxmn (Douglas Lake) and n̓łq̓iłəml̓x (Quilchena), there are 138 residential homes. Approximately 363 (37%) of our members live on-reserve. The kwU StemtimA/ are working to reassert and assume our full inherent Indigenous jurisdiction as an Indigenous (S. 35) right in Canada, over our relations, defined as all children, families and community members living on and off reserve. We are a proud, inclusive Syilx community working together to promote suxʷtxtəm, teach our captíkʷł and committed to building foundations through Enowkinwíxʷ.
C’eletkwmx (Coldwater People) are strong, healthy, growing nłeʔkepmx People connected to our culture, our land and our resources. Our Mission Statement is to enhance and sustain our quality of life through wellness and culture, and to utilize and preserve all our resources for now and future generations. According to June 2013 population information, we have 818 members, 344 of whom live on one of the Band’s two occupied reserves, 55 of whom live on the reserves of other First Nations, and 419 of whom live off-reserve
The Lower Nicola Indian Band is a vibrant community, engaged in improving our lives, solidly grounded on the beliefs, traditions, and aspirations of all of our members.Lower Nicola has 7,128 hectares of reserve land, spread out over 10 reserves. As of June 2016, Lower Nicola had a registered population of 1,253 (504 members are living on Lower Nicola’s reserves, 52 are living on other reserves, and 694 are living off-reserve).
Nooaitch First Nation has two reserve bases totaling 1693.4 hectares, I.R. # 9 & I.R.10. The largest is I.R. #10 encompassing 903.1 hectares, is the main reserve where the community is based, and is situated 23 kilometers west of Merritt, B.C. Nooaitch has a poplulation of 236 people, about half of which live on reserve.
Shackan Indian Band is an nłeʔkepmx First Nations government located in the Nicola Valley, approximately 20 km east of Spences Bridge and 40 km west of Merritt on Hwy 8. Shackan is known also as "14 Mile." The Shackan Indian Band has three reserves. The majority of band members reside on the main reserve, located along the Nicola River, which has a total land base of 6,413 acres. The Papsilqua Reserve is located to the northeast of Papsilqua and Skuhun Creek with a total of 730 acres. The Soldatquo Reserve is located a few kilometres north of Shackan with the total land area. of 2,429 acres. Members of the Shackan Band envision a Healthy community that lives in accordance with traditional Scw'exmx values. These values include sharing, helping, learning and teaching. These values translate into: helping the younger generation realize their potential, promoting everyone's involvement in the life of the Community, and also in being generous to those in need.