The T’exelcemc, or Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN), is a member of the Secwepemc Nation (Shuswap people) located in the central interior of British Columbia. In 1838, Fort Alexandria took a census of WFLN’s population and recorded 309 souls at WLFN’s Chimney Creek village site, now Indian Reserve # 5. The 1862-63 smallpox epidemic decimated WFN’s population by two-thirds. James Teit estimated WLFN’s population at 100 members in 1909. As of April 2021, our membership has recovered to 857 band members with 235 members currently living on reserve and 578 living off reserve and 43 living in other First Nations Communities.
WLFN is a thriving Secwepemc community. The Nation’s mandate and mission is to become a healthy and prosperous community and continue to develop effective governance. While in stage 5 of the BCTC Treaty Process, WLFN is in the process of transitioning away from the Indian Act. Since 1991, WLFN has developed its own Membership Code (1991), Custom Election Code (2007). WLFN is presently governed by the WLFN Land Management Code (2016) and the WLFN Financial Administration Law (2018). WLFN has been International Standard Organization (ISO) certified since 2008.
Since the mid 1990s WLFN has been an economic opportunity driver in the Central Cariboo, the main enterprises owned and operated by WLFN include UNITY Cannabis, Sugar Cane Cannabis, Sugar Cane Petroleum Products, Sugar Cane Archeology, Chief Will-yum Campsite, Coyote Rock Real Estate Development, Coyote Rock Golf Course, and Borland Creek Logging. These enterprises do not only serve WLFN’s on and off-reserve members but the general public and tourists passing through our community.
WLFN sees economic opportunity as one component to becoming a prosperous community but it also prides itself in providing good quality program and services in Health, Education, Social Development, Capital Infrastructure, Housing, Economic Development, Recreation, Land Management, Administration, and Natural Resource services for all WLFN members. The Nation’s focus is on providing comprehensive services that promote the health and wellbeing of community members and the community at large.
In January of 2021, Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN), in partnership with Three Corners Health Services Society (TCHSS), took over oversight of the WLFN’s Health Station. WLFN sees hiring a new Director of Health and Wellness and taking on this added responsibility as a part of its transition toward Self-governance while promoting a more healthy and prosperous Community. The new Director will oversee day to day operations while engaging with community partners, and Three Corners Health Society. Three Corners will continue to support WLFN with the Nurse Practitioner Programming, Nursing and Homecare services, as well as the visiting Physiotherapist (Tyler Judd), and Clinician (Bill McGinnis). The New Director Jordan is excited to be joining WLFN and looking forward to continuing to work with all partners, staff and TCHSS in collective endeavors. Recently, WLFN has taken steps to ensure that the revitalization of its Language and Culture is at the forefront of its day-to-day activities. The Little Chiefs Primary School has a robust language and culture program to teach our children the language and culture. A language and Culture Committee has been established to focus on an adult language emersion program to focus on adult learning. Cultural camps have been used as cultural learning tools in the past and more are being planned for learning purposes in the future.
We are Culturally Centered, Future Focused.