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About the Xeni Gwet'in

Tsilhqot'in People of Xeni
Our culture and beliefs are kept alive as our elders and leaders pass on skills, stories and practices. We teach and learn by doing traditional activities including: hunting, trapping, fishing, food and traditional medicine gathering and preparation, arts, leatherwork, embroidery, baskets and carvings.  In these ways our traditions, our environment and the ecology of our territory are sustained. Although an ancient culture, the Tsilhqot’in People of Xeni are also a contemporary one and wish to share the beauty of their land with respectful visitors.

Local History

The Xeni Gwet’in First Nation is one of six Tsilhqot’in communities which include: Yunesit’in, Tl’etinqox, Tsi Del Del, ?Esdilagh, and Tl’esqox. Welcome to our home. This spectacular region contains some of the purest waters in the world. Since ancient times the Tsilhqot’in People of Xeni have lived here in strength and harmony. Past, present and future generations of people walk this land, fish its waters and harvest through the seasons.

The other Tsilhqot'in communities include: Tsi Del Del (Alexis Creek Indian Band), Tl'etinqoxt'in (Anaham Indian Band), Tl'esqoxt'in (Toosey Indian Band),  Yunesit'in (Stone Indian Band), and ?Esdilagh (Alexandria Indian Band). The Tsilhqot'in communities are neighboured by the Nuxalk along the Pacific Coast, the Southern Carrier to the north, Northern Secwepemc to the east and the Lillooet to the south.

The Caretaker Area of the Xeni Gwet'in First Nation (honey gwe-teen) is in the Chilko River Watershed, in the Tsilhqot'in Territory (tsil-kote-een), west of the Fraser River. Nemiah Valley is approximately 250 kilometers west of Williams Lake. The Valley is 60 minutes by air from Vancouver and is historically an isolated area with its valleys surrounded by mountains and glaciers. It has only been within the last ten years that  access to our community has been opened with better, year round roads and telecommunications services. Because in part of the geographical isolation, the community’s traditions and culture are relatively intact and showcased in the tours that are offered: Wild Horse tours, Cultural/Medicinal plant hiking tours and First Nation Immersion tours. Many of the people still speak their traditional language. Annual events include the Nemiah Valley Rodeo, Brittany Gathering, Elders Gathering and Youth Wagon Trip.

The main objective of the Xeni Gwet'in is to maintain their Caretaker Area as an intact wilderness as declared in their Nemiah Aboriginal Wilderness Preserve, August 23, 1989 and their ?Elegesi Qiyus Wild Horse Preserve declared June 6, 2002

Our goal is to maintain the unconquered wilderness of our traditional territory and to minimize disturbances to wildlife. We support non-motorized guided tourism access to the back country and avoidance of key wildlife habitats.

There are six destination wilderness lodges with private airports throughout the Caretaker area.