BC Geographical Names

Name Details:

Name: Shuswap River
Feature TypeClick here for a list of
Feature Types.
River - Watercourse of variable size, which has tributaries and flows into a body of water or a larger watercourse
StatusClick here for an explanation of Status.: Official
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Flows through Sugar, Mabel and Mara Lakes into Shuswap Lake, Kamloops Division Yale Land District
Latitude-LongitudeClick here for an explanation of Position Type.: 50°50'11''N, 118°59'40''W at the approximate mouth of this feature.
DatumClick here for an explanation of Datum.: NAD83
NTS MapClick here for an explanation of NTS Map.: 82L/15
Related MapClick here for an explanation of Related Maps.: 82L/11
  Nearby names within

Origin Notes and History:

Shuswap River adopted 7 January 1902. "Shuswap River (not Spallumcheen)" identified in the 2nd Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 30 June 1902. See also Shuswap Lake.
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
Headwaters in the vicinity of Greenbush Lake; flows southwest through Sugar Lake, turns west then north and flows through Mabel Lake, flows west to Enderby then turns northeastward and flows through Mara Lake; the downstream segment of Shuswap River is called Sicamous Narrows, and drains into Shuswap Lake just south of Eagle River mouth.
Source: BC place name cards, correspondence and/or research by BC Chief Geographer & Geographical Names Office staff.
Identified as "Sheewap River" on David Thompson's Map of the North-west Territory of the Province of Canada, 1813-14. Identified as "Shoushwap River" on Arrowsmith's 1837 map. Identified as "Spellmacheen River" in Claudet's report of his trip to Cherry Creek in 1867. Labelled "Shuswap or Spillemeechene River" on Trutch's 1871 map of British Columbia. Labelled "Shuswap or Spallymsheen River" on Geological Survey of Canada map 124, by George M. Dawson, 1877. Labelled "Rivière au Shuswap" on other early maps (titles/dates not cited).
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
"Shuswap - water flowing towards the sunset" (Vernon News, 18 July 1918)
Source: included with note
Name of the Indian tribe which controlled the Fraser River valley from Lillooet to Alexandria, and the territory eastward to the Rocky Mountains, being surrounded by or in close contact with the people of Okanagan Lake and River (whose principal centre in early days was south of the International Boundary) and of Upper Columbia River Valley and Arrow Lakes. Former name of river, Spallumcheen, from the Shuswap word spil-a-mi-shine, meaning "flat mouth" or spal-lum-shin, meaning "meadow flat". (12th Report of the Okanagan Historical Society, 1948).
Source: included with note
"Shuswap: name of an Indian tribe given by themselves - meaning unknown." (21 September 1933 notation on Ottawa file OBF 0015).
Source: Canadian Geographical Names Database, Ottawa