In the early 1980s Secwepemc Leaders, educators and other community members came to realize the need for a comprehensive plan to retain and revive Secwepemctsin and culture. They immediately began the groundwork to establish effective measures to address this need.
Through a series of meetings in 1981 and 1982, goals and priorities were identified and the text of an agreement was developed amongst the communities to work together in an effort to preserve and perpetuate the language and culture. On August 20, 1982 the a Secwepemc Declaration was signed by 17 Chiefs present at a special signing ceremony and later, by the remaining five Chiefs. All 17 Bands of the Secwepemc Nation are no party to this agreement.
The SSLCS was established in 2007and began to design the framework, which would allow the implementation of the goal as outlined in the Declaration. Each Band appointed one representative and an alternate to the committee by band council resolutions.
A division of responsibility and labour between the 5 Northern Secwepemc Bands and the 12 Southern Bands was agreed upon in Williams Lake on April 21, 1982. Since the 1970s the 5 Northern Bands, through the Shuswap Language Committee, had been working to revive the language and had already developed an alphabet, grammar text and various teaching and reference materials. The agreement therefore stated that the north would continue its work in language but would make all developed materials available to the southern bands who in turn could adapt it to the southern dialect. It was agreed that the Southern Bands would concentrate on the development of a cultural curriculum for all grades and make these available to the Northern Bands. Both the north and south would maintain institutes that would allow for the access of the material through museums, resource libraries, communications systems and educational/cultural programs. The considerable distance between the Northern and Southern Bands made it easier and more realistic to follow this arrangement. The agreement to divide the responsibility and labour, which would avoid conflict and duplication of work, was further supported by band council resolutions signed by each of the bands.
To carry out its responsibilities in fulfilling the mandate of the Declarations, the Southern Bands found it necessary to form a society, the Secwepemc Cultural Education Society. The Secwepemc Cultural Education Society was established and formally incorporated on September 22, 1983 under the British Columbia Societies Act. Its mandate was to develop and implement curriculum.