Tiller's Guide to Indian Country - First Edition

Coeur D’Alene Idaho CULTURE AND HISTORY TheCoeur dAlene are a Salishan-speaking tribe which traditionally occupied an area of nearly four million acres. The tribe’s original name, “Schee-chu-umsh,” means “Discovertig Ones.” The 1873 Executive Order establishing the reservation reduced the tribe’s territoq to 598,000 acres. The tribe traditionally hunted buffalo on the Montana plains, fished for sahnon at Spokane Falls, and dug for cams and other wild root crops near Kalispel and present day Palouse. Additionally, they relied on the region’s vast network of lakes, rivers, and other waterways as a sort of highway system Under the Homestead Act of 1909, over 80 percent of the reservation passed out of Indian ownership. Specifically, the tribe lost ownership of most of its land along Lake Coeur d’Alene through allotment and the opening of the reservation to non-Indian settlers begiming that year. Moreover, the effects of the Homestead Act were gradual social, cultural, and economic degradation. The loss of a land base resulted in loss of tribal identity through forced acculturation, which in turn opened the door to many social problems. In response to this tragic downward spiral, the tribe filed a claim with the Indian Claims Commission on November 15, 1950 for compensation for the illegal confiscation of their traditional homelands. On May 6, 1958, the Commission awarded the tribe $4,342,778 on behalf of this claim. The tribe has subsequently pursued other claims and litigation, generally successfully. The proceeds from these awards have been applied toward economic development projects such as the gaming facility, which in turn have generated more profits, ultimately to be applied toward the general welfare of tribal members. Aside from its gaming facility, the tribe operates several other businesses including one of the largest farms in northern Idaho. Additionally many members live off the reservation and maintain careers as successful professional and business people. The tribe is working to preserve and enhance its traditions through such various means as the tribal language program, instituted to stem the erosion of its use and knowledge. Finally, the tribe exercises influence throughout the Northwest through its membership in organizations like the Upper Columbia United Tribes and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians. GOVERNMENT Thetribe’s governing body is the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council. The council has been empowered to act on behalf of the tribe under the terms of the revised constitution and bylaws, adopted on November 10, 1984, and approved by the secretary of the interior on December 21 of that year. The Tribal Council consists of seven members, each elected to three-year terms. Its officers include a chairman, vicechairman, and secretary-treasurer. The tribe maintains a comprehensive plan designed to provide an official statement of growth policies and to serve as a guide to decisions about overall development. In addition, the Tribal Council enacted an Interim Land Use Ordinance in 1988 which enables the tribe to review and regulate development and land uses which threaten or result in significant social, environmental or economic impact on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation. ECONOMY AGRICULTURE AND LIVESTOCK Agriculture has been a point of tribal pride and achievement for over a century. The Development Enterprise, established in 1970,