Tiller's Guide to Indian Country - First Edition

Idaho Coeur D’Alene operates a 5,000-acre small grains farm. The farm generally employs about seven tribal members and generates significant income for the tibal government. It includes 2,000 acres of winter wheat, 400 acres each of barley and spring wheat, 250 acres of peas, and 220 acres of rapeseed. Plans are afoot to expand this enterprise into a commercial grain handling and brokering business. CONSTRUCTION Approximately 160 tribal members are currently employed in various facets of the construction industry. These people primarily work either for themselves or for private contracting businesses in the area, though certain tribal projects, like as the renovation of the traditional ceremonial grounds, employ tribal members on construction crews. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS Thetribe’s primary economic development project its Development Corridor. When complete, the corridor will include the existing bingo hall, a gas station, convenience store, motel, restaurant, RV park, and possibly a golf course, a go-cart track, and facilities for a winter carnival. To this end, the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Development Corporation was established in April of 1983. The tribe is also a member of the Panhandle Lakes Resource Conservation & Development Area. A USDA project, the RC & D program facilitates community involvement in the resolution of environmental and economic problems. To date, over 300 projects have been completed in the area, with the emphasis shifting from traditional conservation practices to extensive involvement in rural economic development. FISHERIES The region surrounding the reservation is rich in streams, rivers, and lakes, most of which have excellent recreational fishing. Tribal members continue to fish on and beyond reservation boundaries. Coeur d’Alene Lake is a popular fishing spot, one which the tribe is seeking to regulate and enhance through its Lake Management Policy. FORESTRY The reservationlies partially within national forest land in a region where the timber industry has been traditionally prominent. At present, a limited amount of timber harvesting continues on tribal lands, though a considerable number of tribal members find employment through this industry, many through non-Indian timbering enterprises. Pacific Crown Timber Products is the largest private employer of tribal members within this domain. Over 180,000 acres of the reservation are forested. GAMING The Coeur d’Alene Tribal Gaming Facility is doing very well, generating considerable tribal revenue and employment. The facility has 27 full-time and 64 part-time employees. It serves as the anchor for the Development Corridor upon which the tribe has staked much of its future economic prosperity. GOVERNMENT AS EMPLOYER As of 1990,482 tribal members were employed through the various departments of the Coeur d’Alene tribal government, making this the greatest single source of employment on the reservation. artisans, virtually alf of these people work for enterprises located off the reservation. SERVICES The reservation hosts several businesses, including the Benewah Market, which presently employs about 20 people. The store opened in 1985 and its development costs were fully paid off by 1992. The Benewah Auto Center began with the renovation of an existing Exxon Station into a Ml-service automotive center. The auto center has recently expanded further into a convenience store and employs four people. The Benewah Medical Clinic, located in a 6,750-squarefoot building, opened in 1990 with 12 employees and 850 patients. As of 1994, it had 44 employees and 4,000 patients. It serves Indian and non-Indian clients, some coming from as far away as Spokane. The medical clinic’s operating profit in 1992 was $120,000. An expansion into dentistry is well underway and is expected to prove just as successful as the initial undertaking. TOURISM AND RECREATION Currently, outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the reservation’s abundant fishing, boating, and water sport activities. In the more remote regions to the east, hunters pursue big game such as bear, elk, and deer, as well as waterfowl. Golf, hiking, mountain climbing, and, in the winter, skiing are all quite popular. There are several camping areas on and adjacent to tribal lands; the Coeur d’Alene are considering the feasibility of developing a resort on the reservation. The historic Catholic Mission and the Sisters’ Btiding, built in 18W, serves as an important cultural and religious gathering place for the Coeur d’Alene. INFRASTRUCTURE U.S. Highway 95 is the main north-south road through the reservation, connecting with Interstate 90 to the north. The nearest commercial airline wrvice is in Spokane, 40 miles west. Commercial train and bus lines serve the city of Coeur d’Alene, about 25 miles from the reservation. Commercial truck lines serve the reservation directly. COMMUNITY FACILITIES The Washington Power Company provides electricity to the reservation. Children have typically attended either area public schools or a mission school at DeSmet, though the construction of a tribal school is currently underway and is designated a top priority by the tribal government. The tribal government operates a health program and various natural resource programs. MANUFACTURING The manufacturing industry is the second largest source of employment amongst tribal members. As of 1990, 424 tribal members were employed in the region’s manufacturing sector. Except for the reservation-based cottage industry of traditional 334