Tiller's Guide to Indian Country - First Edition

Idaho Fort Hall - Kootenai located just outside the reservation boundaries in the area’s numerous natural springs. FORESTRY The reservation contains relatively little in the way of forest, none of which is considered commercially viable. GAMING Thetribe owns and operates a bingo facility just off busy Interstate 15. It features high-stakes bingo four days a week, and can holdup to 1,000 people. The building itself was constructed in 1992 as a multi-purpose facility and thus serves as a venue for other community activities as well. GOVERNMENT AS EMPLOYER Thetribal government remains the most important single source of tribal employment. Over 300 members currently work for the tribe, primarily through BIA contracts and federal grants. MANUFACTURING A private, outside company called Food Management Corporation is located on the reservation. Though non-Indian owned, it does employ a significant number of tribal members. The company manufactures phosphate-based products. MINING A non-Indian owned phosphate mine which had been operating on the reservation since 1947 closed in 1993 due to diminishing recoverable reserves. This had been a source of significant employment for the tribe, and its closing has had a fairly severe impact. SERVICES The tribe maintains a number of businesses on the reservation. Among these are a small cabinet shop, an electrical contracting firm, a trading post, a restaurant, an arts and crafts shop, a credit union, and a gas stationl convenience store. TOURISM AND RECREATION The tribe operates a commercial complex along Interstate 15 (housing several of the businesses listed under “Services”) which serves as the primary tourist draw on the reservation. Additionally, it hosts a number of special events, including the annual festival and rodeo in early August and Fort Bridger Treaty Day in early July. There are also three historical sites of great interest—the Old Fort Hall Monument, The Oregon Trail, and Fort Hall Bottoms. TRANSPORTATION Thetribe maintains a number of school buses for the transportation of students to schools within the tribal school district. INFRASTRUCTURE Interstate 15 crosses the reservation north-south, while Highway 84/86 crosses in an east-west direction. Commercial air service is available at the Pocatello Municipal Airport on the reservation. Commercial bus lines also serve the reservation directly, as does the Union Pacific Railroad and numerous truck lines. COMMUNITY FACILITIES Electricity is provided to the reservation by the Idaho Power Company. Natural gas is supplied by the Intermountain Gas Company. The Fort Hall Water and Sewer District supplies the reservation with water, and sewer service in the form of a large lagoon located north of the Fort Hall town site. Outlying residents rely on wells and septic tanks. The Indian Health Service runs a large health clinic at Fort Hall, while there are hospitals in Pocatello and Blackfoot. Students attend schools on the reservation which am operated under the tribal school district. Presently a new high school is being completed. Finally, the tribe maintains a Human Resource Center, a Tribal Business Center, and a Multipurpose Center for various tribal activities and meetings. Federal reservation Kaotenai Boundary County, Idaho Kootenai Tribe of Idaho County Road 38A P.O. BOX1269 Banners Ferry, ID 83805 (208) 267-3519 Fax: 267-2962 Total area 250 acres Allotted 2,000 acres Federal Trust 250 acres High school graduate of higher 73.2% Per capita income $4,992 Tatal labor farce 36 Unemployment rate 8.3% Total reservation population 101 Tribal enrollment 130 LOCATION AND lAND STATUS TheKootenai Reservation is located in the northern tip of the Idaho panhandle, about 30 miles from the Canadian border. The reservation has 250 acres in federal trust, with approximately 2,000 additional acres allotted to individual tribal members. The Kootenai refused to participate in the 1855 Hellgate Council called by Washington Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens. Throughout the next decade, the tribe resisted all attempts to move it to the Flathead Reservation in Montana. In the early 1900s, the federal government finally set aside 8,000 acres for the Kootenai, with each recognized tribal member receiving a plot of 160 acres. Having little experience with farming, however, most tribal members failed to cultivate the land, and the majority of it was eventually leased to white settlers. Today, the Kootenai still have a very small community land base, consisting of little more than the tract upon which their tribal headquarters, community center, and a tribal housing project are situated. CULTURE AND HISTORY The Kootenai of North Idaho are one of six bands of the greater Kootenai Nation. Aside from the Idaho band, the Kootenai may be found in British Columbia and northwestern Montana. The Kootenai traditionally relied on the region’s rivers, lakes, prairies, and mountain forests for their sustenance, and followed the salmon cycle as much as any other source of food. Sahnon was also used for trade and held great spiritual significance for the tribe. Fur traders were the first Euro-Americans to appear on Kootenai lands, arriving in the 1830s. Within a decade, Jesuit missionaries began arriving, and shortly thereafter, homesteaders began to appear, crossing through or settling on Kootenai lands. The ambitious Washington territorial governor, Isaac Stevens, was determined to open the northwest to the railroad and agricultural development. This ambition spurred him to call for the 1855 Council at Hellgate, 336