Coeur d'Alene Tribe

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 408
850 A Street
Plummer, ID 83851

Contact Information

208-686-1800

Website

http://www.cdatribe-nsn.gov/

Casino(s)

Cultural History

The Coeur d'Alene Tribe is a federally recognized Native American Tribe by the United States Federal Government. The tribe is presently settled in the Southern portion of the resort town of the Coeur d' Alene located in Idaho's panhandle. The tribal reservation encompasses only a fraction of the original tribal territories. The tribal land is said to be arrow-shaped, and it likewise includes one of the edges of the so-called western Rockies, half or the Lake Coeur d' Alene and some of the portions of the lush Palouse county. The tribe was named by the French fur traders who had contacts with the tribe. The name Coeur d'Alene literally means "heart of an awl" and was given to the tribe as a compliment for being the finest traders in the whole world. The tribe's trading industry involved that of the year-long journeys towards the Pacific coast. The tribe also engaged in trips to the Great Plains to trade with the other tribes. The tribal people like to cal themselves as the Shcee chu'umsch. This name, in their native tongue of Salish means "those who are found here".

The Coeur d'Alene Tribe of Indians has had huge permanent settlings in villages which were located along the Spokane and the St. Joe Rivers. These villages that they established were also near the Lake Coeur d' Alene and the Hayden Lake. Some of the villages even extend up to the Palouse country which is said to be an area of not less than five million acres. The Coeur d'Alene Tribe has, for several years now, enjoyed a closely linked relationship with the other inland tribes who are settled in Canada and the Northwestern tribes. Together, they share a common language and the same fishing territories. Some of the connections made by them with the neighboring tribes include intertribal marriages, and attending of the big trade gatherings as well as other festivities both inside and outside of the reservation areas.

During the 1870's, silver was actually discovered in Idaho. The mining activities in the areas flourished upon hearing the news of the latest discovery during that time. The Coeur d'Alene Tribe's Reservation was then settled in the year 1873. The original Reservation area has the Lake Coeur d' Alene as part of the whole reservation that was granted to the tribe. However, because of the treaty-making period of the United States, the original size of the reservation was soon diminished to its present size.

There were Catholic missions that were held so as to convert the tribal members to Catholic faith. The first of these missions was in the West, called the Cataldo Mission. The Mission was pushed through starting from the St. Joe River in the early years of the 1940's. The Mission had to be relocated at the over looking site of Coeur d' Alene in the year 1848 after being struck by flood. A new church and parish house were built in its present area. 

Today, the tribal members are engaged in enterprises. They have a health facility opened in 1998 called the Benewah Medical Center. The tribe's economy also relies in agriculture and farming.

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