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August 8, 2005

-Coeur d' Alene Tribe Legistlative Affairs-

Plummer, ID- After six years of internal review, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the Coeur d'Alene Tribe's Clean water Act application for Treatment As state (TAS) to promulgate federally approved standards governing Tribal waters on Coeur d'Alene Lake and the ST. Joe River. The Tribe will now submit proposed standards for federal review and approval, following a public review and comment period.

Tribal Chairman Chief Allan said, "This is a good day for the Coeur d'Alene Tribe and for Lake Coeur d'Alene." protecting Tribal waters is as essential to the Tribe's survival today as it was in 1873 when the Tribe insisted that the Government include those resources in the Reservation. The EPA'S approval acknowledges the Tribe's inherent authority and demonstrated capacity to manage these waters. We remain committed to responsible lake stewardship to protect the resource for Tribal members and the lake community, and we look forward to working with the federal, state, and local governments toward that goal."

The Tribe applied for TAS in 1999, following the Idaho federal court decision that affirmed Tribal ownership of the lake and river within the Reservation. The Tribe sought TAS authority to regulate all Reservation waters. By 2002, the EPA still had not made a decision, "so the Agency moved forward with a TAS decision for a portion of those waters decided in the lake ownership decision, leaving the decision on Reservation tributaries and Heyburn state Park for another day," according to Chairman Allan. Tribal authority to regulate its lake and river waters is viewed by many as an important step toward developing a Tribal-State Lake Management Plan (LMP) that can address nutrients entering the lake and the metals being remobilized from mining contaminated lake sediments. If successful, the LMP could eliminate the need for federal superfund actions in the lake.

In July, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report on the EPA'S Basin cleanup plan recommended that "comprehensive studies of lake Coeur d'Alene should be given a high priority to support development of an effective lake management plan."

Toward that end, the Tribe's Lake Management Department and Idaho's Department of Environmental Quality signed an agreement following the EPA's TAS announcement to resume lake management plan discussions through an EPA coordinated facilitation process, funded by the EPA, the Tribe and the State. "We look forward to those discussions ,"commented to Phillip Cernera, the Tribe's newly appointed Lake Management Department Director, "so that we can continue to develop sound science approaches to protecting lake water quality from mining's toxic legacy." Also of concern to the Tribe is the water quality in Heyburn state park, which was not addressed by the TAS decision, but which adds significant nutrients to the adjoining st. Joe River waters. Absent the EPA's decision on these waters, the Tribe will rely on the EPA, which retains federal primacy on these Reservation waters, to ensure applicable Tribal standards in adjoining waters will be satisfied.

In the meantime, the balance of the Tribe's TAS application remains under consideration for Agency decision. "We expect the EPA will act favorably and soon on the remaining application so we can fully protect all Reservation waters," said Chairman Allan. The Tribe has invested millions to restore its traditional native fisheries in Reservation tributaries, and TAS status assists the Tribe's efforts to restore this resource for its members and the greater community.

contact person: Quanah Spencer 208.755.7405


July 15, 2005

Plummer, ID - Furthering their support of education in Northern Idaho, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe will join forces with Computers for Kids, Inc. (CFK), a non-profit organization based in Boise, in awarding refurbished computers to students of Northern Idaho in grades K-12 this week.

Donated computers are refurbished, upgraded and then distributed to school age children in Idaho. Interested students are asked to write an essay indicating why they want a computer and how they plan to use it in their education. Recipients will attend training sessions for instruction on how to set up their computers, and upon completion of the class students will be able to take their computers home. Technicians from the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Information Technology department will participate in the instructional phase of the distribution.

The cost of upgrading a computer is approximately $75 and as a non-profit organization, CFK looks for sponsors to further alleviate the cost. With the sponsorship a student’s share of the cost is reduced to $35 with the remaining $40 met by the sponsor. CFK wilt award 76 computers to students in and around the city of Coeur d’Alene and 46 more on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe will sponsor all 122 computers distributed to Northern Idaho students. “The Coeur d’Aiene Tribe is a firm believer in education and we are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Computers for Kids by being a sponsor and also with the participation of our computer techs,” declared Tribal Chairman Chief J. Allan.

July 14, 2005

Plummer, ID - The National Academy of Science (NAS) has completed its report on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2002 cleanup plan to address mining contamination in the Coeur d’Alene Basin and, reaffirms the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s long held stance that sound science must guide cleanup actions in the Coeur d’Alene Basin, and that the EPA’s remedy does not go far enough in addressing environmental problems in the basin, and especially Coeur d’Alene Lake. As the late Tribal Councilman Henry SiJohn admonished, “Our 5 senses are not enough to convince others of this problem, we must leave no stone untumed in our efforts to collect the irrefutable data needed to focus public attention on the need for clean up of our ancestral lands and waters.” In response to the NAS report Coeur d’Alene Tribal Chairman Chief J. Allan stated, “The NAS has reaffirmed what our elders knew, what our last 15 years of studies have found, and the Tribe’s view that the EPAs interim remedy is a starting point for addressing the mining contamination in the basin.”

In particular, the NAS found that “The remedial efforts within the Cd’A Basin will require much time, a great deal of money, and a concerted effort by involved parties.” As the basin’s original inhabitants and resource managers, the Tribe will continue to meet this challenge. The NAS findings regarding Coeur d’Alene Lake were of particular interest and concern to the Tribe. The Tribe had strongly criticized the EPAs 2002 decision to defer any remedial decision on the lake until the Tribe and the state of Idaho worked to revise and implement the 1995 Lake Management Plan (LMP). The NAS concluded that “The EPAs assessment of Lake Coeur d’Alene lacked adequate supporting studies on the impact of metals in sediment and waters on the ecological communities in the Lake,” and separately indicated that those studies must be done before any decision on the content, implementation and cost of a LMP can be made. The Tribe looks forward to further development of a revised lake management plan that incorporates the NAS report recommendations in this regard. Chairman Allan recalled the spirit of Henry SiJohn and his devotion to seeing cleanup in the basin become a reality, stating, “The NAS report affirms that we have only partly achieved that noble vision. The Tribe will remain steadfast in its environmental stewardship of the basin to restore the resources that historically sustained the Tribe.

July 12, 2005

Plummer, ID - The Coeur d’Alene Tribe is pleased to announce Grand Opening events celebrating the Tribe’s much needed Elder Housing facility as well as their state of the art Community Technology Center both of which are located in Plummer near Tribal headquarters. The festivities surrounding the two projects will take place July 21. “It is with great enthusiasm that the Coeur d’Alene Tribe announces the joint Grand Opening Ceremony for these two major projects and to celebrate the needs they will fulfill on our reservation,” stated Chairman Chief J. Allan. The Elder Housing facility consists of 20 one-bedroom units with a common area where elders will gather for meals and social functions.

The placement of the site was strategic in that it is located directly across from perhaps the Tribe’s greatest repository of wealth, the Early Childhood Learning Center. The close proximity of the two centers will allow exchange of language, culture, and history from one generation to the other in a family environment. Just as exciting is the Community Technology Center that is just one jewel in a $3.3 million dollar joint project of which $2.8 million is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Services grant to serve rural residents in addition to a $500,000 Tribal contribution. The Center will soon be able to provide the much-needed broadband and other Internet technology services to the residents of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s sprawling reservation. Global communication will be as simple as accessing the Tribe’s broadband system and clicking away to the computer superhighway. Residents, local schools, health clinics, emergency services, and others will have broadband service that will significantly improve the delivery of services needed to secure life’s necessities.

Both the Elder Housing facility and the Community Technology Center are snapshots of the growth being experienced by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. “This is an exciting time for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and I am happy to see the aspirations of our tribal councils as well as our talented staff taking shape. As a team, we look optimistically at the many endeavors that we have accomplished and the challenges that we will continue to pursue in order to secure a stable future,” declared Chairman Allan.

July 11, 2005

Plummer, ID -With the good fortune of mild temperatures in the 60’S, a group of friends, neighbors and business owners equipped with clean-up equipment and elbow grease, tidied up various sites along the Trail of the Coeur d’Alene’s recreation area south of Harrison, Idaho. Dean Chapman, Trail Manager for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe was thankful for those who joined together this past Saturday to help improve the aesthetics so that trail users could better enjoy their trail experience. “This is a public trail” said Dean, “and I enjoy working with other groups and individuals who have the same passion and enjoyment of a quality recreation trail.” The Tribe welcomes the greater community to get out and experience the trail and the beauty it provides.

Press Release

PLUMMER, ID - The Coeur d’Alene Tribe is pleased to host the 52nd annual Associated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) Conference, September 18” through September 22nd. The conference will take place at the Coeur d’Alene Casino. ATNI began in 1953 and represents 54 tribes from: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Northern California, Western Montana and Southeast Alaska. ATNI is dedicated to ensuring tribal sovereignty and self-determination. ATNI also sets policy and direction for Northwest Tribes by adopting resolutions.

The Coeur d’Alene tribe welcomes everyone to Northern Idaho, homeland of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. The inland northwest has always been the home of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, with the original territory spanning more than 4 million acres. The Coeur d’Alene reservation is home to 345,OO acres of the most pristine country in the Northwest. The reservation includes Lake Coeur d’Alene, a major tourist attraction, as well as a major economic resource for the region. The Chairman, Chief J. Allan, stated: “I am honored that the Coeur d’Alene tribe is serving as host to this year’s annual conference. I am also very excited about the work that will be done throughout the conference.”

The tribe would also like to announce its support for Ernest L. Stensgar, to be re-elected as President of ATNI. Stensgar is a member of the Coeur d’Alene tribe, and former Chairman. “Mr. Stensgar has been an excellent leader for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, as well as ATNI for a number of years. It is because of this, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe lends its support to re-elect Mr. Stensgar as President of ATNI”. Stated Chairman Allan.

Press Release

Plummer, Id- Ernest L. Stensgar, Coeur d’Alene Tribal member, would like to announce his candidacy for re-election to President of the Associated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI). ATNI is a regional organization that represents more than 50 tribes from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, California and Alaska. ATNI will hold their officer elections during the 52”d annual conference that takes place at the Coeur d’Alene Casino beginning September 18’h. Mr. Stensgar is seeking his third term as ATNI President.

Mr. Stensgar has been a civil servant for many years, serving on the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council as Chairman for 19 years and continues to serve as a member of the council. Stensgar’s goal for his next term as ATNI president is to help ATNI become more proactive. “I feel that we should be more proactive as an organization, rather than reacting to issues all the time,” Stensgar stated. In his next term, Stensgar looks forward to revitalizing a think-tank within the ATNI. Stensgar feels that this will help the organization be more proactive by planning for completion of long-term goals.

As President, he hired an executive director, to help oversee day-to-day operation of ATNI. Stensgar feels that by hiring a strong executive director, ATNI was able to accomplish more. Most recently, he testified at a Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing regarding trust reform legislation that seeks to change the shape of Indian Affairs for decades to come.

Stensgar follows the traditional ways of his ancestors and passes the culture down to young people. He is a veteran of the armed forces, serving honorably in the Marine Corps during Vietnam, “I believe it is important for Northwest Tribes to speak with a strong, unified voice,” Stated Stensgar. Stensgar has worked on a variety of issues at the tribal, regional and national level. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe has announced their full support for Stensgar to be re-elected as President of ATNI.

Press Release

PLUMMER-The Coeur d'Alene Tribe (Tribe) would like to recognize the thirtieth anniversary of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEA), which was enacted in 1975 to reel back policies that were detrimental to Indian tribal governments. The ISDEA was championed by President Richard M. Nixon as a tool to reaffirm the trust responsibility of the Federal government to tribes and requested Congress to enact the ISDEA in order to increase tribal governmental autonomy. Several Presidents including Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush have all remained committed to furthering the self-determination policies created under the Nixon administration. The ISDEA specifically recognized that total Federal control of Indian tribes stifled development and that as a matter of course "Indian people will never surrender their desire to control their relationships both among themselves and with non- Indian governments, organizations, and persons."

The Coeur d' Alene Tribe through progressive action has benefited greatly from the Indian self-determination policies in order to provide for the health, welfare, and safety of its members. In recent years, the Coeur d' Alene Tribe has chosen to extend its hard fought success to the local community, including many local governments. Currently, the Coeur d' Alene Tribe and the Casino employ a combined total of 1,260 people. The Tribe and Casino are extremely proud to be the primary source of income for many Indian and non-Indian families that live in the region. By providing employment, the Tribe and the Casino are able to provide a source of revenue to the retail and service industry of the region when employees utilize their salaries to secure the necessary items and services for the benefit of their own families. The Tribe provides a forum for family activities at its annual Julyamsh celebration, which draws thousands of visitors from all over the nation to Post Falls every July. Chairman Chief J. Allan stated, "the Tribe has been active within the local community on many avenues that seek to enhance the overall quality of life for all residents in the northern Idaho region."

Several local governments including Benewah, Kootenai, and Shoshone counties have received generous grants of resources directly from the Coeur d' Alene Tribe. Some of the many contributions the Tribe has made to Benewah, Kootenai, and Shoshone counties in recent years have included: $87,000 for the Benefit of Avery and Shoshone School Districts; $180,000 for the benefit of Coeur d' Alene, Kootenai, and Post Falls School Districts; and $2.3 million for the benefit of Plummer, Worley, and St. Maries School Districts. The Tribe has also contributed thousands of dollars to public libraries, historical societies, museums, state police, and $400,000 annually to operate a four-bus public transportation system. The Tribe also pays several hundred thousand dollars per year in property taxes, which are later used by local governments to operate effectively and efficiently for their constituents, including many tribal members. "The provision of needed resources to local governments in order to have an orderly system of government should be encouraged by our neighbors through cooperation with the Tribe," stated Chairman Allan.

In recent days, the Tribe has been shocked to learn that our county commissioners feel that the Tribe does not work with local governments unless it is in the Tribe's best interest. "The Tribe has and will remain to have an open door policy to anyone that has an interest to convey to the Tribe through its elected officials," reiterated Chairman Allan. The Tribe has always sought cooperation from local governments when seeking to enhance the social, cultural, ecological, and economic welfare of the community, even when the Tribe is unfairly criticized by local officials. The Coeur d' Alene Tribe has always been here in its homeland and will continue protecting and enhancing the quality of life for all that live in the region.


Press Release

PLUMMER- As promised the Coeur d'Alene Tribe has sufficiently inventoried encroachments on Tribal Waters and is now in a position to lift the temporary moratorium placed in April of 2003 on new dock development.

The purpose of that inventory was to describe the current conditions so that the Tribe may move forward with developing a long-term strategy for managing the growth of private structures on Tribal Waters in a manner that is protective of the Lake, human health and safety, assuring all docks are in good condition and enhance property values. As Phillip Cernera, the newly appointed Lake Management Director stated, "The Tribe never intended to eliminate the public enjoyment of the Lake, we did however, believe that both the public safety and ecological impacts, attributable to encroaching development should be evaluated before continuing to permit future encroachments." Information collected during the inventory included: type and condition of dock flotation and decking, number and condition of pilings, size and configuration of dock, number of slips per dock, and dock density. Additional information was also collected including: commercial operations, boat garages, float-homes, water use, septic system construction, and the storage and use of petroleum and other hazardous chemical products present near the Lake.

Prior to lifting the moratorium, the Tribe developed formal Encroachment Standards relevant to all encroachments such as: docks, float-homes, boat garages, and other developments within Tribal Waters on Coeur d'Alene Lake. Through a cooperative effort with multiple impacted lake user groups including local homeowner associations, realtor associations, commercial businesses residing or working within Tribal Waters and state and federal government agencies, the Tribe developed and recently adopted those standards. The standards will address all forms of encroachment on Tribal Waters, many of which were not yet identified or addressed in the interim standards in place during the moratorium. Applications for new docks will be accepted and the approval process will occur under the well-defined conditions contained within the Encroachment Standards.

The Encroachment Standards and encroachment Application can be viewed and downloaded through the Coeur d'Alene Tribe's website or by navigating to the following link: http://www.cdatribe-nsn.nov/depts/lake/encro.asp. For any further questions or concerns please contact Mr. Jason Brown, Navigable Waters Specialist of the Lake Management Department at (208) 686-1118.

Coeur d'Alene Tribe HQ  |  p. 208.686.1800  |  850 A.Street, Plummer ID 83851