Chief James Allan Coeur d’Alene Tribal Chairman
Chief James Allan was born in Spokane, Washington in 1972. He grew up on the
Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation, with one brother and four sisters and a large
extended family. In 1991, Chief graduated from Lakeside High School and was the
first in his family to go to college. He attended Eastern Washington University
in Cheney, Washington, where he received his BA in Political Science in 1996.
Chief understands the commitment that it takes to fulfill educational goals and
encourages Indian students to make the commitment to complete higher education.
With a first name like "Chief", many had high expectations for Chief and he
worked hard to fulfill them. After graduating from college, Chief was hired by
Coeur d'Alene Tribal Chairman Ernie Stensgar as a legislative assistant. He
later served as the Legislative Director for the Tribe until he accepted a
position as Legislative Associate with the National Congress of American Indians
(NCAI) in 2000 and moved to Washington, DC. While employed in his capacity
within the legislative arena, Chief was able to navigate the complex world of
public policy. In 2001, Chief was called back by his Tribe to serve as the
Administrative Director. His diverse responsibilities included oversight of 19
Tribal departments made up of over 300 employees, and a budget nearing $10
In 2003, Chief was elected to the Coeur d'Alene Tribal
Council and the following year, was elected to serve as the Vice-Chairman for
the Coeur d'Alene Tribe. The trials and tribulations of serving as an elected
official did not discourage Chief from maintaining a high level of motivation to
complete public service with integrity. Despite his many commitments while
holding public office, he continued his responsibilities as Administrative
Director until May of 2005, when Chief was elected to the position of Chairman.
In his tenure as Chairman of the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council, Chief’s responsibilities include leadership decisions that guide the direction the Tribe takes regarding cultural,
historical, and contemporary resources of the Tribe—including a thriving multi-million dollar Tribal economy.
Today the Coeur d’Alene Tribe is an economic powerhouse in the region, providing over 3,900 jobs, and over 308 million dollars in direct and indirect sales activities through various enterprises and government operations.
For the future, Chief remains focused on continued and expanded opportunities for economic development in the Tribal community and greater region;
providing quality educational experiences with improved retention rates of Native youth in both high school and college;
promoting healthy lifestyles for the community; and investing in public safety through increased resources for high-quality law enforcement.
Chief currently lives in Worley, Idaho with his family. He has two children, a daughter, Sophia Maria Allan and son, Chief Natatqn Allan.
Chief's message for October
Well, it’s the season to get back to school!
Recently the Tribal Council was pleased to hand out new backpacks stuffed with school supplies, for every student who attends school on the reservation. This annual gift reminded me once again how much times have changed in my own lifetime. Today it is nice to be able to give such a gift to our students to help jumpstart their academic year. I know that it is a privilege that I never experienced back in the day, and it makes me feel good to see how far along our Tribe has come in regards to being able to support our youth.
On another note, last month was the Governor’s Cup, where our Tribe hosted hundreds of participants in activities that helped raise scholarship funds for Idaho college students. I am very proud of how this event unfolded, I and want to thank the staff of Circling Raven and the Casino once again for making the Coeur d’Alene Tribe stand out above the pack. It was memorable and top-notch for all those who attended!
Lastly, as I write, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) conference is taking place right in our neighborhood at Northern Quest Casino. For next year, and upon completion of the renovations at our casino, we are making the bid to host ATNI’s annual conference next year. I look forward to being able to showcase our new facilities to other tribes of the northwest. I know that we won’t let them down! So as the weather turns crisp and the days grow shorter, I wish you all a good month!