The Coeur d’Alene Tribe
The modern Coeur d’Alene Tribe is the sum of uncounted centuries of untold generations. In the tribe’s own ancient language, it is called Schitsu’umsh, meaning “Those who were found here” or “The discovered people”. In this remains a land abundant in beauty and resources, a legacy of leadership, and a lineage that continues from the time immemorial. The Coeur d’Alenes are who they always were and who they will always be.
For thousands of years the Schitsu'umsh people camped the shores of the lakes and streams, rode canoes across their waters, and walked the forests and mountains of what is now North Idaho and Eastern Washington.
For the first time in millenia a new mode of transportation arrived. In addition to walking and canoes, the Horse became a common campanion and was quick to be adapted into the lifestyle of Native Americans once encountered.
Battle of Steptoe
May 17th, 1858
Known as the Battle of Tohotonimme by Tribes, the Battle of Steptoe was a conflict between several Tribes and the United States Army under Colonel Edward Steptoe. The battle lasted all day, and brought the Colonel's men to within their last few rounds of ammunition, before they were able to slip away under cover of dark.
Treaty of Friendship
September 17th, 1858
After the Battle between the Tribes and Steptoe, later that year a Treaty was negotiated between the Tribal Nations and the U.S. Government to bring about a peaceful resolution to the conflict and ensure amicable future relations between the Nations involved.
November 8th, 1873
The 1873 Executive Order under President Ulysses S. Grant established the original boundaries of the Coeur d'Alene Reservation, totaling more than 500,000 acres.
French-Canadian trappers begin trading with the Schitsu'umsh Tribe. The Tribe gains a reputation for being shrewd in their trading practices, gaining them the nickname of Coeur d'Alene's (Heart of the Awl). This name will carry into the present day, with the City of Coeur d'Alene, and Coeur d'Alene Lake inheriting this name.
For a time the Coeur d'Alene Tribe was fortunate. Farms were profitable and brought prosperity. The 1909 Allotment Act fractured Tribal farmlands and agruculture became unsustainable. It would take nearly a century for the tribe to began to recover and find new ways to prosper.
Few corners of the globe were left untouched by the ravages of WWII. Coeur d'Alene Tribal families shared in the burden of war alongside the United States and her Allies. Serving in the Army and Navy, they were there on the beaches of Normandy, and helped push back against the Axis powers.
The Coeur d'Alene Casino opened its doors in March 1993. It has since undergone six expansions, creating 300 luxury hotel rooms and over 100,000 square feet of gaming space. The Circling Raven Golf Club is renowned as one of the finest new golf challenges in the region, the nation and the world.
Recovery of the Lake
The Coeur d'Alene Tribe has ownership of the lower third of Lake Coeur d'Alene. In 2001 the United States Supreme Court upheld Tribal rights to the lake. The Environmental Protection Agency rules that the tribe may set its own water-quality standards on its portion of Lake Coeur d'Alene.