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Coeur d'Alene
Expedition Culture Geography People Maps Nature
  Setting the Stage: Acknowledgements and Review Process
Setting the Stage: Cultural Property Rights Agreement
Approaching this Module: Pedagogy
Approaching this Module: Principles of Sovereignty
Will of the People: Governance and Contemporay Programs
Gaming: Coeur d'Alene Tribal Casino
Natural and Cultural Resources: Focus on the Lake
Cultural Preservation: Language Center
Cultural Preservation: GIS Names-Place Project
Health Care: Benewah Medical and Wellness Center

  Native American
  Approaching the Oral Traditions: Preparations
Story: Coyote's Identity
Story: Coyote and the Rock Monster
Story: Coyote and the Green Field
Story: Coyote and the White Man
Story: Coyote and the Falls
Story: Chipmunk
Story: Four Smokes
Reflections on the Stories: Laugh, Learn and Perpetuate
Songs: Introduction
Songs: from the Animal People
Songs: of the Powwow
Songs: of the July-amsh Powwow
Songs: of the Sweat House
Heart Knowledge: Listening to the Ancestors
Heart Knowledge: Clean Hands

  Horses, Bugs and Furs: Early Contact
Manifest Destiny: War and a Reservation
Manifest Destiny: Allotment
Wilderness Kingdom: Jesuit Mission
Wounded: Facing the Continuing Challenges


Please consider visiting our official Coeur d'Alene Tribe home page.

The tribal logo was designed by Lawrence Aripa.

Chatkolet Lake with St. Joe Baldy in the distance, June 2001
Aa! Qhest, s'laqht. - "Hello! Welcome, my friend." (click bolded Snchitsu'umshtsn words throughout module to hear Lawrence Nicodemus)

We are Schitsu'umsh, "the ones that were found here" or the "discovered people," or as others often call us, the Coeur d'Alene. After visiting with three members of our tribe on May 6, 1806, Lewis and Clark recorded our name in their journals as, "Skeets-so-mish." However, we were soon given the name, "Coeur d'Alene," by the early French-speaking fur traders of European and Iroquois descent. We always struck a hard bargain for the beaver and other furs these traders sought from us, and hence the name they gave us. "Coeur d'Alene" is French, meaning "heart of [like] an awl." In 1809 David Thompson, of the Northwest Fur Company, called us the "Pointed Hearts." Today we prefer to use our ancestral name for ourselves, Schitsu'umsh. It is a name that refers to the fact that we were "found here," that is, we are of the lake and land we so love, Lake Coeur d'Alene and the surrounding mountains, rivers and prairies.

We welcome you with open arms to travel the pages of this module. With rich images and background texts, and with almost 6 hours of video interviews, stories, songs, language and scenes from our country contained in this module, we invite you to learn about our history and culture, about hnkhwelkhwlnet, "our ways of life in the world."

Click Here to get RealPlayer 28K 56K 256K
HTML Transcript
Former Coeur d'Alene Tribal Chairman, Ernie Stensgar, considers what it is to be Indian and the responsibility the Tribe has in helping educate America, as well as the future generations of Schitsu'umsh. The video clip concludes with the Grand Entry at the Lake Celebration Powwow (October 20, 2001), with the Chairman holding the Eagle Feather Staff. (interviewed by Bob Botswick and Dan Kane, June 2001, and edited by Rodney Frey, August 2002)

We have organized this module to allow you an opportunity to best learn about our culture and history. To assist you with the materials in this module we ask that you first consider some preparations for your journey. With the right equipment your travels will be that much more rewarding.

To go to the following Preparatory Topics:

Essential Guiding Questions
Approaching this Module: Pedagogy Approaching this Module: Principles of Sovereignty Approaching the Oral Traditions: Preparations
Bibliography, Web Links and Teacher Lesson Plans

Lawrence Aripa, October 1997
Once equipped with these "skills" and resources you will be better able to appreciate and understand the special features contained within this module. Your journey will take you to some of the most revered oral traditions and songs our elders wish to share with you. You will also travel with us along the shores of our lakes and ridges of our mountains as we tell you about the very special relationships we have with Lake Coeur d'Alene and its surrounding mountains and rivers, and with the animals and plants that thrive on this land and in these waters.

After having listened to our elders and their stories we hope that you will better appreciate what we call "heart knowledge." In turn, by appreciating how we come to "know" and "relate to" our world, you will begin to understand what it means to be Schitsu'umsh and an Indian.

To go to the following Subject Topics:

Landscape: Lakes, Mountains and Rivers
under Geography
Plants, Animals and the Seasonal Round
under Nature
Contemporary Programs and Initiatives
under Culture
Schitsu'umsh Culture
(emphasizing the stories and songs)
under Culture; Native American
Lewis and Clark: A Schitsu'umsh Perspective
under Expedition
Schitsu'umsh - U.S. History
under Culture; U.S.
under Maps

© Coeur d'Alene Tribe 2002

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