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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

In 1992 the Tribe’s Department of Natural Resources assumed full administrative responsibilities from the Bureau of Indian Affairs for the environmental and natural resources policies of the reservation. In order to manage the Tribe's environmental and natural resources in a holistic and integrated fashion, the department expanded its scope to include programs in fisheries, forestry, wildlife, water resources, air quality, pesticides management, and environmental planning.

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Alfred Nomee, Director of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe's Department of Natural Resources, considers some of the Lake Coeur d'Alene programs, including restoration and management initiatives relating to heavy metals contamination from the Silver Valley and the introduction of non-native fish. (interviewed and edited by Rodney Frey, September 2002; additional video footage from Dan Kane, June 2001)

Led by the efforts of such individuals as Henry SiJohn, former Tribal Council member, and Alfred Nomee, Director of the Department of Natural Resources, and in coordination with various state and federal agencies, the Tribe has been in the forefront of mining-pollution cleanup efforts throughout the Coeur d’Alene River basin. "We want a clean and pristine and healthy lake for our children and their children’s children, for all the peoples of this region." While the source of the world’s largest silver production, the over hundred years of mining along the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River has also produced heavy-metal pollution, including such contaminates as lead, cadmium, zinc, mercury and arsenic. With the annual spring runoffs and flooding, the pollution has extended into Lake Coeur d’Alene and the Spokane River. To address and reclaim the health and well-being of the lake and rivers, and the animal and plants of this contaminated area, the Tribe and Department of Natural Resources initiated its own Natural Resource Damage Assessment and began litigation with the mining companies.

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Alice Koskela, Legal Counsel for the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, discusses some of the responsibilities the tribe has now assumed toward the monitoring and policing of the health of Lake Coeur d'Alene and those who enjoy it. (interviewed and edited by Rodney Frey, August 2002)

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Alfred Nomee discusses some of the special responsibilities the Tribe has in monitoring and making sure the water quality is of the highest level. It is a responsibility given particular significance when the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the Tribe's ownership of the southern third of the Lake Coeur d'Alene. (interviewed and edited by Rodney Frey, September 2002; additional video footage from Dan Kane, June 2001)

With the well-being of the Schitsu’umsh so interwoven with the health of the environment, the Tribal Council and Department of Natural Resources is in the process of developing a guiding vision and integrated community management plan, an Environmental Action Plan (EAP), for the tribe’s natural resources and environment. With participation from Indians as well as non-Indians, representing a wide-range of interests and concerns, the EAP first sought to develop a comprehensive assessment of the human health, ecology and quality of life of the human, animal and plant populations of the reservation and surrounding aboriginal area. Now complete, the collaborative EAP endeavor is now developing a management policy, including monitoring and integrated planning. Throughout, the importance of Schitsu’umsh cultural ways as well as sustainable economics are being incorporated into the plan.

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Alfred Nomee considers why "natural resources" are so closely associated with "cultural resources," and why both must be equally managed and perserved. (interviewed and edited by Rodney Frey, September 2002)

© Coeur d'Alene Tribe 2002

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