The original name of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe was Schitsu’umsh, meaning “Those who were found here” or “The discovered people.” Before U.S. expansion into the area, the Schitsu’umsh would trade with French fur traders, who referred to the Schitsu’umsh as Coeur d’Alene’s, meaning “Heart of the Awl.”
Since time immemorial, Lake Coeur d’Alene has been the spiritual and cultural anchoring for the Schitsu’umsh (Coeur d’Alene Indians). Following in the wake of the Corps of Discovery, the lake and our people faced a steady stream of challenges. The story of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe is one of resilience and resurgence in the face of adversity. The kinship ties among their families and with the lake and rivers continue to be strong.
Experience the land that the Coeur d’Alene Tribe has called home for thousands of years and learn about the tribal traditions of this land’s native people through the Cultural Tours at the Coeur d’Alene Casino. The tours and learning sessions focus on the history, lifeways, language, traditional arts, song and dance, and storytelling of the Coeur d’Alene people. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s programs include The Last Battle Tour, Majestic Encounters Eagle Aviary Tour, and a variety of participatory art events.
The Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort/Hotel was awarded the 2019-2020 AIANTA Tribal Destination of the Year Award, and features a world-class spa, luxury accommodations, championship golf, acclaimed restaurants, and surrounding community adventures.
Below is a sample of the many tours and events offered by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. For exact days and times, visit www.cdacasino.com/cultural-tourism/or contact Dee Dee McGowan, Cultural Tourism Manager, at 208 769-2663, email@example.com.
Majestic Encounters – Eagle Aviary Tour
Participate in this unique opportunity to visit the first tribal Eagle Aviary in the Northwest, and the first aviary in the Pacific Northwest with a federal permit. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe plays a conservation role for these majestic birds recovering from injury who can’t live on their own and require permanent homes. The federal permit allows the Tribe to keep captive bald and golden eagles and collect their feathers for ceremonial and religious purposes. Tours are guided by Coeur d’Alene Tribal members and Coeur d’Alene Tribal Fish and Wildlife professionals.
Departing from the Tribes Aviary and the famous and most photographed landscape in the U.S., the Palouse rolling hills, the tour continues around beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene, home of the Tribe for thousands of years. The tour then arrives at its second destination, Birds of Prey Northwest operated by Janie Veltkamp. Birds of Prey Northwest’s mission is to educate the public about birds of prey, through live raptor presentations and other expanding outreach, and provides medical treatment to injured, sick, and orphaned wild raptors with the goal of returning them to the wild.
The Last Battle Tour
The Steptoe Battle of 1858 was a conflict between the U.S. government and the Coeur d’Alene, Palouse and Spokane Tribes. This full-day tour featuring local historians and tribal member guides includes a visit to the Steptoe Battlefield State Park Heritage site. Snacks and bottled water provided throughout. See link for detailed schedule.
Authentic Cultural Dinner
Experience the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Cultural Lifeways dinner package with traditional tribal hospitality, including traditional foods/cuisine, storytelling, dance and drum. Dinner includes smoked huckleberry salmon, venison stew, green salad with huckleberry vinaigrette, St. Mary’s rice pilaf, cheesecake with huckleberry sauce and vegetables. Vegan/gluten-free options available if request made in advance.
Kayaking & Canoeing Tour
On this tribal-guided tour, participants depart Plummer Point and paddle up to Plummer Marsh while enjoying wildlife viewing and bird watching and learning the history of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and Heyburn State Park. Vessels, life jackets and lunch are included.
Bike & Boat Tour
This bike ride includes a short ride along the Plummer trailhead, then groups depart from Harrison by boat for a tour of St. Joe River. Transportation, bicycles, helmets, snacks, water, lunch bites and ice cream are all included.
Create & Paint with Sidney Black Eagle
An Artist that shows movements with colors by using creative and new techniques. Paintings inspired greatly by nature, people, wildlife and emotions. Explore different, new, fun techniques while understanding the mixing, creating color and how they can complement each other.
This evening of Coeur d’Alene tribal culture and history honors one of the strongest tribal traditions and is open to all. A highlight of the event is a tradition called the Round Dance, a friendship dance in which every participant meets and greets each other, completing the circle of friendship before the final sharing – complimentary fry bread and huckleberry jam.
Lifeways Workshops “Make Your Own” Pendleton Moccasins, Bead Wrapped Rope Necklace, Beaded Pouch
This workshop is an opportunity to create alongside contemporary artists as they lead this step-by-step Native American traditional arts project. This is a four-hour hands-on workshop for beginners to advance to accomplished beaders. Suitable for ages fifteen and older, participants learn how to create geometric designs using the lane (also referred to as a lazy) stitch. The beaded pouch design consists of using three colors and two parallel rows to adorn a beaded buckskin pouch necklace.