"Coeur d'Alene" in their native language, Schitus'umsh, means "those who were found here" or "the discovered people." Even though the tribes people are now evolved, they will always respect their heritage and have love for their ancestors.


Coeur d'Alene Indians established life along the Coeur d'Alene, St. Joe, Clark Fork and Spokane Rivers. They lived on the shores of Lake Coeur d'Alene, Lake Pend Orelle and Hayden Lake. They had 5,000,000 acres of what is now north Idaho, eastern Washington and western Montana. .


Almost all Coeur d'Alene people speak English today, but some, especially elders, also speak their native language. Coeur d'Alene is a complicated language with many sounds that don't exist in English.


Men wore breech cloths with leggings and short buckskin shirts with patterns of holes punched into them. Women wore buckskin dresses, often decorated with beads and quill work. Both men and women wore leather moccasins on their feet, and in colder weather, they also wore fur robes.
Originally, the men of the tribe didn't wear headdresses, while women sometimes wore fez-shaped basket caps. As they became more influenced by styles of the Plains and the Eastern Plateau, some Coeur d'Alene men began to wear feather headdresses.The women sometimes painted their faces with brightly colored designs, and also wore tribal tattoos on their arms and hands. Men didn't usually paint or tattoo themselves. Most, men and women, wore their hair either long and loose or in two long braids, cutting their hair only when they were in mourning. Some men wrapped their braids in fur in the Plains Indian fashion. Today, some Coeur d'Alene people still have moccasins or a basket hat, but they wear modern clothes like jeans instead of breech cloths... and they only wear fancy traditional regalia on special occasions like a wedding or a dance.

Short buckskin shirt with patterns that men wore.

Diet and or food sources:

The Coeur d' Alene Indians were fishing people. The main food that they ate was salmon. Men also hunted for deer, elk, buffalo, and small game. While the men were out hunting, the women went and gathered nuts, roots, and berries to add to their diet.


They lived in villages of earth houses sometimes known as "pit houses." These lodges are built partially underground, with a basement-like living space dug from the ground and a dome-shaped wooden frame built over it and packed with earth. The homes were small (about 15 feet across)
tepee.jpg and only a single family lived in each one. Later, as some Coeur d'Alene bands began to follow the buffalo herds, they began using portable hide tepees like the Plains Indians.Today, Native Americans only put up a tepee for fun or to connect with their heritage. today, they have adapted to new modern ways of living.


For fishing and traveling on the rivers they made lightweight birch bark canoes. And traveled by foot on land. (There were no horses in North America until colonists brought them over from Europe.) They sometimes used snowshoes to help them travel in the winter.
birchbank canoes.jpg
Birchbank Canoes used for transportation

Economic activities:

The tribe adopted an economic strategy called the CEDS. They did this
on July 15, 2009. The CEDS is a plan to achieve economic stability.

Religious beliefs:

The tribe believed they could obtain spirits through vision quest. Instead of praying to a God, they prayed to forces of nature for luck. With the help of a special guardian, shamans could cure you.

Special ceremonies:

Its its tradition for the Coeur d'Alene Indians to story tell. They they told legends and fairy tales mostly about the trickster coyote. Practiced Polygyny and took part in Potlatch's.

Unique customs:

Its custom for the Indians to story tell. They told legends and fairy tales mostly about the trickster coyote. For more information about Coeur d'Alene culture and history you can go tho this link:

Tools and implements:

Coeur d'Alene tools and implements are bone fishhooks, nets, and wooden fish traps. There's also bows and arrows and trained hunting dogs. Men Fought with spears.

Recreation and games:

They do the same things any children do--play with each other, go to school and help around the house. The children like to hunt and fish with their fathers. In the past, Indian kids had more chores and less time to play, just like early colonial children. But they did have buckskin dolls, toys and games to play. Like many Native Americans, the mothers traditionally used cradlebords to carry their babies on their backs.


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Men used bone fishhooks, nets, and wooden fish traps to hunt. Hunters used bows and arrows and trained hunting dogs. In war, the men fired their bows or fought with spears.

Social organization:

Engaged in giveaways such as the coastal potlatch

Attitude toward child rearing:

Governmental structure:

The tribes governmental structure is based on the executive, legislative, and judicial branches just like most tribes. Its a parliamentary system with seven leading members. A tribe vote is how they elected the members and then the council votes on the chairman. The Coeur d'Alene tribe is also sovereign. Council members meet with governmental officials, to include the president, to resolve problems.

Trade and commerce:

These tribes traded among themselves an with dozens of tribes far away on the Pacific coast. Ancient trade routes connected the Coeur d'Alene's with the Nez Perce, the Shoshones and the Bannocks to the south and southeast. To the east were the tribes of the Great Plains and the vast herds of buffalo. With the coming of horses, young Coeur d'Alene men journeyed east to hunt buffalo. These journeys were not necessary for survival. They were viewed as adventures, or rites of passage, for youth who would emerge into manhood and into leadership roles.


Arts and crafts-

Coeur d'Alene artists are known for their coil baskets and wood carvings. .
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