Native Names Project

In September of 2005 the United States Geological Survey (USGS) funded the Coeur d'Alene Tribe’s Cooperative Agreements Program (CAP) grant to supply Native American place names to the National Map. Over that year the Coeur d'Alene Tribe began working with USGS to get Native American place names both into the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) and to provide pertinent information about these place names on to the National Map.One of the most important things about this project is preserving the individual stories and pronunciations of the places. On many reservations across the United States it is the unfortunate truth that only a handful of the people know the native geographic names.The goal of this project is to collect these place names before they disappear forever.  

At this time the content is displayed on the National Map, users can click on locations and bring up a web page that displays some of the items of interest about the site. In all cases this includes an audio file of how to say the name, along with other information about the site. In addition, some sites have photographs and video clips of the site. Many of the sites that have been identified by elders at the Coeur d’Alene Tribe will also include a history and a video narrative about the site.  

The Coeur d'Alene Tribe is currently working with several other Native American groups across the United States to develop content for this project. We are very hopeful that this will be the first step in getting Native names recognized and preserved across the United States.  

If you wish to start creating you own copy of the Native Names project, an empty template and description for the database can be downloaded by clicking here. You can then send us your database and we will append it to the existing Native Names database. Once we do that your information will be available from this site. If you are interested in the Native Names project please feel free to contact the

Coeur d'Alene Tribe HQ | p. 208.686.1800 | 850 A. Street Plummer ID 83851