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.
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