Coeur d'Alene kûrdəlān´ [key], indigenous people of North America whose language belongs to the Salishan branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages ). They occupied N Idaho and E Washington and were also called the Skitswish. Long known as a peaceful group, the Coeur d'Alene were placed on reservations after an encounter with U.S. forces, sometimes called the Coeur d'Alene War, in 1858. Many are now on the Coeur d'Alene reservation in Idaho, and some live on the Colvile reservation in Washington. In 1990 there were 1,048 Coeur d'Alene in the United States.
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