Without Beginning Without end

Perhaps it happened a thousand years ago: A Coeur d'Alene, a Schitsu' Umsh, standing on a mountain slope and reflecting upon the endless stars of a summer sky. Perhaps he thought then of his descendants, unborn for a thousand years, and what they would be doing for their tribe.

Today, a tribal member may stand on that same mountain slope, even on the very spot. Without question, he will think of his ancestors, he will ask himself if he is doing for the tribe what the old ones would have expected.The common thread of this endless weave is loyalty and commitment to the tribe. One sees it at a pow wow. One sees it at a feast, when women prepare the meat provided by a designated hunter.

Everything is shared. Everything. There are no homeless here. There are no hungry.There are poor, yes, but even the poorest are willing to share. Through all the turmoiland change of the past century and through all the losses and disasters, the common thread has held strong.

The old Indian on the mountain slope knew so then.