The Kalispel Tribe owns and operates more than a dozen businesses and enterprises in and around the Pend Oreille area.

We believe in building a strong community and our economic development opportunites emphasize our commitment to the land and people.

speƛ̓m spq̓niʔs, known as “Bitterroot Month”.  Bitterroot was dug before it bloomed. This was an important first foods of the people.

History and information on what happened during Bitterroot Month: 

No one was allowed to dig the Bitterroot until the care keeper said it was ready to harvest it.  The care keeper would be one who was appointed by the Chief to keep an eye on the Bitterroot’s growth.  When the Bitterroot was ready to peel easily, then the care keeper would report to the Chief and says, “It is time to gather the Bitterroot”.  The Chief would send out his runners to let the People know that the following day was to be the “Bitterroot Feast”.  The Chief didn’t say, “This coming weekend or next week will be the Bitterroot Feast”.  No, it was immediately.  The people would already be prepared for this day, they would prepare some food that may be leftover from their last years food supply to share in the feast.  Once the feast was completed then the gathering of bitterroots was open to the people for themselves.  The feast was an important day for the people.  They knew that the following days was going to be work.  Work that needed to be done for their yearly supply of gathering food.

Everyone respected the “Care Keepers” responsibilities.  No one complained, because everyone knew the consequences if one should dig bitterroots for themselves before the Bitterroot Feast.  It was considered stealing from the garden.  For you see, the bitterroot has a heart that grows deep down in its roots and if mistreated it causes the frost to come and freeze up the roots and if this happens, no one can get bitterroots for the year.

From the time that the coyote stories were put away at the first thunder, the young people were reminded that now work begins and they must be at these special places to gather these foods.  Our elders considered these plants as visitors and the plants will only be available for approximately ten days then dry up.

If coyote stories were told during this time, this would confuse the seasons.  The weather may hear someone telling a coyote story and think it was winter and so it gets colder.  The birds that are building their nests would get confused and leave their nest building and want to listen to the coyote story.

The people were always on the move to the next gathering location.