KNRD’s fundamental challenge is to provide tribal members with an opportunity to engage in the same cultural practices as their ancestors.
This is a formidable task for a host of reasons, not the least of which is the Kalispel Tribe’s diminished land base. Whereas the Tribe’s aboriginal territory consisted of several million acres of lands in the Inland Northwest, the Kalispel Indian Reservation consists of fewer than 5,000 acres. Because tribal members cannot adequately maintain their cultural lifeways on the Reservation alone, and because healthy off-Reservation ecosystems support more abundant on-Reservation harvest opportunities, KNRD’s work extends beyond Reservation boundaries. KNRD generally defines its zone of interest as the lands within the Indian Claims Commission-adjudicated boundaries of the Tribe’s aboriginal territory.