‘It has a pierced heart’: an Indigenous tribe’s fight to protect a sacred lake

By Aaron Hedge
The Guardian
July 13, 2022

Increased human activity is driving excess phosphorus into Coeur d’Alene Lake – making a tribe’s vital resource vulnerable to a looming ecological catastrophe

In Ernie Stensgar’s Plummer, Idaho, office sits an heirloom older than any human, a relic passed down from his great-great-grandparents: a set of four 150-year-old gathering baskets, handwoven from Inland north-west reeds.

Built to last, the receptacles still haven’t frayed, despite age. They’re not museum exhibits, either. Stensgar uses them to collect mountain huckleberries, prairie plants and water potatoes from nearby Coeur d’Alene Lake, sacred water to his people. Like his ancestors, he plans to pass them along when it’s time.

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