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Explanation: Alène is hte name of an Indian tribe. Coeur = heart
Here is what the Encyclopedia Britannica has:
Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation borders the southern half of the lake. Coeur d'Alene city lies at the north end of the lake and
marks the western end of an area important for its forests and mineral deposits. The origin of the name, given by the French to an Indian tribe of that area, is uncertain
Yolanda Broad United States Local time: 10:24 Native speaker of: English PRO pts in pair: 1551
Explanation: This is the litteral translation of "coeur d'alène". It doesn't seem to make any sense, but I am sure there is a historical reason for this name.
I couldn't find anything much except for this, which might be a start for you.
"Coeur d'Alene - Origin of Name.
Among the items of correspondence in this folder are six letters from J. Neilson Barry, and a newspaper article by Francis Cope, "Coeur d'Alene: What does City's Name Mean Anyway?"
Maybe your local library has a copy of this newspaper article? That would make a nice research project for you.
Explanation: I think that the name of the tribe came after the French settlers came to Idaho... Therefore, the natives are not the ones who gave their name to the area. I did a little more research and here's what I found. I think it will answer your question. At least partly...
The earliest inhabitants of the Coeur d'Alene area were the Salish-speaking Schee-Chu-Umsh Indians,
and they lived amid North Idaho's lakes and mountains for thousands of years before any white settlers arrived. When the whites came, they christened the natives the Coeur d'Alenes, meaning "heart of awl." The exact reason why is unknown, although it may have been a tribute to the tribe's savvy trading
You may wish to look at this site. This is only part of it and there is more about the history of this area. Very interesting!
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