Colorful streamers shot up into the sky, blessings were said and a grand procession marked the day that Marimn Health and the Coeur d’Alene tribe finally celebrated as a community the opening of the new Coeur Center.
“This is a game changer for our community,” Allan, leader of the Coeur d’Alene tribe, told The Press. “When I was growing up, we didn’t have anything like that. We have always dreamed of having our own fields and I know it will make a huge difference to so many of our youth growing up on our reservation.”
The 32,000 square foot Coeur Center at 43935 S. Highway 95 first opened in December 2020, but the grand opening ceremonies have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the pandemic, the Coeur Center’s primary focus has been to serve children on the Coeur d’Alene Reserve with the aim of providing a safe place and addressing immediate health, safety and food insecurity. Tribal members and Marimn Health are pleased to now celebrate the completion of the building and its facilities, which are open to the entire community.
The center’s many amenities include: an artificial grass soccer field; outdoor track; two softball fields; outdoor basketball court; pavilion and picnic area for the community; concession stand; Indoor family waterpark with a waterslide, indoor shallow-entry splash pool and children’s play area, a lazy river, two lanes, and an area for watersports classes; dedicated space for the programs of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe Boys and Girls Club, including a technology center, youth center, arts room, and activity rooms; Gymnasium for basketball, volleyball and pickleball with bleachers and scoreboard; small fitness area; common areas; and outdoor children’s playground and indoor children’s playground.
Marimn Health CEO Janice Jordan said seeing such a state-of-the-art facility in Worley is almost miraculous.
“Our children will have so many opportunities to do things that previous generations couldn’t even dream of,” she said. “Children can play football on their home pitch on an artificial turf pitch under the lights of Friday night, conduct science experiments during programs at the Coeur d’Alene Tribe Boys and Girls Club, learn about tribal culture through arts and crafts, learn to relate to the… Being comfortable in water and learning to swim and much more that will enrich your life.”
She said health is more than just the physical being.
“It’s also about where we live, learn, work and play,” Jordan said. “These so-called social determinants of health shape each of us, no matter where we live. We know that our reserved youth are 2.5 times more likely to experience trauma and grief, putting our children at increased risk of relationship problems, drug and alcohol abuse, and a litany of other lifelong problems. Our goal is to reduce these health disparities, improve health outcomes and increase the chances that our children will be successful in school, and hopefully break some of the destructive cycles our children are subjected to. In other words, this is an investment in our community that we believe will yield tremendous returns for generations to come.”
She said one of the really nice things about the Coeur Center is that it offers holistic care, support, and resources to help youth succeed.
“At the Coeur Center, through the Coeur d’Alene Tribe Boys and Girls Club, we have behavioral counselors who work with our staff and our children every day during the normal program,” she said. “This allows our youth to form a positive relationship with a counselor, which has multiple implications. It gives children another positive role model and relationship with a behavioral health practitioner, but also reduces the stigma of seeing a counselor when they need it because that trust and relationship is already there.”
Allan said the Coeur Center will provide children with opportunities to learn and grow, from physical education and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities to art and swimming.
“This is the first time we’ve had a dedicated space for our youth,” Allen said. “We know they are safe after school and in the evenings.”
He said the Coeur d’Alene tribe has a history of developing advanced solutions that serve the needs of the larger community.
“We are proud to have made this incredible investment in our children’s future,” said Allan. “The Coeur Center is more than just a recovery center — it’s another progressive solution that we hope will help provide children with the support and resources they need to overcome life’s challenges so that they can live a healthier life.”