SPOKANE -- A Coeur d'Alene elder who worked to preserve the tribe's customs and cultural heritage has died.

Clifford J. SiJohn was 67 when he died Monday evening in Coeur d'Alene.

The Spokesman-Review reports a funeral mass will be Friday morning in Worley. SiJohn will be buried afterward at the DeSmet Mission Cemetery.

SiJohn was the tribe's cultural awareness director.

Tribe chairman Chief Allan says the tribe is thankful for SiJohn's efforts to preserve and share their culture with the world.

Culture director Quanah Matheson called SiJohn was one of our last storytellers.

SiJohn was born May 24, 1945, in Spokane. He was a Vietnam War veteran, a former police detective and worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs before returning to work for the Coeur d'Alene tribe in 1985.

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