Medical Lake was a healing site for the Spokane Tribe and other nearby tribes for thousands of years. The tribes believed that the waters, mud, and salts of the lake had curative properties. One early historian said that Native Americans "congregated in great numbers around its shores, bringing the afflicted from all directions". According to one report, the tribes called the lake Skookum Limechin Chuch, which meant "strong medicine water".
Tribe members would "place the sick on a bed above hot stones then by throwing water from the lake on the stones, caused the steam to engulf the sick, opening the pores to allow the malady to leave the body" They also made a powder from the lake's salts and took it back to those who were too weak to make the trek.
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