Tribal Government & News

Tribal chairwoman re-appointed to state commission

04.19.2011 Ron Karten Tribal Council, People, State government

Grand Ronde Tribal Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy was re-appointed to the Oregon Legislative Commission on Indian Services on April 19 by Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney and Speakers of the House Bruce Hanna and Arnie Roblan.

Kennedy, 63, has represented the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde on the commission since 2003.

The Legislative Commission on Indian Services was created in 1975 to improve state services to Native Americans in Oregon. Its 13 members are appointed jointly by the Senate President and Speaker of the House to serve a two-year term and commission members select their own officers to serve one-year terms. (There are two Speakers of the House this year because of the 50-50 split between Democrats and Republicans in the Oregon House of Representatives.)

The Commission on Indian Services serves as the main forum in which Native American concerns are considered by state government. It serves as a conduit through which concerns are channeled through the state network to the appropriate entity and serves as an access point for finding out about state government programs and Indian communities.

All nine of the federally recognized Tribes in Oregon are represented on the commission, as are two geographic areas - the Portland Urban Area and the Willamette Valley area. Two legislative members - a senator and representative - are also seated on the commission.

In addition to Kennedy, Jessie Davis of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, Gary Frost of the Klamath Tribes and LeAnne Teeman of the Burns Paiute Tribe were appointed this year.

Kennedy has served as chairwoman of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde for nine years, making her the second longest-serving chair of the Tribe since its Restoration in 1983.

She lives in Dallas with her husband, Vernon.