Tribe celebrating 29 years of Restoration on Nov. 18

11.14.2012 Dean Rhodes Culture, History, Events

On Nov. 22, Restoration of the Grand Ronde Tribe to federal recognition will be officially 29 years old.

In honor of the 1983 legislation signed by President Ronald Reagan, the Tribe is hosting its annual celebration on Sunday, Nov. 18, at the Tribal plankhouse and gymnasium. The celebration was moved up four days this year because Thanksgiving Day also falls on Nov. 22.

The day will start with an opening ceremony by the Grand Ronde Canoe Family at Afcha-Hammi, the Tribal plankhouse, at 10 a.m.

At noon, the celebration will move to the Tribal gym, where Tribal Council member Jon A. George will serve as master of ceremony, starting with the noon meal including traditional fish and game, roots and berries.

A shuttle will be available to transport people from the Tribal gym to the plankhouse and back.

Grand Ronde and Veterans Royalty will perform "The Lord's Prayer," Jolanda Catabay will sing the national anthem, Tribal Council member Steve Bobb Sr. will offer the invocation and Tribal Council members and other special guests will be introduced.

The Grand Ronde Canoe Family and Native American Music Award-winning musician Jan Michael Looking Wolf Reibach will perform.

Raffle prizes will be given away all afternoon, with a powwow scheduled to start at 4 p.m., also in the gym. The Grand Ronde Color Guard will post the colors.

Nick Sixkiller is the powwow master of ceremony and Deitrich Peters will be serving as Arena Director. Host drums include Johanaaiee, Geary Villa, West Coast Boyz, The Woodsmen and All Nations.

A light box supper also will be provided before the celebration ends.

A host of volunteers will make all this happen: Elders Bob and Julie Duncan, Sam Dala, Darlene Jones, Gladys Hobbs, Violet Folden, Darlene Aaron, Dee Anna Chamberlain, Claudia Leno, Kathryn Harrison, Linda LaChance, Louise Coulson, Georgene Gray and Val Grout all are pitching in. Lisa Archuleta and Jon A. George also are helping.

Special thanks go to Tribal Council, Spirit Mountain Casino, Nick Sixkiller, Deitrich Peters, Kendra Kurst, Kristen Ravia, Michelle Alaimo, George Valdez, Chelsea Clark, Kristy DeLoe and the Wellness staff, Jolanda Catabay, the Grand Ronde Tribal Honor Guard, Natural Resources Committee, Facilities and Maintenance crews and the Culture Committee, whose help has been indispensible, said Public Affairs Director Siobhan Taylor, who is helping organize the event.

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, which was terminated in 1954 as a federally recognized Tribe by the Western Oregon Indian Termination Act, was restored to federal recognition on Nov. 22, 1983, when Reagan signed the Grand Ronde Restoration Act.

Reagan's signature occurred after almost a decade of Grand Ronde Tribal members working diligently to restore the Tribe. Tribal Elders Margaret Provost and Marvin Kimsey and the late Merle Holmes are credited with getting the ball rolling, but contributions from many Tribal members aided in the eventual restoration of the Tribe.

Nov. 22 has been called by current Tribal Council member Steve Bobb Sr. "the most important day in Grand Ronde Tribal history."