Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council amends Enrollment Ordinance to quicken process

08.30.2013 Ron Karten Tribal Council, Enrollment

Tribal Council amended the Tribe's Enrollment Ordinance on Aug. 28 to immediately hasten the process of enrolling people into the Tribe.

Tribal Council eliminated the requirement that Member Services mail a notice to an applicant, informing them when Tribal Council will consider their application after it is decided that the applicant meets the requirements for enrollment.

Tribal Council also eliminated the 30-day waiting period after the Enrollment Committee recommends an enrollment application for approval and before Tribal Council can act on the recommendation.

"This is something that will benefit people for every quarter from here forward," Tribal Council Chair Reyn Leno said. "It's really an adjustment of that enrollment piece that will allow people to get enrolled , and they are Grand Ronde and get their benefits. …This is not just for this case."

The amendments were made necessary to comply with a Tribal Council staff directive that stated the Tribe's Enrollment staff and committee needed to expedite the processing of enrollment applications filed by Tribal members who were disenrolled on Aug. 16.

"Every effort should be made to process completed applications by the date of the Tribal Council election and the record date for the next per capita distribution," the directive says.

"I would hate to stand in the way of any Tribal member receiving their benefits," said Tribal Council member Kathleen Tom in explaining her support for the amendments. However, she said, she did not feel it was an emergency amendment, which put the new requirements into effect immediately.

The Tribe's Enrollment Committee is scheduled to meet on Sept. 3 to consider applications filed by the Sept. 1 deadline. With the amendments to the Enrollment Ordinance, Tribal Council could meet on Sept. 4 to approve the re-enrollments before Tribal Election Day on Sept. 7 and before the next per capita distribution date set for a week later.

In other action, Tribal Council:

  • Declared Sept. 13 as the next per capita distribution date.
  • Approved the enrollment of two infants and one minor into the Tribe.
  • Approved a financial assistant agreement with the Oregon Department of Health Services that will reimburse the Tribe more than $120,000 over the next biennium for providing community programs for mental health, developmental disabilities and alcohol and drug abuse services. The Tribe has had this agreement for about a decade.
  • Approved a Tribal transportation program agreement between the Tribe and the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs. "Approving this agreement will provide the Tribe the ability to better manage road program funding, road projects, road maintenance and transportation planning," said John Mercier, Tribal Public Works coordinator.
  • Approved the Tribe's Natural Resources Department applying for a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Tribal Wildlife Grant for a black-tailed deer study on the Reservation in 2014. Tribal Fish and Wildlife Program Manager Kelly Dirksen said that the grant will be for approximately $188,000.
  • Approved applying for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funding totaling $118,845 and approved applying for Administration for Children and Families funding totaling $10,000.

Also included in the Aug. 28 packet was an Authorization to Proceed allowing the Grand Ronde Tribal Housing Authority to offer a 50-percent discount on its market rate rental units for up to two Tribal police officers so they can reside in Tribal housing.

"GRTHA believes that allowing Tribal police to live in the GRTHA community would provide significant benefits to the Tribal families living in housing, while costing the Tribe relatively little," the authorization says.