Tribal Government & News

Letters to the Editor -- March 15, 2014

03.13.2014 Michelle Alaimo Letters

Dear Smoke Signals:
The Native American population of inmates at Santiam Correctional Institution is requesting aid in the form of donations for this year's powwow on June 7.
Every year we struggle to gather enough resources for this ceremony, which is a time for us to be with our families and loved ones, to take part in one of the ceremonies of our culture, to offer food and to pray with our families in both song and dance.
Powwow in prison holds a special meaning and medicine for us as it offers us a chance to restore some of the damage caused to our families and community by our actions. It helps restore to us our sense of identification, of belonging.
These are just a few of the many reasons why this ceremony is important to us, and why we humbly ask you to help us through donations in whatever way you can.
If you have any questions, please contact:
Dr. Richard Roy
Lead Chaplain
503-378-2144, ext. 423

Dear Smoke Signals:
I do not understand why we at Grand Ronde do not claim the ancestral lands of all the Chinook villages along the Columbia River from the mouth of the great river to Cascade Locks. The area includes the cities of Portland and Vancouver, where the Multnomah Tribes lived as well as other Tribes.
Before the territory became a state, Natives lived free from any boundaries. The Columbia River, flowing from Columbia Lake in Canada, was a water road with villages on both sides of the river. The United States government made the boundaries of Canada, Oregon, Idaho and Washington states. The ancestral use by Natives has been abandoned by law. No local Tribes of Indians have rights to commercially fish in western Oregon, yet there are many rivers which drain into the ocean and bring spawning salmon to the rivers on the western side of the Cascade Range of mountains. The Tribes in eastern Oregon, Washington and Idaho are allowed to fish. We at Grand Ronde get our yearly fish handout from a fish hatchery after the spawning take.
The Snake River, flowing from the heights of the Grand Tetons of the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming westward, joins the Columbia River to flow into the ocean. All of this topography has dictated what lands the various Tribes have ceded for what they now have use of and what their rights are on the land. The United States owns all the land within its borders. Ceded land means to yield or surrender. It does not mean the land was given away. It does mean the government made promises to the Tribes by treaties for taking the land and has not kept those promises. This is what has led to the trail of broken promises of treaties complaints by Tribes in the United States.
It has not been that long ago that we had the freedom to fish and hunt as our subsistence. Now we must wait for our per capita to buy the necessary subsistence and pay taxes for it.
Claudette Parazoo
Roll #2923

Dear Smoke Signals:
Enclosed please find a donation to Smoke Signals in memory of our mother, Ruth Barclay.
Receiving Smoke Signals was something our mother always looked forward to. She grew up in Grand Ronde and has several Native American friends she kept track of throughout life because of articles she read in Smoke Signals.
Ruth E. (Mathis) Barclay was born Aug. 2, 1919, and passed away on Nov. 10, 2009. She donated her body to Oregon Health & Science University's Body Donation Program for the advancement of medical education and research for three years, and a special memorial service was held for her at Spirit Mountain Casino Convention Center on Aug. 17, 2013.
The enclosed donation may be used in whatever manner you believe may be appropriate.
Thank you for the enjoyment your publication brought to our mother, especially in her later years, and best wishes for the continued success of Smoke Signals.
Jane Rausch
Portland, Ore.
(Editor's note: The staff of Smoke Signals donated the $1,000 check that arrived with his letter to the Chachalu capital campaign.)

Dear Smoke Signals:
I would like to thank everyone who came to the Elders' Activity Center on Feb. 20 to help me celebrate my 102nd birthday here in Grand Ronde.
I was thrilled to see everyone and want to thank Tribal Council especially for the beautiful Tribal blanket. Also all those who presented me with potted plants and beautiful flower arrangements. I have them all at home on my table so I can admire them all.
It is wonderful to live this long and see all the changes, but to have great friends to help celebrate it with is great. Once again, thank you all.
Pearl Lyon
Roll #3663