Tribal Government & News

Message from the Chairman(2)

07.01.2014 Ron Karten Tribal Council

Dear fellow Tribal members:
The first six months of the year have been very productive and have been filled with a lot of accomplishments. Our staff has worked diligently to keep us at or under budget and have met the challenges of their jobs every step of the way.
As we work through 2014, Tribal Council continues to work toward meeting the needs of our membership and has been working to promote greater Tribal sovereignty. These updates provide me with an opportunity to update you on some of the things Tribal Council has been working on and I hope you find this piece informative.
NAFOA "Deal of the Year" Award
In April, the Tribe received the "Deal of the Year" Award from the Native American Finance Officers Association for our investment in MicroGREEN Polymers, Inc. The award was presented to the Tribe at NAFOA's 32nd annual conference held in New Orleans, La. As most of you know, MicroGREEN Polymers manufactures InCycle cups which are aimed at reducing the amount of plastic in our local landfills. MicroGREEN continues to pick up speed and we're looking forward to seeing the company grow. We should see a good return on our investment. Because the cups are lightweight, insulated and virtually indestructible, they've been purchased by a number of major airlines including Alaska and United.
As we work to diversify our Tribal portfolio, I believe there will be more awards on the horizon for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Tribal Council is committed to making smart and sound investments that will benefit generations to come.
Chachalu Phase I grand opening
On June 5, we celebrated the opening of Phase I of our Tribal museum and cultural center, Chachalu. With the opening of Phase I, the Tribe now has a place to house and preserve its artifacts under one roof. This has allowed us to document, categorize and carefully preserve our collections. This has been a significant step forward for the Tribe and our Tribal people. The museum is a place where we can honor our past and look to the future. It is a place where we can tell our story and pay respect to those who have walked before us. As a child, I learned to play baseball on the fields that surround the building and as I grew older I watched our Tribal members receive their education in that very building.
Phase I of Chachalu has been a huge undertaking and the opening marked a momentous occasion for the Tribe. We look forward to our future successes and celebrate the accomplishments of our team. 
Upcoming events
Canoe Journey
On June 22, our Tribal Canoe Family departed early for the 2014 Canoe Journey to Bella Bella, British Columbia. Their month-long journey will take them through the Columbia River Gorge and ultimately all the way past Vancouver Island to Bella Bella. Upon their return, Tribal Council will host a Welcome Home dinner for our Canoe Family.
Veterans Summit: Gathering of Warriors & the Marcellus Norwest Memorial Veterans Powwow
This year, the Tribe will once again host the Native Wellness Institute's "Veterans Summit: Gathering of Warriors." This will be the second annual Summit that was first hosted by the Tribe in 2013. The Summit will take place July 10-11 and kicks off our annual Veterans Powwow, July 11-13. The Summit provides veterans with a variety of resources, presentations and services, including, but not limited to, talking circles, a self-care village, sweats and listening sessions.
Spirit Mountain Stampede
The Spirit Mountain Stampede also kicks off this July and will be taking place July 19-20 at the Rodeo Grounds. Tickets will be on sale soon and are $10 for adults and $5 for children (children under 4 are free).
The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Annual Contest Powwow
The annual Contest Powwow will take place at Uyxat Powwow Grounds on Aug. 15-17. The powwow will once again have a number of categories and specials for our dancers and will have an array of Tribal vendors as well.
Language application
This year, Land and Culture staff worked hand in hand with application developers and Tribal members to create an app that is both user-friendly and educational. The app teaches users Chinuk Wawa through a variety of lessons, quizzes and games, and is available for viewing at Chachalu. The Chinuk Wawa app also features images from throughout our community and provides users with an opportunity to learn from and see several of our Chinuk Wawa speakers. The app will launch later this summer and will be available for iOS devices. Staff will continue to work on the app to make it available for Android devices in 2015.
2015 budget priorities
On May 27, Tribal Council held its first 2015 budget priorities discussion and provided comments to staff. Over the next several months, Tribal Council will continue this process and begin to pare its list as we work with the General Manager's Office and Finance. Throughout the budgeting process Tribal Council works closely with Tribal staff to identify priorities for the upcoming year. If there is something you wish to see budgeted for in 2015, please submit your priority in writing to Tribal Council for consideration.
Through good communication, accountability and transparency, I believe we can meet and exceed the expectations of our membership while providing our members with essential services and quality care. 
Tribal Council will continue to work diligently on issues important to our membership and, as your elected leader, I will continue to update you as there are developments.
Reynold L. Leno
Tribal Council Chairman