Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council approves ocean-related resolutions

Tribal Council approved applying for five grants as part of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Tribal Resilience Grant program on Wednesday, June 15, that will help reconnect the Tribe with the Oregon coast.

The first grant for ocean and coastal management would bring the Tribe $222,477 to hire a marine resources specialist for two years, said Tribal Environmental Resources Specialist Meagan Flier during the June 7 Legislative Action Committee meeting.

“They would do some shellfish work, some toxicity work along with prioritizing the Tribe’s marine resource efforts,” Flier said.

The second grant for $10,565 would fund a Tribal Estuary Coalition workshop that would bring the four federally recognized coastal Oregon Tribes together to collaboratively evaluate Tribal marine resources and develop management recommendations.

The third grant for $193,196 would fund the completion of a forest risk assessment and supplemental monitoring that will more fully define the effects of climate change and other stress factors on Tribal forestry resources.

The other two grants of about $5,000 each would provide travel support for the other grants.

In addition, Tribal Council adopted a resolution to sign the West Coast Regional Planning Body charter and the West Coast Ocean Partnership strategic framework, making the Grand Ronde Tribe an active member of each marine planning body.

“These are similar marine planning bodies, but they are also very different,” Flier said about her involvement in both. “The idea is that they will work in parallel. … What we are looking to do is officially sign on as members of both of these parties. The simple act of just showing up at the table to show people that the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde are there and present, and that we care about marine resources and the future of the ocean.”

Tribal Council Chairman Reyn Leno said during the Legislative Action Committee meeting that it is important to re-assert the Tribe’s connection to the Coast.

“I think it is important when we start these deals that we need to show the history and the connection,” he said. “A lot of our people gathered mussels at Lincoln City. The Trask (Hunting) Unit, of course, borders up against the ocean. Tillamook County has a coastline. We actually own property just north of Tillamook now. We need to make all of those connections, which will make us a lot stronger at the table.

“For our membership, too. A lot might be wondering, ‘We’re in the Valley, why are we doing these grants for the ocean?’ A lot of people don’t realize that Tillamook County was given to us at Restoration, so we have a huge area there that we have interest in.”

In other action, Tribal Council:

  • Appointed Joanna Brisbois to the Culture Committee with a term expiring in March 2018;

  • Re-appointed Steven Holmes to the Powwow Special Event Board with a term expiring in March 2018;

  • Appointed Khani Schultz to the Timber Committee with a term expiring in March 2018;

  • And adopted a resolution urging the Oregon Transportation Commission to move forward with Phase II and the completion of the Newberg-Dundee Bypass project, including acquisition of rights-of-way and using Phase I savings for those acquisitions.

Tribal Council member Jon A. George joined Culture Department Manager Kathy Cole, Public Affairs Administrative Assistant Chelsea Clark, Teen Pregnancy Prevention Specialist Cristina Lara, Youth Prevention Supervisor Lisa Leno and Culture Department Office Assistant Nick Atanacio in performing the cultural drumming and singing to start the meeting.

The meeting, in its entirety, can be viewed on the Tribal website,, by clicking on the News tab and then Video.