Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council sends ordinance amendments out for comment

07.22.2016 Brent Merrill Tribal Council

Tribal members have until Tuesday, Aug. 30, to comment on two ordinance amendment proposals that would permit the mailing of audited financial statements to the general membership.

During the Wednesday, July 20, Tribal Council meeting, first readings were held on proposed amendments to the Public Records and Fiscal Management ordinances, which both need to be changed to allow for the dissemination of the financial statements.

The proposed amendments were on Tribal Council’s consent agenda and were sent out for first readings without comment.

Notices appear in this issue of Smoke Signals detailing how Tribal members can submit comments to the Tribal Attorney’s Office.

In other action, Tribal Council hosted visitors from New Zealand and Alaska.

Tribal Council member Jon A. George gave the invocation and much of the Tribe’s Canoe Family performed a hand drum song.

The visitors were introduced by Cultural Outreach Coordinator Bobby Mercier, who explained that Ihaia Puketapu and his wife, Marissa, along with Waikarere Gregory are Maori artists who traveled to the United States to join the Grand Ronde Canoe Family on the Paddle to Nisqually.

“Thank you for having us here and hosting us at your beautiful casino,” said Ihaia Puketapu. “We’re overwhelmed with the hospitality we have received.”

The Puketapus and Gregory sang a Maori greeting song.

“It wouldn’t be right for us not to sing our own song,” said Ihaia. “It’s about recognizing that the only thing is love and it is a treasure handed down from our ancestors.”

Mercier also introduced Alaskan Native Efram Field, who is a student at Chemawa Indian School. He has participated in several activities with Tribal youth during the school year.

Mercier said that Field secured permission from his family to fly back to Oregon from Alaska so that he could join the Canoe Family on its journey scheduled from July 23 through Aug. 6.

“We started this relationship back in 2009 with the Maori people and it has become a great cultural exchange,” said Mercier. “Every year they send a delegation to come and be with us to come and paddle on Canoe Journey. We host them while they are here.”

Tribal Council also approved a memorandum of agreement allocating fiscal year 2017 Indian Housing Block Grant funding using Tribal enrollment data between the 11 O’Link Tribes in the Pacific Northwest.

Also included in the July 20 Tribal Council packet were authorizations to proceed to purchase 35 “Native American Voices” history books for $19,876.52 under a memorandum of understanding with the Willamina School District and to transfer $4,100 from contingency to cover overages for Elder Honor Day caused by a larger than expected turnout.

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