Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council creates Cultural Resource Reserve Fund

02.28.2017 Dean Rhodes Tribal Council, Culture

By Bethany Bea

Smoke Signals Intern

The Grand Ronde Tribe now has a Cultural Resource Reserve Fund to ensure the Tribe’s ability to preserve, manage and protect cultural resources into the future.

Tribal Council unanimously approved creation of the fund on Wednesday, Feb. 22. The initial contribution to the fund is $3.28 million from the Tribal Government Operations Trust Fund, which required a unanimous vote from council to pass.

During the Tuesday, Feb. 21, Legislative Action Committee meeting, Tribal Council Chairman Reyn Leno said the money for the fund has been set aside for about a year in anticipation of the fund’s approval.

Finance Officer Chris Leno clarified that the original amount set aside was $3 million and the additional $284,150 represents the interest that has accrued in less than a year.

“We hope that this will grow fast along with the rest of our endowments,” Chris Leno said.

Tribal Council will assess the Tribal budget every June 30 to determine if any supplement from the fund is needed to support cultural resources protection and management programs. In addition, the Finance Officer will review the fund’s policy at least once a year and suggest changes that align with the intent of the fund.

In other action, Tribal Council:

  • Adopted a resolution opposing Gov. Kate Brown’s 2017-19 proposed budget plan, which would reduce Oregon’s general fund allocation to veterans by $10 million. Ballot Measure 96, which more than 80 percent of Oregon voters favored during the November general election, allocated a percentage of Oregon Lottery proceeds to fund programs for veterans. The Tribe is opposing the proposed budget because it undermines the purpose of Measure 96 in giving Oregon veterans more funding;

  • Approved an amendment to the Trust for the Benefit of Minors Pursuant to 1999 Gaming Revenue Allocation Plan. The plan establishes a trust to safeguard distributions and assets for Tribal minors who qualify for Social Security benefits. Staff Attorney Deneen Aubertin Keller said that the amendment will fix a language discrepancy in the plan to help some disabled minors become eligible for Social Security benefits. She said the amendment will not affect those already receiving benefits under the plan;

  • Approved an investment of $10 million with Baird Capital Global Fund I-DE LP, a Delaware-based partnership established to make venture capital investments. The investment opportunity was originally structured with an offshore account in the Cayman Islands, but Tribal Council had concerns about Tribal sovereignty issues regarding an account overseas;

  • Approved a per capita payment date of March 10. As of the Tribal Council meeting, the distribution amount was not known;

  • Approved applications for three grants: One to the Department of Justice for $300,000, which would go toward Tribal officers’ salaries as well as a new police vehicle and body camera software; the second to the Department of Justice for $622,083 that would go toward the Indian Alcohol Substance Abuse Program, which would continue to support the women’s transition house while adding support for the men’s transition house; and the third to the Department of Health and Human Services for $540,684 that would go toward a five-year plan to improve health and wellness in children from birth to age 8. Included in the grant application are funds to hire a pediatrician;

  • And approved the enrollment of six infants because the children meet the enrollment requirements outlined in the Tribal Constitution and Enrollment Ordinance.

Also included in the Feb. 22 Tribal Council packet was an authorization to proceed that authorized General Manager David Fullerton to move forward with research and development of cannabis industry opportunities. As part of the authorization, Fullerton will form a project team that will report back to Tribal Council 45 days from approval.

Lands Department Manager Jan Looking Wolf Reibach performed the cultural drumming and singing to open the meeting.

To view the meeting in its entirety, visit and click the News tab and then Video.