Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council renews Table Rocks agreement

By Bethany Bea

Smoke Signals Intern

After several months of review, the Tribe is continuing its partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and the Nature Conservancy regarding the Table Rocks Management Area in southern Oregon near Medford.

Tribal Council approved renewal of the Table Rocks memorandum of understanding at the Wednesday, March 8, Tribal Council meeting.

The original memorandum was signed in 2011 and included a five-year expiration date and review period. The renewed document does away with the expiration date and calls for an annual review. It also eliminates language that referred to establishing a Table Rocks Area of Critical Environmental Concern as that goal has already been met.

At the Tuesday, Feb. 28. Legislative Action Committee meeting, Tribal Council Secretary Jon. A. George and Tribal Attorney Rob Greene asked about the Table Rocks Interpretation Plan, which will establish culturally informative signs throughout the Table Rocks area.

Ceded Lands Program Manager Michael Karnosh said that he didn’t have a deadline for the project yet but he believed it was in development.

In other action, Tribal Council:

  • Appointed Tribal member Steve Bobb Sr. as the third peacemaker for the Tribal Court’s Peacemaker Program. His application included letters of recommendation from Tribal Council member Jack Giffen Jr., General Manager David Fullerton, Higher Education Manager Bryan Langley and Greene;

  • Approved expansion of the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program, which was established in 2011 to help qualifying Tribal families in Yamhill County pay housing costs. Twenty families are currently benefitting from the program, and the expansion will incorporate Polk County with aid already budgeted to assist five Tribal families;

  • Approved the purchase of a portion of the Johnson Allotment property, 3.23 acres located on the east side of Grand Ronde Road south of the fire station. The resolution states the purchase is in keeping with Tribal Council’s goal to acquire property in and around Grand Ronde;

  • And approved the Tribe’s continuing participation in Sunshine Week. According to, the week is an “annual nationwide celebration of access to public information and what it means for you and your community.” The Tribe first participated last year and Tribal Council member Chris Mercier said at the Tuesday, March 7, Legislative Action Committee meeting that he believes Grand Ronde is still the only Tribe to do so. “It’s a pledge that the Tribe is taking to indicate that they will continue to work on improving transparency to Tribal members,” Mercier said.

Also included in the March 8 Tribal Council packet were authorizations to proceed that:

  • Directed the Tribal Court to advertise for the position of Tribal Court chief judge;

  • Authorized the research and development of a Green Policy for the Tribe, starting with procurement and purchasing policies;

  • Approved design plans for the Early Childhood Education and Youth Education Building expansion project;

  • Authorized the demolition of a manufactured home on the Hall property. Facilities staff will dispose of what can’t be salvaged from the structure;

  • And approved one proposed amendment to the Enrollment Ordinance and denied two. Tribal Council voted to propose changing the Enrollment Ordinance to allow Tribal members and applicants to view their entire enrollment file and the enrollment files of their deceased lineal ancestors, except adoption records. However, Tribal Council voted against moving forward with removal of the provisional disenrollment status for those appealing a disenrollment decision and tied 4-4 on the removal of reference to “certified records” regarding enrollment applications.



Lands Department Manager Jan Looking Wolf Reibach, Cultural Education Specialist Brian Krehbiel and Cultural Adviser Bobby Mercier 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.