Yesteryears -- June 1, 2017
2012 – The Oregon Board of Education voted 5-1 to ban Native American-themed mascots by 2017 or offending school districts will risk losing their state funding. However, Grand Ronde Tribal Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy argued that mascots are supposed to be inspirational and, therefore, it is a compliment that schools would pick a Native American mascot to represent it.
2007 – The Tribe broke ground on the new Elders Activity Center. Tribal Elder Dakota Whitecloud blessed the ground and Tribal Elder Robert Watson spoke about the necessity of an Elders Activity Center in Grand Ronde.
2002 – Tribal member Peter Wakeland took over as manager of the Natural Resources Department. “It presents a professional challenge and opportunity that I haven’t had yet,” he said.
1997 – Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber issued a proclamation declaring American Indian Week in Oregon at a special signing ceremony at the State Capitol in Salem on May 22. The ceremony was followed by a day of Native American activities, food and traditional dancing.
1992 – The candidate lineup for the Sept. 12 election was set with 12 Tribal members seeking three seats: Joseph Brisbois, Wilmadene Butler, Valarene Grout, Kathryn Harrison, Andrew Jenness, Earl F. LaBonte, Eugene R. LaBonte, Edward Larsen Jr., Reynold Leno, Patricia Martin, Robert Mercier and Michael Reibach.
1987 – The state System for Higher Education voted to waive tuition fees for 146 minority students who attend one of the eight state colleges or universities. The plan waives tuition and other fees for Native Americans, African Americans and those of Hispanic heritage. The awards averaged about $1,500 annually.
Yesteryears is a look back at Tribal history in five-year increments through the pages of Smoke Signals.