Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council OKs agreements with Army Corps of Engineers, Tualatin

Tribal Council approved two memorandums of understanding during its Wednesday, June 28, meeting, with the Army Corps of Engineers and the city of Tualatin.

The non-binding agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers gives the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde a voice in the continuing operation of federal dams on the Columbia River as a cooperating agency for development of a new environmental impact statement.

As a cooperating agency, the Tribe will review and provide input on details on dam operations in advance of the public.

In late 2016, the Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would start a five-year process for developing an environmental impact statement for continued operation of Columbia River dams because of a federal court order.

In January, Tribal Council member Kathleen George and Tribal staff members participated in Tribes-only scoping meetings in The Dalles and Portland.

In February, Tribal staff members met with staff from the Corps, Bonneville Power Administration and Bureau of Reclamation and also coordinated with the Army Corps on developing the agreement regarding the Tribe’s status as a cooperating agency.

“I think Grand Ronde’s voice will, in this process, be as strong as the other Tribes’,” Ceded Lands Manager Michael Karnosh said during the Tuesday, June 27, Legislative Action Committee meeting. “Whether or not the outcomes will all be what Grand Ronde advocates, I could not say, but remembering back to the Columbia River Treaty process, this MOU is definitely a positive step in the right direction. In the Columbia River Treaty process, Grand Ronde was all but left out.”

The agreement with the city of Tualatin is specific to interpretive signage, Karnosh said, and ensures that the city will maintain Tribal signage that was erected recently that tells the story of the Tribe’s history, culture, connections and sovereignty in the Tualatin area.

In other action, Tribal Council:

  • Approved a Tribal credit card for Wildlife Fire Single Resource Boss Daniel Schramm to use for payment for wildland fire crew expenses, meals, rental expenses and maintenance of Tribal vehicles and engines;

  • Approved applying for an approximately $14,500 grant from the Administration for Children and Families for a Family Violence Prevention and Services grant that would fund individual and group counseling and parenting classes. Tribal Domestic Violence Program Coordinator Anne Falla said during the Tuesday, June 27, Legislative Action Committee meeting that her program helped more than 80 clients in 2016;

  • Approved a confidentiality agreement with the Burns Paiute Tribe;

  • And held a first reading on proposed amendments to the Tribal Procurement Ordinance that would require environmentally friendly purchasing practices in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and solid waste, conserve energy, improve Tribal member health and provide a role model of good stewardship.

Also included in the June 28 Tribal Council packet were authorizations to proceed that increased the Tribal minimum wage to $10.25 an hour and recommended four names for a new dorm at the University of Oregon – Kalapuya ilihi, Kalapuya haws (“haws” is Chinuk wawa for “house”), Chanchifin Hall or haws (Chanchifin is a Kalapuya band from the Eugene area) and Kalapuya Ahman (“ahman” is Kalapuyan for house).

Cultural Resources Department staff members Brian Krehbiel and Bobby Mercier and Tribal youths Jacob Holmes and Kaikanim and Nakoa Mercier performed the cultural drumming and singing to open the meeting.

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