Yesteryears -- May 18, 2018
2013 – Tribal Government Day at the State Capitol honored the ways Oregon’s nine federally recognized Tribes teach their children educationally and culturally. Tribal Council member Cheryle A. Kennedy briefed attendees about Grand Ronde efforts in educating its youth while speaking in the State Capitol rotunda. She said one of the reasons the Tribe sought Restoration was for the education of its children. “Today, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde operates an education program that spans all ages,” she said. “We recognize that language is so important to the existence of our people, that language is a priority.”
2008 – The fourth major expansion of Spirit Mountain Casino was celebrated and opened to the public. An opening ceremony was held, guided tours of the new Events Center were conducted and guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and a no-host bar. Guests also received a no-limit food voucher to the new Cedar Plank Buffet. Entertainment to celebrate the expansion included blues great Curtis Salgado, comedian Dana Carvey and rock band Blues Traveler in the new 17,200-square-foot entertainment center.
2003 – The Hall of Legends in Spirit Mountain Casino was due to be remodeled. The plan was to change it into a walkthrough display area showcasing the history and culture of the Grand Ronde Tribe. Initial plans included remodeling the hallways to make them more open and brighter with cases of basketry and other artisan items, as well as photographs, audio recordings and large plasma screen televisions explaining the story of the Tribe. “This exhibit will tell who we are as a people,” said Spirit Mountain Management Mentee Elaine LaBonte.
1998 – The Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Cultural Resources Protection Department joined forces to preserve a 75-acre wetland area near Corvallis where a band of Kalapuya considered part of their home country. The area, which was adjacent to Mary’s River, held special meaning for many Tribal people. In days past, it was an area plentiful in camas, tarweed and other traditional plants. The land was originally going to be a housing development, but when the historical and cultural importance of the area was revealed, the plan was halted. The owner transferred the land into the Wetland Reserve Easement Program under the management of the city of Corvallis and NRCS.
1993 – The Tribe announced it was “initiating required action” to open a public gaming facility on Tribal land. Tribal officials had been in contact with Gov. Barbara Roberts to request a contract be drawn up between the Tribe and the state, as required by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988. “We are very concerned about sustaining financial support for our programs,” Tribal Chairman Mark Mercier said. “Opening a facility that taps Oregon’s growing tourism industry makes us less susceptible to the uncertain future of the timber industry and anticipated federal budget cuts.”
1988 – During the Western Regional Higher Education Conference, Tribal programs and contractors were informed that the start of the 1988-89 school year meant many changes involved in preparing a student’s financial aid budget. With the 1986 Tax Reform Act, a student’s budget would be developed as if the student was a “single head of household,” meaning no dependency allowances. If the student had children, they would not be figured into the student’s budget. Child care costs also were under scrutiny. “Be forewarned that this may result in reduced financial aid next school year by both the schools and the Tribe,” the article stated.
Yesteryears is a look back at Tribal history in five-year increments through the pages of Smoke Signals.