Yesteryears -- July 15, 2018 (1)

06.28.2018 Danielle Frost History

2013 – Elders were being invited by the Land & Culture Department to record oral histories in an effort to increase the Tribal museum’s archive of their recollections. Tribal Historian David Lewis and Collections Specialist Veronica Montano invited Tribal Elder Ed Larsen in to give his history as part of the latest effort. The museum was undertaking the task of completing oral histories for the 350 Tribal Elders who were listed on the Termination Roll and still living. “We’re trying to do a couple hundred in the next year,” Lewis said. “It’s pretty ambitious.”

2008 – Record high heat and humidity did not deter Grand Ronde Tribal members on their annual pilgrimage to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, which houses Tomanowos, the 15.5-ton meteorite also known as the Willamette meteorite. Tribal Council members Valerie Sheker and Kathleen Tom led a delegation of seven Elders, family members, student interns and representatives from Cultural Resources and Education on the trip. Tribal Elder and former Tribal Council Chairwoman Kathryn Harrison also traveled to New York City.

2003 – Tribal Elder and then-Tribal Council Chairwoman Kathryn Harrison received an honorary degree from Portland State University in recognition for her commitment to public policy and Tribal government. She was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters at the 2003 graduation ceremony. Harrison played a major role in the Restoration of both the Grand Ronde and Siletz Tribes. “All I did was work,” she said. “I was blessed by my Tribe, my family and my God.”

1998 – The Grand Ronde Tribe was taking the local water association to court over what it deemed unfair fees charged for installing a water line to Grand Meadows and filed a stipulated temporary restraining order to prevent the utility from shutting off water services to the community. Tribal attorneys filed the order in response to the water association’s threat to shut off service to the residential park, which housed approximately 70 Tribal members. The shut-off notice was in response to the Tribe’s refusal to pay the alleged excess hookup fees.

1993 – Plans for a Tribal gaming facility continued as the staff of Spirit Mountain Development Corp. devoted “virtually all of its time and effort,” to the project. Tribal Council members Mark Mercier, Kathryn Harrison, Margaret Provost and Candy Robertson spent time exploring several different aspects of the project. A negotiating team reached an agreement with Oregon Gov. Barbara Roberts that allowed the Tribe to operate a gaming facility while providing the state with assurances that the Tribe’s operation would be consistent with the state’s goals.

1988 – The Grand Ronde Reservation Bill was unanimously approved by the House of Representatives. The bill authorized a 9,811-acre reservation in Yamhill County for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. The bill was sponsored by Oregon Rep. Les AuCoin and was set to move to the Senate, where Oregon Sen. Mark Hatfield was expected to work for quick passage of the legislation. “Establishing the Grand Ronde Reservation is the second step in putting the Tribe and its members back on appropriate social, economic and cultural footing,” AuCoin said.

Yesteryears is a look back at Tribal history in five-year increments through the pages of Smoke Signals.