Yesteryears -- Nov. 15, 2018
2013 – The Grand Ronde Tribe hosted the best attended Native rehabilitation conference in Portland. The event was hosted in conjunction with four other Oregon Tribes that have vocational rehabilitation programs. “This conference is a good place for networking between Native American administrators and their state partners, as well as a place to discuss best practices, legislation and learning how to write a vocational rehabilitation plan,” said Grand Ronde Tribal member Leslie Riggs, the Tribe’s VR/477 Employment and Training supervisor.
2008 – New Department of Motor Vehicles rules allowed Tribal members to use their Tribal identification cards to retain, renew or replace a driver’s license or state-issued identification cards. This meant Tribal members could now stop in at a state DMV office and use their Tribal ID card instead of having to present a birth certificate or passport. The change was implemented after Gov. Ted Kulongoski issued an executive order earlier in the year, requiring the state DMV follow criteria established by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators regarding acceptable forms of identification to obtain a driver’s license.
2003 – Thirty-nine veterans were presented with a Warriors Medal of Valor, designed by Marine Corps veteran Marshall Tall Eagle. The medal was created to honor all veterans, including members of local police and fire departments. Tall Eagle eventually wanted to present the medal to every Tribal veteran on every Reservation in the United States.
1998 – Hundreds flocked to the grand opening of the Tribe’s Governance Center. Elders, Tribal Council members and guests gathered in the main ceremonial area of the 40,000-square-foot structure to honor what represented a monument to Tribal achievements since Restoration 15 years earlier. “I think it’s fantastic. I never dreamed we would come this far,” Tribal Council member Val Grout said. “I can remember going with my mom to the old building when they canned foods in the kitchen and there was a back room where Tribal Elders used to quilt. … If they could see this now.”
1993 – The Tribe prepared to celebrate its 10th anniversary of Restoration by looking back on accomplishments that had taken place during the previous decade. These included providing an abundance of human, financial and educational services to its membership. “People are beginning to realize this is a Tribe rooted in tradition, but its members are not afraid to consider the future of their children and Elders,” an article stated. Two years before, the Community Center was completed, which housed the dental clinic, Elders’ mealsite and General Council meetings. Other uses included Friday night bingo, conferences, family reunions and the youth Halloween party.
1988 – The Tribe received several grants in the areas of administration, health and social services. The Health Department received a grant to conduct a feasibility study on establishing a health clinic in the Grand Ronde area to include developing a funding and implementation plan. The feasibility study would determine what actions and resources were necessary for management and planning of the clinic. It also would include a market analysis based on the demographics and medical resources. “We know there is a need for a clinic,” Health Director Cheryle A. Kennedy said. “There should be a physician for every 10,000 people, but the area lacks that ratio.”
Yesteryears is a look back at Tribal history in five-year increments through the pages of Smoke Signals.