Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council OKs memorandum of understanding with city of Salem

01.09.2019 Dean Rhodes, Smoke Signals editor Tribal Council

Chalk up the state’s capital city as the latest governmental entity to agree to a government-to-government memorandum of understanding with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

At its Wednesday, Jan. 9, meeting, Tribal Council OK’d the memorandum with the city of Salem.

Salem joins myriad other governmental entities that have recently signed MOUs with the Tribe, including the city of Portland, University of Oregon, Oregon Department of Transportation, Willamette, Mount Hood and Siuslaw national forests, and Willamina and Sheridan school districts, among many others.

The agreement is designed to “strengthen the government-to-government relationship and facilitate communication and cooperation on matters of mutual interest.”

Salem is part of the area ceded during the 1855 Willamette Valley Treaty by several bands of the Kalapuya and other Willamette Valley Tribes.

The city also has proclaimed Jan. 22 as Willamette Valley Treaty Commemoration Day.

In other action, Tribal Council:

  • Accepted a $249,850 Meyer Memorial Trust grant for the Portland Harbor cleanup effort. The funds will be used by the Tribe to compile information on the loss of natural resources that are culturally relevant as a result of the harbor’s environmental contamination;

  • Approved two grant applications to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The first application is not to exceed $250,000 to continue achieving habitat restoration goals at Rattlesnake Butte northwest of Junction City in Lane County and the second application is not to exceed $120,000 and would support fishery monitoring for winter steelhead and Coho salmon on Tribal lands. During the Tuesday, Jan. 8, Legislative Action Committee meeting, Fish & Wildlife Program Manager Kelly Dirksen reported that 11 percent – 299 -- of Coho salmon that returned to the Willamette Basin in 2018 were counted on Reservation waterways, such as Agency Creek.

  • Approved the enrollment of three infants and 11 non-infants into the Tribe because they meet the requirements outlined in the Enrollment Ordinance and Tribal Constitution.

The meeting opened with former Yamhill County Commissioner Stan Primozich thanking the Tribe for its work within the community during his term as an elected official. Tribal Council member Denise Harvey had previously presented Primozich, who also served many years on the McMinnville School District Board of Directors, with a Tribal Pendleton blanket to thank him for his years of public service.

The entire meeting can be viewed by visiting the Tribal website at and clicking on the News tab and then Video.