Yesteryears -- Jan. 15, 2019

01.14.2019 Danielle Frost, Staff Writer Yesteryears, History

2014 – The U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment to the 1988 Grand Ronde Reservation Act that would streamline how the Tribe takes land into trust. Tribal Council Chairman Reyn Leno testified before the House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs in support of the amendment in May 2013 and during the previous Congress in July 2012. The legislation was introduced by Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader and received bipartisan support from the Oregon congressional delegation.

2009 – Tribal Elder Marcellus “Marce” Norwest, 79, was honored by the Grand Ronde and local veterans’ communities. The ceremony attracted more than 100 people and had been in the works for two months, according to Mark Weippert, commander for AMVETS Post 2000 in Willamina, who organized the event. “We wanted to pay tribute to him while we still can,” Weippert said. After a long life of service to the Tribe, community and nation in the Korean War, Norwest was fighting pancreatic cancer. “I want to fight it and fight it to the end,” he said. “Life is short, but if you keep at it, you can accomplish a lot in a short time.”

2004 – Almost $10,000 had been raised for Tribal member Amanda Jones Schulte. The 19-year-old was in need of a heart and lung transplant. At the time, her physical condition remained “stable,” except in cold weather. A board of directors was set up to administer the fund, and one provision noted that should Schulte not use the money, it would be given to another young person who needed a transplant.

1999 – Alaska Native Ted Mala was featured after being named the Tribe’s new executive officer. Mala, who spent his career working with Native Americans, was the first in his family to receive a college education, which included a master’s degree from Harvard University. Before accepting a position with the Grand Ronde Tribe, Mala worked as a Tribal planner, served as Alaska secretary of health, a professor of health sciences and was a member of the Association of American Indian Physicians.

1994 – The Tree of Giving, sponsored by the Tribe’s Social Services Department and coordinated by Mychal Childers and April Howren, was deemed a success in its second year. More than 60 Tribal staff and community members participated so that children in need would receive Christmas gifts.

1989 – Tribal Council began reviewing proposals for establishing a burial insurance policy for Tribal members. In addition to looking at proposals from insurance companies, Tribal Council was considering the feasibility of self-insurance. The policy benefit had not been determined, but would be paid for with Tribal timber revenues. Tribal Council also was formulating guidelines for burial standards at the Tribal cemetery.


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