Yesteryears -- March 15, 2019

03.14.2019 Danielle Frost History

2014 – The $2 million first phase work on Chachaclu Museum & Cultural Center was due to be complete later that spring and the capital campaign to raise funds for the second phase of development began. Approximately $2 million was needed to complete Phase II of the project, which would include 4,500 square feet of additional exhibit space, areas for permanent museum features and classrooms, offices, research and conference areas. “The effort started years ago with many people who worked hard to make this happen,” Land and Culture Department Manager Jan Looking Wolf Reibach said.

2009 – A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court limited the ability of the federal government to take land into trust for Tribes. The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Carcieri v. Salazar that the Secretary of the Interior does not have the authority to take land into trust for Tribes that came under federal jurisdiction after the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act was adopted. The ruling came in a case involving a Rhode Island Tribe that sought to bring a 31-acre tract about 40 miles south of Providence into trust. Tribes, including Grand Ronde, request the Secretary of the Interior take land into trust so they can apply their own laws on the land and hold the land free of state and local taxes.

2004 – Grand Ronde hosted its first ever name-giving ceremony, an event that attracted more than 200 attendees. Tribal member James Holmes, known around the family as “rabbit,” was given the name We-la-lik in the Wasco tongue and Wa-la-lik in the Sahaptin tongue, each being a version on the Native American word for “rabbit.” Taaw-lee-winch, a spiritual leader of the Wasco Band of Warm Springs Indians, led the ceremony. Guests were treated to traditional foods, such as salmon roasted over a fire pit and skewered eel.

1999 – Officials from many of Oregon’s federally recognized Tribes, including Grand Ronde, educated Oregon senators on the role of Indian gaming in the overall economic development of Indian Country at the State Capitol. The hearing came on the heels of a 1998 legislative session that saw dozens of bills aimed at restricting or ending state-sanctioned gaming completely. Grand Ronde Tribal Lobbyist Justin Martin gave the opening statement in which he emphasized that while each Tribe had its own culture and traditions, they shared a similar experience of poverty and unemployment. “We look to gaming as a way to address this,” he said.

1994 – The Tribe was awarded a $270,000 grant from the Department of Urban and Housing Development Indian Community Block Grant program. Tribal Council was hoping to match it with Tribal funds up to $230,000. The grant was to be used to construct a 5,000-gallon steel water storage tank on the ridge north of Highway 18, across from the proposed Spirit Mountain Development resort site. “This grant brings the Tribe a giant step closer to ensuring water for the development of housing, the health clinic and the resort,” Tribal Council Chairman Mark Mercier said. “It will also help out the entire community by providing more water in summer months and improving fire protection.”

1989 – Tribal Council Chairman Mark Mercier, Vice Chair Candy Robertson and Secretary Kathryn Harrison visited Washington, D.C., to testify before Congress. The council members were seeking additional funds for the Forestry program and to have funding added for community health representatives for the Tribe.


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