Yesteryears -- April 15, 2019
2014 – The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde opened its fourth consecutive exhibit at the Willamette Heritage Center at The Mill, which commemorated Tribal ancestors who plied the Willamette River as a waterway for commerce and trade. The exhibit focused on the Native peoples who populated the shores of the Willamette River, the middle Chinook Tribes, as well as the Clackamas and Multnomah peoples. “We are here to celebrate the people of the Willamette Valley and the river. We do have a treaty that spans this entire region, the Willamette Valley Treaty,” Tribal Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy said.
2009 – Grand Ronde voters would soon receive new signature verification forms in the mail as the Election Board began the process of following a new Election Ordinance amendment. The new amendment adopted by Tribal Council required mailing of new signature verification forms to each voter who had a form on file that was five years old or older. The signature verification form also gave voters the option of opting out of having their name, city and state listed on the voters list provided to Tribal Council candidates, as well as having their complete address provided to a mailing service.
2004 – Tribal Council Secretary and Army veteran June Sell-Sherer welcomed more than 300 female veterans to the Tribal gymnasium for a daylong conference emphasizing rights and services available to them. The event was described as part outreach and part social mixer for women still seeking to break through barriers in the nation’s armed forces. “We women have stepped forward to serve this nation for a very long time,” Sell-Sherer said. “I always felt what I did was important.”
1999 – Some people were falsely signing Elders’ names to receive a free meal at Spirit Mountain Casino’s Coyote Buffet. Elders were allowed to dine free with a companion every Monday, but some people were abusing the privilege to get free meals for themselves. “In some cases, an Elder has come to the buffet only to find a false signature next to his or her name. It has been decided that casino staff will start asking Grand Ronde Elders to show their Tribal enrollment cards before entering the buffet. Elders are upset by this stealing of buffet meals.”
1994 – An advisory recommendation regarding Tribal Council salaries was favored by the majority of members present, with 43 yes and 12 no votes. The advisory vote in a General Council meeting was in response to Tribal Council’s decision to increase salaries. It included an annual salary for the Tribal Council Chair at $35,000; Vice Chair, $20,000; Secretary, $20,000; and the remaining six council members at $16,000 each.
1989 – The Grand Ronde Tribal Council began negotiations with the Tribal Corporation to regain use of the depot facility for Tribal office space. The corporation was requesting $26,000 for the facility, but Tribal government programs originally paid for the purchase and renovation of the building. The Manor office was at capacity, with little room for additional staff as programs and services grew. Representatives from both sides planned to discuss the issue at an upcoming General Council meeting.
1984 – “Indian Concerns” was the topic at Grace Lutheran Church in Corvallis, where Tribal Council Chair Kathryn Harrison and Secretary Candy Robertson spoke to parishioners. The discussion included past and present activities regarding the Restoration Bill. “We felt this group was genuinely interested in our history and what has happened to us since our bill was passed,” Harrison said.
Yesteryears is a look back at Tribal history in five-year increments through the pages of Smoke Signals.