Tribal Government & News
Tribal Council approves adding 15 members to Restoration Roll
By Dean Rhodes
Smoke Signals editor
Tribal Council voted to add 15 names to the Restoration Roll during its Wednesday, May 29, meeting.
It marked the second time this year that Tribal members have been added to the roll. During a special meeting held Feb. 28, Tribal Council voted to add 20 Tribal members to the Restoration Roll.
Tribal Council will now request that the Secretary of the Interior approve the Restoration Roll additions.
Tribal members added to the roll were Tamara Kennedy, Randy Cunningham, Gregg Leno, Michelle Kelley, Joyce Hanson, Tommy Jones, Janet Taggart, Eloise Winter, Marvin Cunningham, Lynda Jones, Ann Clevenger, Sally Weiss, Sylvia Jones, Danny Jeffers and Tommy Jeffers.
Tribal Council Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy said she did not participate in the Restoration Roll process for Tamara Kennedy, who is her daughter, and did not vote on her addition to the Restoration Roll.
The process for adding names to the Restoration Roll started in 2012 when Tribal legal staff started working with the Department of the Interior to develop a process for approval and additions to the roll.
In December 2015, Tribal Council approved 16 additions and three corrections to the Restoration Roll. At the time, Tribal Council Vice Chair Chris Mercier said the advantage to having your name on the Restoration Roll is that it allows Tribal members to count all of their Indian blood as Grand Ronde blood, which could help extend an individual’s bloodline.
“Tribal Council recognizes the devastating effects Termination had on the membership,” said Tribal Council Secretary Jon A. George in reading from a prepared statement. “In an effort to correct those effects, we passed a resolution in November 2018 that provides criteria for consistently applying the phrase ‘entitled to be on the membership roll of the Tribe on Aug. 13, 1954.’ The resolution states that a person was entitled to be on the membership roll of the Tribe on Aug. 13, 1954, if that person was alive on that date and born to a Tribal member. Tonight, we wish to provide additional thoughts on what it means to be born to a Tribal member. We believe being ‘born to a Tribal member’ means being born to a person who could have been a Tribal member at the time of the applicant’s birth.
“When this Tribe was Terminated, a number of families were wrongfully left off the membership roll. The correction of the Restoration Roll is important to Tribal families because having an ancestor on the Restoration Roll is a requirement for membership under the current Tribal Constitution. Corrections to the Restoration Roll are part of an ongoing effort to correct the wrongs of the past and provide a path to membership for those families who continue to suffer the effects of Termination.
“The interpretation is an attempt to address the inaccuracies of the federal government’s recordkeeping at the time of Termination. This Tribal Council continues to build on the efforts of our previous leadership and help bring closure to families who have been suffering. This is another important step in the Tribe’s movement to reunite our Tribal families.”
Tribal members seeking to be added to the Restoration Roll can request an application from the Member Services Department at 503-879-2116.
In other action, Tribal Council:
- Adopted a Leasing Ordinance and submitted it to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for approval. The new ordinance will allow the Tribe to process and approve leases on Tribal trust lands as provided by 2012 federal legislation. During its first reading, no comments were offered by the membership;
- Approved applying for a maximum $200,000 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Tribal Wildlife grant to help fund restoration activities at Rattlesnake Butte northwest of Junction City. The Tribe acquired the Lane County property in 2012 through the Bonneville Power Administration’s Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Program;
- Approved the fiscal year 2019 funding agreement with the Bonneville Power Administration for a maximum amount of $132,711. The money funds the Tribe’s participation in administrative processes in its ceded lands;
- Approved donating 12 logs from the recently approved Right of Way logging unit to the Willamina Logging Show that will be held on the Fourth of July. The estimated value of the logs is $2,216;
- Approved applying for an Oregon Domestic and Sexual Violence Services grant and a STOP Violence Against Women Act grant that would bring the Tribe $82,772 in the first year and $41,386 in the second year to help fund the Tribe’s domestic violence advocate;
- Approved using up to $6 million of the Tribe’s line of credit to fund an investment loan to an unnamed company at 10 percent interest. The resolution states that the company has property worth more than three times the loan amount;
- And approved the enrollment of one infant into the Tribe because they meet the requirements outlined in the Tribal Constitution and Enrollment Ordinance.
Also included in the May 29 Tribal Council packet was an approved authorization to proceed that OK’d a new position of part-time veterans’ services officer with a $50,300 budget.
The video of the entire meeting can be viewed on the Tribal government’s website at www.grandronde.org by clicking on the News tab and then Videos.