Tribal Government & News
Tribal Council approves more efficient multi-year federal funding agreement
By Dean Rhodes
Smoke Signals editor
Tribal Council approved a multi-year funding agreement with the U.S. Department of the Interior during its Wednesday, Nov. 6, meeting.
Tribal Lands Manager Jan Reibach said during the Tuesday, Nov. 5, Legislative Action Committee hearing that moving to a multi-year agreement instead of an annual agreement will be more efficient for the Tribe and that the Tribe will not be locked into the initial level of self-governance funding throughout the life of the five-year agreement.
Reibach said the Tribe will only have to approve amendments annually instead of negotiating all of the terms and conditions with the federal government every year.
The Tribe is scheduled to receive almost $2.8 million in federal self-governance funding in fiscal year 2020.
In other action, Tribal Council also approved a five-year cooperative agreement between the Tribe and the Oregon Department of Human Services’ Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Commission for the Blind that will allow the Tribe’s Vocational Rehabilitation staff to continue providing services to Tribal members residing within the six-county service area.
In addition, Tribal Council approved a memorandum of understanding regarding the Willamette Valley System Environmental Impact Statement that addresses the 13 dams built within the Willamette River Basin.
The Tribe was invited by the Army Corps of Engineers to be a cooperating agency regarding the statement and in doing so gives the Tribe early opportunities to review and provide input on drafts before materials are released for public examination. The Tribe’s points of contact are Ceded Lands Manager Michael Karnosh and Historical Preservation Manager Briece Edwards.
Tribal Council also approved the enrollment of six minors into the Tribe because they meet the enrollment requirements outlined under the Tribal Constitution and Enrollment Ordinance.
Finally, Tribal Council approved an approximately $1 million capital contribution to the Chemawa Station phase one development in Keizer. The Grand Ronde and Siletz Tribes are partners in the development.
Also included in the Nov. 6 Tribal Council packet was an approved authorization to proceed that instructs Natural Resources Department staff members to form a task force to address and resolve issues with the Willamette Basin Biological Opinion and Willamette River Total Maximum Daily Loads, and provide actionable recommendations to Tribal Council regarding salmon sustainability, salmon recovery and water quality improvements.
A TMDL is a federal regulatory term that identifies the maximum amount of a particular pollutant that a body of water can receive while still meeting water quality standards.
The entire meeting, which commenced the winter tradition of starting at 4 p.m., can be viewed by visiting the Tribal government’s website at www.grandronde.org and clicking on the Government tab and then Videos.