Tribal Government & News

Letters to the Editor -- July 1, 2020

06.30.2020 Dean Rhodes Letters


Dear Smoke Signals:

I was saddened to see the news that our fellow Tribal member and former Councilwoman Dorothy Greene has walked on. We served on the council together for about a year in 1986-87. I lived in Dallas and her in Sheridan. On the nights of our council meetings, I would drive to Sheridan and pick Dorothy up. Her husband did not drive at that time.

We attended many meetings and negotiations together during that time. We were in the process of working with the BIA and BLM for our Reservation land and also for our hunting and fishing rights with Oregon Fish and Game.

Dorothy was one of the most wonderful ladies I have met. She carried with her so much history of our people and land. She was loved by all that knew her and will be sorely missed. I so loved our mini-reunions at each Restoration celebration. May she rest in peace.

Bradley M. Kowing

Roll #816


Dear Smoke Signals:

To all that I have known, worked alongside and cared for at the Grand Ronde Health & Wellness Center, I wanted to say thank you for the opportunity to practice in Grand Ronde for such a long time.

Cheryle Kennedy asked for at least a two-year commitment when I took the position, and I stayed at the Tribe for 25 years. This would not have been possible without her trusting me in this position.

It has been such a blessing to feel like part of the community and serve the Tribe for so long. I have truly enjoyed all the relationships with patients and staff alike. I am proud to have worked alongside so many people in the Dental Department, as well as those who worked in other areas within the Tribe. It was truly a job to treat and know so many patients and families.

I have enjoyed watching children become adults and have children of their own, and the opportunity to be a part of their lives. I will remember fondly my time at Grand Ronde.

I wish the best for all those who I have known and served alongside for these many years. It has been an incredible journey and it’s amazing to have seen all the changes that have occurred within the Dental Department over the last 25 years.

The Dental Department at Grand Ronde is recognized in Indian Health Service and Tribal communities as one of the very best programs in the Northwest region. That is a testament to the amazing people who have made their mark on this program and the ongoing support of the Tribe that has allowed for the success that this department has experienced.

It was with sadness that I had to resign abruptly as I would have preferred to stay with the Tribe until I retired. It seems very unfitting that I was unable to say goodbye before by departure. However, I had to trust that my next adventure will bring new rewards and successes. I have confidence that Drs. Lange and Davis will take good care of you along with the talented staff members who remain.

Feel free to stay in touch. I would enjoy hearing from any of you. Thank you so much for your kindness through the years and I hope that you felt it was reciprocated. Blessings. 503-569-7868 or

Eric Webster

West Salem


Dear Smoke Signals:

I want to thank the Tribe for having our collective “backs.” Just knowing I have medical insurance in these perilous times helps immensely. Just knowing I am part of a caring community relieves anxiety.

I wish everyone good health and the fortitude to endure to a more sunny day. Drink lots of water, eat fresh vegetables and fruit, and get some exercise.

Judith Pettibone

Roll #717