Tribal Government & News

Yesteryears -- Sept. 15, 2020

09.14.2020 Danielle Frost History

2015 – Tribal members, who were descendants of the original tilixam “people” of the Portland area, led the way at the grand opening of the new Tilikum Crossing Bridge in Portland. In the interest of giving the general public a word that was easy to pronounce, the Tribe proposed spelling the word with a “k” instead of an “x” as it is in Chinuk Wawa. The Grand Ronde Honor Guard led the procession of Tribal members alongside the first ride of TriMet’s Orange Line during the grand opening celebration. “This is truly a wonderful moment, a blessed time,” Tribal Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy said.

2010 – The Grand Ronde Tribe submitted a 155-page comment on the Cascade Locks resort and casino project proposed by the Warm Springs Tribe to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. “Grand Ronde is significantly affected and very concerned by the Cascade Locks Resort and Casino Project and is troubled by the Bureau’s failure to address Grand Ronde DEIS comments,” wrote Tribal Attorney Rob Greene. More than two years after holding public comment sessions in Oregon and Washington in 2007, the BIA issued an Aug. 6 final environmental impact statement naming Cascade Locks as the preferred alternative for the Warm Springs Tribe to build an off-Reservation casino in the Columbia River Gorge.

2005 – The Tribe and Portland State University were planning to offer a class called “Great Tribal Leaders of Modern Times” and hold it in the Education Building on the Tribal campus. The series would present videotaped interviews with modern Tribal leaders, and span the fields of political science, American history, Native American studies, U.S. government, multi-cultural studies and sociology. Almost 30 Tribal leaders had been interviewed for the series, including Grand Ronde Tribal Elder Kathryn Harrison.

2000 – The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde hosted a group from Willamette National Forest for a tour of the Reservation and Tribal campus. The five ranger districts and the Tribe came together for two days of team building and learning. The event followed a memorandum of understanding that was signed earlier in the year. Under the agreement, the Forest Service and Tribe agreed to work together on projects and gain input on ideas that affected all parties involved.  

1995 – Kathryn Harrison and Ed Larsen were re-elected to Tribal Council for three-year terms. Margaret Provost took Andy Jenness’ seat as he opted not to run for another term. More than 600 Tribal members voted in the election, making it the most widely participated one the Tribe had ever had.

1990 – Tribal youth Shonn Leno traveled to the National High School Wrestling Championships. He was one of the team members representing Oregon. Of 40 wrestlers in his bracket, Leno placed 10th. He qualified for the national tournament by placing second in the state for Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling at a private competition, and third in the state for high school championships as a freshman.

1985 – The Western Oregon Unit of the Indian Health Service needed to keep current information on those who used it. Those who had not completed an application for 1985 were encouraged to do so as soon as possible. All health care funding was dependent on the number of Tribal members participating.


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