Tribal Government & News

Yesteryears -- Oct. 1, 2020

09.30.2020 Danielle Frost History


2015 – Spirit Mountain Community Fund topped $67 million in giving. Since its inception in 1997, the charitable arm of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde had awarded 2,214 grants totaling more than $67 million to area nonprofits. Tribal member Kathleen George, the Community Fund’s director, welcomed grant recipients to Chachalu Museum & Cultural Center, where the third-quarter grant distribution was held. During the ceremony, the fund distributed 43 grants totaling more than $1.8 million.

2010 – The Tribal plankhouse grand opening was a three-day event that represented not only a new cultural landmark for the Tribe, but individual growth in impressive ways for Tribal members. Tribal member and Language and Culture Specialist Bobby Mercier took the lead in the plankhouse creation. “Bobby’s a pretty good leader for the young people,” said Tribal Elder Margaret Provost, who led the Tribe’s successful Restoration effort that culminated in 1983. “It’s very hard to organize young people.”

2005 – Housing construction was visible at the Tribe’s new 20-acre site south of Tyee Road, which would include 72 mixed-income units. “They could come as fast as a house a day,” Development Construction Coordinator Duane Hussey said. “All of the road bases are in. All of the sewer lines are in. Fifty percent of the water lines are in.” The construction plan included setting up a plant right on site to build the wood-framed structures, and 50 homes had been completed so far. The project also would include 12 one-bedroom units, two five-bedroom units and eight four-bedroom units.

2000 – Grand Ronde Housing Director Linda Layden was named Indian Health Authority’s Executive Director of the Year. She received the honor at the Northwest Indian Housing Association’s annual meeting and awards banquet in Port Angeles, Wash. Layden had served as Tribal Housing Executive Director since 1996. “I was shocked,” she said. “And I was really pleased.”   

1995 – Tribal members were invited to enjoy the very first look inside the new Spirit Mountain Casino during a special open house. Informal tours of the 90,000-square-foot facility were planned so that Tribal members could view the glass-domed rotunda, 21-foot ceilings, and jackpot sounds and light displays. Some of the more elaborate displays included an exploding Mount Saint Helens and Spruce Goose airplane that took off overhead. A highlight was viewing the twice life-sized bronze statue depicting historic Tribal member Martha Jane Sands, which would greet visitors at the main entrance to the casino.

1990 – Tribal Council was in the process of acquiring four modular units for the Tribe to move into so it would be possible to vacate the Manor building. “We hope to be moved into the modular units sometime in November,” Tribal Chairman Mark Mercier said. “About two years ago, the Tribe considered the option of purchasing the Manor building. We had an architectural study conducted, and the finding was that it would cost $250,000 to renovate it into usable office space.”

1985 – Carol Terp joined the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde as a Community Health nurse. She was available for home visits, blood pressure monitoring and general health information.


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