Tribal Government & News

Letters to the Editor -- March 1, 2021

02.26.2021 Dean Rhodes Letters


Dear Smoke Signals:

This week I had the good fortune to receive a text from a dear friend who told me about the COVID vaccine clinic being offered by the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, a clinic that had been opened to the community. I ran to my computer to sign up. I was ecstatic!

My husband and I live on the edge of Salem, so after getting our tickets, we jumped in the car that very afternoon to drive to the clinic. We are in the elderly category with autoimmune issues, so we’ve been sheltering and distancing as much as possible. We had hoped to receive our shots in the coming weeks, but felt it important to get the vaccine at our first opportunity.

Once at the site, we found that everything was being run extremely well. The wait was about 15 minutes and everyone respected the mask and social distancing requirement. We were kindly greeted by a staff member who gave us a simple form to complete and responded to any questions we had. When our turn came, we entered the gymnasium to see a very well-organized event. There were six vaccination stations where vaccines were being administered. We were comfortably seated at our respective stations to receive our shots. As we waited for the required 15 minutes, we noticed that staff was available to watch for any possible reactions that people might be experiencing. A trained EMT was very accessible, which further reassured us.

I spent my time thanking everyone I came in contact with who was part of this clinic, and I now want to offer my thanks to the Tribal leaders who recognized that any additional vaccine received by the Tribe should be provided without restrictions to awaiting arms. Like many people, I have been following the news about distribution issues that have been occurring nation- and statewide. I have been significantly disappointed that even one shot has been wasted in this disorganized process.

So thank you and thanks to everyone who was involved in working on the clinic and treating everyone with the respect we all deserve to not only receive, but to also extend to one another.

Donna Hirt

Salem, Ore.


Dear Smoke Signals:

I just finished reading your minutes of the Feb. 24, 2021, Tribal Council meeting. You take great notes of these meetings! You explain what the resolutions are for (or about) in your articles. I hope every member will take the time to read these articles carefully.

I appreciate your work.

Rosemary Jameson

Roll No. 883