Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council approves grant applications for Portland MAT clinic

By Dean Rhodes

Smoke Signals editor

The Tribe has yet to open its second medication-assisted treatment clinic for opioid dependency in east Portland, but Tribal Council approved two grant applications during its Wednesday, June 30, meeting that will, if received, help staff the site.

Tribal Council approved a State Opioid Response grant application to the Oregon Health Authority that would bring the Tribe $200,000 that would help fund a peer support counselor at the Portland clinic.

It also approved a Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant & Substance Abuse grant application to the U.S. Department of Justice that would bring the Tribe $600,000 over three years that also would help fund staff at the Portland clinic, as well as possibly a school resource officer within the Willamina School District.

The Tribe opened its first medication-assisted treatment center, the Great Circle Recovery clinic, in Salem in March at 1011 Commercial St. N.E. The Tribe purchased a former dental office off Southeast 82nd Avenue in Portland in July 2020 for the Portland clinic.

“We are still working through the permitting and construction process, so we don’t have a definite timeframe for opening (the Portland clinic),” Health Services Executive Director Kelly Rowe said.

In other action, Tribal Council:

  • Approved an application to receive $333,654 over a three-year period from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to fund the Tribe’s 477 employment and training program within the Social Services Department and to consolidate general assistance, Native employment works and job training programs into a single, coordinated plan;
  • Approved a Tribal Transportation funding agreement with the Department of the Interior that will bring the Tribe $1.4 million in funding during fiscal year 2021;
  • Approved the enrollment of 13 people into the Tribe because they meet the requirements outlined in the Tribal Constitution and Enrollment Ordinance;
  • And approved the long-term management plan developed by Portland General Electric for the Harborton site on the Willamette River because it will provide significant fish and wildlife benefits for species affected by hazardous chemicals released into Portland Harbor.

Also included in the June 30 Tribal Council packet was an approved authorization to proceed that will permit the Cultural Resources Department to transfer $10,000 to Oregon State University Press to support publishing of the second edition of “Indians Fire and the Land in the Pacific Northwest” edited by Robert Boyd.

In addition, Tribal Council Vice Chair Chris Mercier announced that the Tribe’s popular Small Loan Program will receive more funding in the near future to allow loans to up to 300 more Tribal members. The initial budget was expended in about two months, he said.

To watch the entire meeting, visit the Tribal government’s website at and click on the Government tab and then Videos.