Tribal Government & News

Yesteryears -- Oct. 15, 2021

10.14.2021 Danielle Harrison Yesteryears

2016 – Tribal Historic Preservation Office Manager David Harrelson was given an award by U.S. Attorney for Oregon Billy J. Williams to commemorate the posting of nine Oregon Tribal flags inside the federal courthouse in Portland, and the government-to-government relationship between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the federally recognized Tribes in the state. Williams said that posting the nine flags of Oregon Tribes in a room where many large meetings were held would serve as a reminder to federal employees of the importance of government-to-government relations with Tribes.

2011 – Tribal Elder Ellen Fischer was appointed to the Chemawa Indian School Board. She served as an employee of the Salem school for 27 years before retiring in 2009. “I loved it there,” she said. “I liked the people that worked there. And you learned a lot from the students. I enjoy that.” Chemawa served approximately 400 Native American students from across the country, and board members were selected from reservations where the largest proportion of students lived.

2006 – Tribal and community members gathered for a blessing of the Nichaqwli Posts located at the west end of Blue Lake Park near Fairview, Ore. The posts were designed by master carver Adam McIssac and Tribal Cultural Education Coordinator Tony Johnson assisted in the design. Tribal Council member Cheryle A. Kennedy spoke about the importance of the posts and what they meant to the Tribe. “This is our ceded lands,” she said. “We have been here for a long time.” Kennedy’s mother, Tribal Elder Cordelia Kneeland, offered the invocation and Tribal member Greg Archuleta spoke briefly on the history of the name Nichaqwli, which meant “stand of pines.”

2001 – Native American jazz musician Jim Pepper was honored in Grand Ronde with a tribute concert featuring world-class violinist Hollis Taylor and her friends. Pepper was born and raised in Portland, and became a noted jazz musician who blended the music with Native rhythms and created his own niche in music history. In 1998, the First Americans in the Arts recognized him posthumously with its Lifetime Achievement Award and he was also inducted into the Indian Hall of Fame that same year. Tributes from the benefit concert were donated toward the construction of a Veterans Memorial in Grand Ronde.  

1996 – The Tribe established a Resource Protection Program in response to the national Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. Cultural Resources Specialist and Tribal member June Olson noted she was becoming very familiar with the act. “This law recognized that Native Americans have the right to get buried and stay buried,” she said. “It acknowledges that we have the right to recover our people from the many museums and institutions which have held their remains for many years.”

1991 – The Tribal Health Department hired its first dentist, Tammy McClung, and also added an additional service day. The clinic would be held three times a week instead of two. Other changes included the addition of Barbara Steere as the new receptionist, Darlene Aaron as the nursing assistant and Margaret Walker was the new nurse practitioner. 


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