Yesteryears - Nov. 15, 2021

11.15.2021 Danielle Harrison Yesteryears

2016 – The Tribe’s Natural Resources Department held its first camas and yampah harvest from the Tribal Plant Materials Program at its Hebo Road office. Approximately 15 Tribal members and employees gathered to dig 200 camas and 200 yampah bulbs out of the Natural Resources’ raised plant beds. “Camas was the primary plant food of our ancestors,” said Tribal Historic Preservation Office Manager David Harrelson. “Most people recognize it because it has this beautiful blue flower. The bulbs themselves are harvested and put in an earthen oven and cooked for a long period of time. Eating camas becomes possible after you cook it for two to three days.”

2011 – Grand Ronde Tribal Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy pledged a $4 million contribution in Tribal money to help fund the first phase of construction of the Newberg-Dundee bypass at a McMinnville City Club luncheon. The Tribal funds, originally designated in its gaming compact with the state of Oregon to help build a new interchange at the convergence of state highways 18 and 22, will help Yamhill County and three of its city governments fund their $20 million share of the project. 

2006 – Tribal member April Campbell returned to Grand Ronde to serve as the Education Department manager. She served as an education specialist at the Tribe from 2000 to 2005. Campbell said her goals were to focus on incorporating technology into all education programs and see the Higher Education Department work with Youth Education programs so that students would be more aware of the various services that were offered.

2001 – Tribal Elder and former Tribal Council Chairwoman Kathryn Harrison was honored with a Tom McCall award at the eighth annual Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism Citizenship Awards Banquet in Portland. McCall was an influential Oregon governor who achieved national fame and the award honored outstanding contributions from people who “mirrored spirit and service” to Oregonians.

1996 – Tribal Council members met with Life Flight Network representatives to discuss the possibility of installing a helipad at the Tribe’s new health clinic, which was currently under construction. The meeting included explanations of the Life Flight Global Positioning Project and how the Tribe might be able to participate in helping to transport injured people to hospitals from Oregon’s rural areas.

1991 – Michael Larsen was selected as the Community Encourager for the planning of the Tribe’s health and human services clinic. Larsen would act as a liaison between the Tribal community and health care and planning departments to find out what kind of health care was most needed in the clinic. “I would like to say I’m very excited about becoming involved with my people and I’m looking forward to being very helpful and informative on this project,” he said.  


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