Tribal Government & News

Tribe seeking grants to bolster new fire department

01.26.2022 Dean Rhodes Tribal Council, Public safety
Construction equipment sits at the southwest corner of Hebo and Grand Ronde roads at what will eventually become the Creekside Elder Housing project. Tribal Council voted on Wednesday, Jan. 26, to approve an agreement with the Indian Health Service that will provide $59,533 in federal funding to install sanitation infrastructure at the site. (Photo by Timothy J. Gonzalez/Smoke Signals)


By Dean Rhodes

Smoke Signals editor

Now that the Grand Ronde Tribal Fire Department is charged with providing fire and emergency services in what was the West Valley Fire District’s jurisdiction, Tribal Council approved two grant applications during its Wednesday, Jan. 26, meeting seeking to bolster that effort.

As presented by Department of Emergency Services Chief Steve Warden, the two grants to the Federal Emergency Management Agency would help the Tribe recruit and retain volunteers and the other would help hire entry-level firefighters.

The first four-year grant application for $501,731 would fund the hiring of a volunteer recruitment and retention coordinator. The second three-year grant application for $1.6 million would fund the hiring of six additional entry level firefighters.

During its Dec. 15 meeting, Tribal Council approved a three-year contract with the West Valley Fire District for the Tribe to provide expanded fire and emergency medical services in the area and take full ownership of a 2021 ambulance.

In other action, Tribal Council:

  • Approved two agreements with the Indian Health Service that will provide federal funds for two housing projects currently underway in the Grand Ronde area. The first agreement will bring the Tribe $59,533 for installation of sanitation facilities at the Creekside Elder Housing project at the southwest corner of the Grand Ronde and Hebo roads intersection and the second agreement will bring the Tribe $1,090,000 to install sanitation infrastructure at the home ownership site at the end of McPherson Road east of Grand Ronde Road;
  • Approved a $150,000 contract with Portland public relations firm Gard Communications to provide communications consulting for external projects;
  • Approved removing former Controller Amy Gallant as an approved signer on the Tribe’s bank accounts and line of credit, and approved adding Assistant Controller Trish Squires as an approved signer on the bank accounts and line of credit. Gallant retired on Jan. 3, 2022, after working more than 20 years in the Finance Department;
  • Approved a purchase and sell agreement for the five-acre Johns property at 8850 Grand Ronde Road. The site has multiple historical and cultural connections with the Tribe, the staff report says. A purchase price was not disclosed;
  • Approved accepting the annual Oregon Youth Corps grant that helps fund the Natural Resources Department’s summer youth crew. The grant maxes out at $40,000 and helps pay youth crew wages;
  • Approved allocating up to a $153,000 capital contribution from the Tribe’s Economic Development Fund to Huyhuy LLC, which controls the Tribe’s ownership of Shasta Administrative Services based in Redmond. The Tribe, in partnership with Hawaii-Western Management Group Inc. of Honolulu, Hawaii, purchased the third-party administrator for health care services in 2012 with the Tribe being the majority owner. The funds will be used to support economic and business development activities;
  • Approved the Health & Wellness Department applying for a $367,085 grant from the Indian Health Service’s Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Aftercare program to increase behavioral health and substance abuse services for youth and families. The funds would hire health care workers for family outreach, a behaviorist to increase treatment capacity for families, and to host gatherings and events;
  • Approved a $2.2 million contract with Perlo Construction of Tualatin to make improvements to the planned opioid treatment center that the Tribe purchased on Southeast 82nd Avenue in Portland in July 2020 for $1.4 million. The center, when it opens, will join the Great Circle Recovery Clinic in Salem in offering services to people dealing with opioid addiction. The building is a former dental office;
  • And approved the enrollment of two infants into the Tribe because they meet the requirements outlined in the Tribal Constitution and Enrollment Ordinance.

Tribal Council also approved the agenda for the Sunday, Feb. 6, General Council meeting, which will be held virtually at 11 a.m. and feature a presentation from the Natural Resources Department.

In addition, the Jan. 26 Tribal Council packet included an approved authorization to proceed naming Tribal Council member Kathleen George as the Tribe’s representative on the Oregon Consensus State Supported Regional Water Management and Planning Work Group.

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