Yesteryears - Feb. 1, 2022

01.28.2022 Danielle Harrison Yesteryears

2017 – Faulconer-Chapman School eighth-grade students were learning the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde’s new history curriculum in their classroom. Grand Ronde Tribal member and Curriculum/Academic Advisor Mercedes Reeves was working with Faulconer-Chapman teacher Tim Hart on introducing the Tribal curriculum into local schools. The lessons culminated in several of the students completing projects of Tribal village dioramas that were on display at the Tribal Governance Center Atrium.

2012 – Tribal Council member Chris Mercier received the Gwen VanDenBosch Regional Leadership Award at the annual meeting of the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments held at the Dayton Community Center. Mercier was serving his third three-year term on the Grand Ronde Tribal Council and was nominated for the award by Tribal Elder Marilyn Portwood and fellow Tribal Council member Kathleen Tom, among others. The nomination noted that Mercier “is a tireless advocate for his Tribe and the people of the mid-Willamette Valley.”

2007 – The Tribe welcomed Tribes from across the west to the fifth annual Chinook Gathering at the Chinook Plankhouse in Ridgefield, Wash. “Let’s just say I am completely envious of their longhouse,” Tribal Council Chair Chris Mercier said. “I really hope that Grand Ronde can eventually get something like that.” He and Vice Chair Angie Blackwell presented Chinook Chair Ray Gardner with a Pendleton blanket during the gathering.

2002 – The Tribe’s new education facility continued to take shape as construction crews worked throughout the winter to get the buildings up. The youth center was almost completed, with the preschool and Head Start program underway. The administration offices, Higher Education program offices and Tribal gymnasium were also in the process of being built, and the facility was expected to open later that year.

1997 – Members of the Service Integration Team were looking for volunteers to help repair and refurbish a building in Grand Ronde to be used as its new food bank location. The building was donated by the Tribe, and needed interior and exterior repairs before it could open to the public. Team member Nancy Holmes said although there was a food bank already in Grand Ronde, there was also a great need for expansion. “We need to get the word out that one exists here because there are many people who feel they need to drive to a bigger town to receive needed food products,” she said.

1992 – Tribal member Tracy Cooney gained a new perspective on how Native Americans were viewed after a trip to Australia to visit friends. There, she found Australians very curious about Native Americans and their different cultures and traditions. Cooney was majoring in education at Portland State University and wanted to teach the Aboriginal children of Australia when she completed her degree. “It was a real privilege to learn of the Australian culture and to represent the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde,” she said.


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