Yesteryears - April 15, 2022

04.14.2022 Danielle Harrison Yesteryears

2017 – The Tribe’s Cultural Resources Department started its annual spring gathering activities in and around the Reservation. Staff members were busy gathering willows and preparing for berry season, said Cultural Education Coordinator Jordan Mercier, and there would be many opportunities for Tribal members to participate in the annual traditional materials gathering rituals. He recently had joined other Cultural Resources staff members to strip European willow branches for a planned hamper making class.

2012 – A celebration of western Oregon Native women opened with an invitation-only sneak peek at the exhibit for Grand Ronde Tribal members at Willamette Heritage Center at The Mill in Salem. Along with the exhibit, “Grand Ronde Women – Our Story,” approximately 200 Tribal members, museum members and guests enjoyed a meal prepared by Spirit Mountain Casino staff. The exhibit was organized by the Tribe’s Cultural Resources Department and covered Native women in the fur trade, women weavers of clothes and baskets, women contributing to knowledge of Native language, Restoration efforts and “The Missing Generation,” which tells the story of Native women held in prison and mental institutions, some used like test animals for scientific research.

2007 – The Tribe’s Career Development Program was off to a good start helping find the right career paths for Tribal members. “The program is for retention of Tribal employees,” Tribal Elder Sanda Henny said. “A majority of our turnover has to do with external difficulties. Meeting one-on-one with Tribal members gives us an idea of the basic needs of each individual.”

2002 – Tribal members, archeologists and anthropologists gathered in Grand Ronde to attend a five-day archaeology course hosted by the Tribe’s Cultural Resources Department. The program helped familiarize archeologists with cultural site protection and educated a new generation to help find and preserve cultural artifacts. 

1997 – Several construction projects were underway at the Reservation. A gravel addition to the Tribal Cemetery was added for more parking, the 37-lot Grand Meadows manufactured home park was ready for occupancy once the land was transferred into federal trust status, work on the Health & Wellness Center was ongoing, the new Natural Resources facility was being constructed off Hebo Road and plans for a new Tribal administration building to replace the modulars on Grand Ronde Road was in the architectural design phase.

1992 – Tribal member Tom Leno was the first client to be served at the Tribe’s new dental clinic after coming in for a broken tooth. “He overcame his fear of the dentist long enough to fix his tooth. With an overall pleasant experience behind him, Tom said it was nice because he didn’t feel a thing,” a Smoke Signals article stated.

1987 – It was announced that Tribal members would be able to exercise their fishing, hunting and gathering rights starting on April 25 in the Trask Management Unit. A valid Tribal license was necessary. Those who did not obtain a license or went outside of the area to fish or hunt would be subject to state as well as Tribal penalties.


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