Yesteryears - May 1, 2022

04.28.2022 Danielle Harrison Yesteryears
2017 (Smoke Signals file photo)


2017 – Tribal GIS Analyst Alex Drake became the Tribe’s first Unmanned Aircraft Systems pilot. He obtained a license through the Federal Aviation Administration to pilot a drone that the Tribe’s Cultural Resources Department purchased. The DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter drone was to be used for Natural Resources and Cultural Resources programs.

2012 – Several cedar bark portions and yew trees were gifted to the Tribe during the renovation of the Sellwood Bridge in Portland and were to be used for future cultural activities. Approximately 800 trees were being removed for the bridge project. The Tribal connection came through Kevin Kilduff from the Portland office of Healthy Working Rivers, who put Multnomah County officials in touch with Tribal member and consultant Greg Archuleta.

2007 – The fourth annual Youth Leadership Conference hosted by the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde attracted approximately 100 youth from eight Northwest Tribes for three days aimed to help students consider relationships from four sides -- spiritual, emotional, physical and mental. The event included activities such as workshops, community presentations and a basketball tournament.

2002 – Tribal Council Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy and Tribal Council members June Sell-Sherer and Val Grout poured over approximately 50,000 historic documents shared with the Grand Ronde Tribe through a concerted effort by the Coquille Tribe and the University of Oregon. The materials were copies of important Tribal-related information such as maps, treaties and pictures from Tribes all over the Northwest.

1997 – An open house was scheduled to introduce a new program in Grand Ronde entitled “Venture Out,” which was directed toward Native American women interested in home-based or income supplementing business partnerships. The program would include instruction, ongoing technical assistance, locating startup funds and marketing support.

1992 – The new Grand Ronde Tribal Community Center was hailed as a new beginning. “The dedication of this great facility marks the opening of a new chapter in the history of the Grand Ronde Tribe,” Oregon Rep. Les AuCoin wrote in a letter. “There were many dark days on the Trail of Tears, but this is a bright day indeed.” The new Community Center was already booked for classes, Tribal and public meetings, church services and exercise sessions.

1987 – The proposed Grand Ronde Reservation would result in economic and employment benefits for the West Valley economy, according to a report by Tribal General Manager Jim Willis. He projected that the proposed Reservation could generate $1.2 million annually in timber revenues and create many new jobs for the Sheridan, Willamina and Grand Ronde area.


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