Tribal Government & News
Tribal Council seeks input on continuing enrollment issues
By Dean Rhodes
Smoke Signals editor
The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde held four hybrid meetings between July 14 and July 28, seeking input on its vexing Tribal enrollment issues and presenting projections of future membership numbers based on differing scenarios.
The meetings are part of the current Tribal Council’s continuing efforts to educate the membership on enrollment issues and seeking a solution that could muster the constitutionally mandated two-thirds majority to be adopted.
In June, the Tribe issued an enrollment edition of the Tilixam Wawa that provided an overview of issues and included projections on Tribal enrollment from ECONorthwest based on different proposed solutions. The Wawa also included examples of what other Tribes have done regarding enrollment issues and declining blood quantum within their membership.
After issuing the Wawa, the Tribe held two enrollment listening sessions in Tribal Council Chambers and via the Zoom teleconferencing application on Thursday, July 14 and 28. It also held a presentation on Monday, July 25, and Tuesday, July 26, designed to review ECONorthwest’s forecasts and projections for future Tribal membership numbers based on the different scenarios.
All four meetings were for enrolled Tribal members only.
“Thank you for the listening session tonight,” commented Tribal Elder Debi Anderson on Facebook after the July 14 session. “Appreciated all of the comments from Tribal members as they shared their stories and gave input.”
The Tribe has held seven constitutional amendment elections regarding enrollment requirements since 1999. The only two that have received more than the 66.7 percent approval to amend the Tribal Constitution have tightened enrollment requirements.
The most recent constitutional amendment election held in March 2019 sought to resolve the issue of siblings in the same family being and not being Tribal members. It was approved 601-345, which was only a 63.5 percent approval and therefore did not amend the constitution.