Yesteryears - Sept. 15, 2022

09.14.2022 Danielle Harrison Yesteryears

2017 – Former Spirit Mountain Casino Internal Auditor Michael Langley became the first candidate ever to receive more than 700 votes when he was elected during his second try at Tribal Council. He received 19 percent of the votes cast and surpassed the 690 votes received by Tribal Council Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy in 2006. 

2012 – The Tribe celebrated a memorandum of understanding with an encampment at the Rogue River near Table Rocks. The Tribe signed an MOU with the Bureau of Land Management and The Nature Conservancy a year prior that gave the Tribe a say in maintaining almost 5,000 acres of pristine land around the Tribally significant landmark. Grand Ronde Tribal ancestors were held at Table Rocks before being marched to Grand Ronde in February and March of 1856.

2007 – Tribal member Tamie Spitzer was promoted to detective/corporal with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office in eastern Washington. She was hired 10 years prior and assigned to the patrol division and also worked undercover to investigate drug and gang activity. She said her career goals were to continue being promoted within the Sheriff’s Office.

2002 – The second annual Spirit Mountain All-Indian Rodeo held in Grand Ronde was deemed a success, with more than 450 spectators during the two-day event. “It’s nice to be able to put on a good rodeo,” Committee Chairman and Tribal Elder Marvin Kimsey said. “It makes the Tribe look good to have a nice facility to do it in. I want to thank the Tribal Council for their support. It makes me feel proud to be able to put on a nice rodeo.”

1997 – More Tribal members than ever were voting in Tribal Council elections, with more than 700 casting their ballots, which was reported to be an all-time high. Ed Pearsall, Val Grout and Robert Mercier won the election.

1992 – Spirit Mountain Development Corp. hired a new general manager, Beth Oliver. She had just returned to the United States after several years of working with African Tribes and said she looked forward to the challenge of broadening the base of Tribal enterprises in Grand Ronde to help provide employment and economic diversity.

1987 – More than 200 people listened to testimony from supporters and opponents of a Grand Ronde Reservation at a field hearing spearheaded by Oregon Rep. Les AuCoin at Grand Ronde Elementary School. In August, he and Sen. Mark O. Hatfield had submitted two Reservation bills to Congress, one for a 15,665-acre Reservation and another for a 5,116-acre Reservation.


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