Tribal Government & News
General Council briefed on Community Development Plan
By Danielle Harrison
Smoke Signals assistant editor/staff writer
Grand Ronde Interim Community Development Department Manager Kristen Svicarovich briefed Tribal members on the Tribe’s Community Development Plan during a Sunday, Jan. 8, General Council hybrid meeting held via the Zoom video conferencing application and in Tribal Council Chambers.
The Tribe launched the Shawash-ili?i 2033 – nsayka KHapa aLqi (Grand Ronde 2033 – Our Future) effort in May 2018 to help guide the decisions and setting of priorities for the Tribe as the 50-year mark of Restoration approaches.
Tribal Engineering and Planning Department Manager Ryan Webb introduced Svicarovich to the online and in-person audience.
“This past year has been fantastic for the Tribe, lots going on, and the good work Kristen will present is setting great foundations for the year to come and where we want to see the Tribe go,” he said. “Kristen deserves all the credit for all the hard work she has done.”
Svicarovich discussed the plan’s history, communication and outreach, 2022 accomplishments, 2023 themes and work plan, and next steps.
“I’m excited to give the presentation today,” she said. “For those who aren’t familiar with it, this plan was adopted by Tribal Council in November 2022, and it represents three years of intense community work and outreach. … The (primary) question is, ‘What will the Grand Ronde community look like when we gather for the Tribe’s 50th Restoration celebration in 2033?’ ”
In 2018, the Community Development Plan kickoff event was held in the Tribal gym, followed by more meetings in 2019 and early 2020.
Subjects discussed in pre-pandemic listening sessions were Housing, Public Safety, Needed Services and Recreation, Facilities and Gathering Spaces, Health Care, Social Services, Education, Employment and Vocational Training, as well as the past and future of Grand Ronde. In-person gatherings were shelved due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but work continued with remote and hybrid community meetings.
The result of this work is a 10-year plan with 77 different initiatives, 15 focus areas and 99 goals.
“The plan has a four-community approach which are the seat of government, a place to live, a regional economic engine and a place to connect,” Svicarovich said. “Each one of those lens has a very unique vision and outcome they are looking for. The four-community approach allows for a really robust document that way.”
To implement the plan, Svicarovich said that a “living document” approach was taken using the Monday.com software so that the plan could be shared among various Tribal government departments instead of ending up on a dusty shelf in someone’s office.
“With this plan, all of the goals and initiatives have been entered into the Monday.com software so we can track goals and initiatives,” she said. “Different program and department managers have access to it. … A lot of work was done with department managers to develop prioritization goals and initiatives. We can track those over time and update as necessary.”
The Community Development Plan can be accessed by visiting grandronde.org and clicking on the “Grand Ronde 2033” link. A 2022 annual report will be posted to the website later this month.
Some highlights from the report include:
- The Tribal Employment Rights Office was able to establish an enterprise fund using various program fees to help make the program financially self-sufficient.
- The Cultural Resources Department launched the Indigenous Place Keeping Fellowship with two artists and it is expanding to four in 2023.
- The Tribal Lands Department had the most property acquisitions in its history, totaling seven. Four more are in process to close in 2023.
- There were several groundbreakings or openings of new projects, which include the Language Education building, the Community Center expansion, Creekside Elder Housing phase three, a mobile medication-assisted treatment clinic, fire station expansion, the Procurement and Information Services building, men’s transitional shelter, an emergency domestic violence shelter, Spirit Mountain Casino RV park and wastewater treatment plan upgrades.
- There are new offerings and amenities, including more Health & Wellness Clinic providers, emergency housing, a youth center, expanded early childhood education access and two disc golf courses.
“That is a big picture overview of accomplishments related to goals identified in the Community Development Plan,” Svicarovich said. “We are a large organization, but so much is interconnected with what we do. The Community Development Plan as a whole will facilitate advanced communication. I anticipate more community outreach events in 2023.”
After the approximately 30-minute presentation was complete, Svicarovich fielded nine questions and comments from the audience.
“Thank you for the report,” Tribal Council Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy said. “We all appreciate it.”
In other action, Kennedy announced that the next General Council meeting will be a hybrid format at 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, at the Monarch Hotel in Clackamas with a presentation from the Tribal Employment Rights Office.
Dakota Zimmer, Andrea Singleton, Lorena Rivera, Aven Cox and Joanna Brisbois won the $50 door prizes while Val Alexander, Brendyn Smallwood and Ashley Tuomi won the $100 door prizes.
The meeting can be viewed by visiting the Tribal government’s website at www.grandronde.org and clicking on the Government tab and then Videos.