Yesteryears -- April 1, 2023

03.30.2023 Danielle Harrison Yesteryears

2018 – Grand Ronde Tribal Council members and the Metro Council held a joint meeting in Portland to discuss shared goals of developing partnerships, environmental and economic stewardship, and preservation of cultural heritage. The government-to-government consultation was the first official one that the Tribe had with Metro. Tribal Council Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy said that the Tribe had been “active and involved” with Metro for several years on various regional projects.

2013 – Grand Ronde Tribal member April Campbell testified before the Oregon House of Representatives’ Ways and Means subcommittee in support of creating an Indian education specialist position within the state Department of Education. The position had been a sought-after addition by Oregon’s nine federally recognized Tribes since 2003 as a part of the Indian Education Plan, which was developed by Oregon’s Tribes as a way to work with their respective local school districts to improve student achievement.

2008 – The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde received national TV exposure when “Little People, Big World” featured Tribal members building a miniature plankhouse and blessing it afterward at Roloff Farms near Hillsboro. The episode featured Tribal members Bobby Mercier, Greg Archuleta and Jon A. George, and Tribal Council members Kathleen Tom and Chris Mercier. In addition, Tribal royalty and warriors, drummers, dancers and Canoe Family members participated in the making of the show.

2003 – Several Tribal members who had chosen to serve in the military during Operation Iraqi Freedom were featured. They included Second Class Petty Officer Tony Norton, E-4 Specialist Frank Grammer, E-4 Specialist Frank Hostler II, Chief Warrant Officer Arch Bly and Private Ira Harrison-Woolf.

1998 – During an annual meeting of the Grand Ronde Community Water Association, an official reported that a lawsuit between the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and the association could affect future operations. After a discussion about the lawsuit, Tribal Executive Officer Francis Somday informed attendees that the Tribe had not filed a lawsuit against the water association and was unaware of any pending litigation involving the group.

1993 – Gayla Tulensru joined the Tribal staff as the new adult education coordinator. She had spent two prior years working in the Salem and Woodburn school districts as a substitute teacher, and in the federal prison in Sheridan as an instructor who also set up their library system.

1988 – Oregon Rep. Les AuCoin introduced new legislation creating a reservation for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. The AuCoin-Hatfield Bill called for a 9,811-acre reservation that restricted the export and purchase of timber for 20 years, and required that a minimum of 30 percent of timber revenues go to economic development.


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