Yesteryears -- Aug. 1, 2023

07.31.2023 Danielle Harrison Yesteryears

2018 – The Grand Ronde Canoe Family participated in its 14th canoe journey, “Power Paddle to Puyallup,” hosted by the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. The Tribe began its journey on July 19, starting from Samish, Washington, with stops at Swinomish, Tulalip, Suquamish and Muckleshoot before finishing in Tacoma, Washington, with Landing Day on July 28. The Tribe took two canoes: Stankiya (coyote) and UlXayu (seal).

2013 – After a decade-long effort by Oregon Tribes, the state Department of Education was advertising for an Indian education specialist. “This was one of our priorities for this session, getting positions of equity for all Oregon students,” said Cindy Hunt, Government and Legal Affairs manager for the Department of Education. The proposal to return an Indian education specialist position had been around since 2003.

2008 – The Tribe donated $4,000 to a reward fund established to help catch whomever shot seven trophy bull elk and left them to rot in southwestern Oregon. The Tribe’s donation increased the reward fund to $17,500 and made it the largest contributor in the state.  

2003 – The Tribe’s annual Elder Honor Day attracted almost 250 Elders from across the state and the West Coast to the Tribal gymnasium. The day included the traditional array of introductions, a prayer before lunch, an hour of bingo, a break for the hot part of the day, and then a barbecue and dance music.

1998 – Tribal member Jon A. George was hired by the Tribe as a vocational rehabilitation specialist, working for the Health and Human Services Division. He worked out of both the Portland and Grand Ronde offices and was charged with further developing the Tribe’s job services offered by its Portland office. “It’s shocking to realize how many people didn’t even know the Portland outreach office existed,” he said. “I’m kind of like the guinea pig to see if there is a need to place a person here full-time.”

1993 – Grand Ronde Tribal Executive Officer Jim Willis was appointed to the state Board of Higher Education by Gov. Barbara Roberts. The appointment was then approved by the state Senate. Willis agreed to serve after being contacted by members of the governor’s staff. His appointment would run from 1994 to 1997. 

1988 – The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs passed a bill that would establish a 9,811-acre reservation for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. The bill was similar to one passed in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier that year. The next step in the process was for the bill to go to the Senate floor for a vote.


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