Yesteryears -- Aug. 15, 2023

08.14.2023 Danielle Harrison History


2018 – Grand Ronde Tribal Council officially ended its banking relationship with Wells Fargo. Tribal Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy said it was due to Wells Fargo’s involvement in the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project in North Dakota, creating millions of fake bank and credit card accounts for customers and forcing unnecessary auto collision insurance on more than 800,000 clients.

2013 – An ad hoc group of Tribal departments began reestablishing the community garden originally set up in 2005. The garden was located on 54.64-acre International Paper Co. property along Grand Ronde Road that was purchased by the Tribe in 1990 for $35,000. The land had been used by the Grand Ronde Food Bank, and Tribal and community members, since 2005 but not extensively.

2008 – Tribal member Solomon George brought four heavy metal bands to Grand Ronde for a fundraising concert. The concert collected one barrel full of food and $134 in cash, which would be donated to the Grand Ronde Food Bank. Approximately 80 people attended the event at the Tribal gymnasium.

2003 – The Eagle Beak drum group was featured as members prepared to perform at the upcoming Contest Powwow. “The drum watches over us,” Tribal member Bobby Mercier said. “It’s just like your grandpa or grandma.” The group had been listening, learning and doing what their Elders taught them since it was formed in 1994. Original members were Mercier, Shane Harmon, Dustin Harmon and Joe Hostler.

1998 – A three-person firefighting team from Grand Ronde’s Natural Resources Department made a 1,200-mile journey to New Mexico and Texas to assist with wildland firefighting. The group joined a crew of four Native strike teams with fire engines to help local firefighters as a part of a cooperative effort by the Tribe, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and state of Texas.

1993 – Tribal member Michael Wilson began working for the Tribe as its forest land acquisition officer at the Natural Resources Department. Before working for the Tribe, he was employed by Jackson and Pochman, a timber consulting firm based in Albany, Oregon.

1988 – Grand Ronde Tribal Elders visited the Horner Museum at Oregon State University to view cultural and historical displays, then spent an afternoon visiting Siletz Elders who came for a lunch of baked salmon, sandwiches and other treats. Those who participated included Marie Logan, Dorothy Greene, Mabel Gaston and Ila Dowd.


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