Tribal Government & News
Tribal member Angie Blackwell named general manager
By Danielle Harrison
Smoke Signals editor
Tribal member Angie Blackwell has been selected as the new general manager for the Grand Ronde Tribe. Her start date was Monday, Feb. 12.
Blackwell, 56, most recently worked as the Tribe’s Early Childhood Education Program Manager, a position she held for several years.
She has also served as a Tribal Council Vice Chair and Spirit Mountain Community Fund Director. Additionally, Blackwell has worked as a family life educator through her business Blackwell Family Resources LLC.
“My favorite thing about working for the Tribe is being of service to our membership and playing a role in the amazing work that is happening,” Blackwell said. “When we were first restored, there were only a handful of paid employees. To see how far we have come reminds me just how strong we are. As a sovereign nation, we have so much opportunity and I look forward to what the future brings.”
The general manager, who is a direct report to the nine-member Tribal Council, exercises direct authority over most Tribal departments in carrying out day-to-day operations of the Tribal government.
Tribal Finance Officer Chris Leno served as interim general manager since January 2023, and said several times it wasn’t a goal of his to remain in the position permanently.
One of Blackwell’s first official functions in her new job was to attend a Tuesday, Feb. 13, Legislative Action Committee meeting.
“I want to thank Tribal Council for the opportunity and I’m grateful to be here and I have a lot to learn,” Blackwell said.
“I want to welcome you and you’re going to do a great job,” Tribal Council Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy said.
Vice Chair Chris Mercier added that Blackwell’s long tenure with the Tribe would help in her new role.
“You’ve been with the Tribe forever and have a lot of organizational knowledge that will serve you well,” he said.
Blackwell earned a bachelor’s degree in policy administration and communication from Western Oregon University, an associate degree in early childhood education from Chemeketa Community College, and is a certified family life educator and professional coach.
She is the daughter of past Tribal Council member and key Restoration figure Candy Robertson and the great-great-granddaughter of Chief Solomon Riggs.
Blackwell grew up in Willamina and Grand Ronde, and currently lives in Dallas with her husband, Darren; and three dogs, Kira, Callie and Mayzie.
The couple has five children, six grandchildren, fifteen nieces and nephews, and 11 great-nieces and nephews.
She can be reached at email@example.com.