Tribal Government & News

Facebook Live event features new GM Angie Blackwell

03.29.2024 Danielle Harrison General Manager
Angie Blackwell



By Danielle Harrison

Smoke Signals editor

The Tribe held another Facebook Live event on Wednesday, March 27, to introduce the membership to new General Manager Angie Blackwell.

“Today, we have a new element in our Tribal government,” Tribal Council Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy said. “We were advertising for a general manager for quite a while and there were many qualified people that we looked at. Today, I’m here to introduce our new general manager. Welcome aboard and welcome to your first Facebook Live.”

Blackwell, 56, began her new role in February. Prior to becoming general manager, she 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.

“I am so happy to be here and I welcome this opportunity to reintroduce myself to the membership,” Blackwell said. “Many of you already know me and some of you will remember me from other capacities that I’ve served within the Tribe. For those of you who may not know me, I’m a member of the Grand Ronde Tribe and I come from the Riggs and Norwest families…My mother is Candy Robertson and she served on Tribal Council for the first 10 years post-Restoration, so she contributed to some of that work as far as restoring us to federal recognition.”

Blackwell shared that after moving to Grand Ronde as a child, she and her sisters would make copies of the original Smoke Signals newsletter and help with distribution, along with washing dishes after potluck meetings at St. Michael’s Church and other activities to help with the Restoration effort in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

“Even as children, we were engaged in this effort,” she said. “I remember lots of meetings with Sen. (Mark) Hatfield and Rep. (Les) AuCoin and Elizabeth Furse. I really value those memories.”

Attending the Facebook Live event were Kennedy and Tribal Council members Jon A. George and Denise Harvey, with Communications Director Sara Thompson fielding questions asked on Facebook.

Blackwell said that she didn’t always aspire to be a general manager and when it was suggested years ago, she didn’t take it seriously because at the time she was a high school dropout with a young child.

“But I worked really hard all of those years and with the Tribe’s support and my family’s support, I was able to get my education, earn a degree and be able to work here contributing to the Tribe,” she said. “I’m really grateful for this opportunity to be in the role as general manager.”

After Blackwell spoke to the 110 Tribal members who logged on to Facebook to attend, she answered five questions from the audience.

“As a council person, I think we’re all honored to have somebody with such a rich historical background and foundation of not only being a resident here in our community but also who has been working on our different programs and services within the Tribe,” Harvey said. “I’ve never gotten to work directly with Angie but I have definitely worked with her in her different capacities here and I will say one of the things I most admire is she’s an amazing problem solver, which is great as a general manager. Her communication is amazing and she has a good understanding of our organization and community. It’s an honor to have somebody with her knowledge and experience in this role.”

The Tribe started holding monthly Facebook Live events after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 as a way to safely keep Tribal members informed about the Tribe and its activities. They are now held on a more irregular schedule and deal with a variety of issues.

To contact Blackwell, call 503-879-2036 or email