Yesteryears - April 15, 2024

04.12.2024 Yesteryears



2019 – Grand Ronde Tribal member David Lewis had a new title to add to his list of accomplishments – Indigenous video game contributor. Lewis, an ethnohistory researcher and adjunct professor, wrote 14 narratives for the newly released “When Rivers Were Trails,” an educational, 2-D adventure game that explored the effects of allotment acts on Indigenous communities in the 1890s.

2014 – The first of two informational sessions was held about proposed amendments to the Tribal Constitution. The first proposed amendment removed the oversight role that the Department of the Interior, through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, had over Tribal constitutional amendment elections. The second proposed amendment would set term limits for future Tribal Council members.

2009 – More than 50 youth from Grand Ronde, Siletz and Klamath Tribes participated in the Native Youth Leadership Conference held in the Tribal gym. The conference focused on the idea of sustainability.

2004 – The Tribe’s Youth Education Program hosted its first annual spring break camp. The camp was open to the Native Club, Youth Leadership and Tribal students in sixth- through 12th grade. They were there to learn leadership and team building skills and to become more familiar with their homelands. The camp was held at the Tribe’s new campground at Agency Creek.

1999 – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Grand Ronde substation was relocated to the Tribal Governance Center grounds and included additional deputies. They were added to keep pace with the increase in the Grand Ronde community’s population growth.

1994 – The Grand Ronde Chemical Dependency Program hosted a basketball tournament at Chemawa Indian School. There were nine teams from different Tribes. The Spirit Mountain team, coached by Grand Ronde Prevention Counselor Vernon Kennedy, took first place. Grand Ronde had another team entered called Greg 49ers, coached by Mike Larsen and Greg Leno.

1989 – Tribal Chairman Mark Mercier stated in his chairman’s report that the Tribe was seeking a site for the Forestry Program. The site needed to have adequate office space and storage facilities for vehicles and related forest machinery.


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