Opinion: Grand Ronde Tribes rebuild a nation
"On Saturday, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde will celebrate its silver anniversary as a restored Tribe. Looking back over the last 25 years, the Tribe has truly evolved and survived the worst that federal Indian policies could throw at them.

The Tribes that make up the Grand Ronde Confederation - Chasta, Rogue River, Umpqua, Molalla and Kalapuya - signed seven treaties ceding their vast lands to the federal government in the 1850s. Tribal members were force-marched 263 miles over 33 days in February and March of 1856 to Grand Ronde.

The assault on the Tribes' way of life continued until finally, in 1954, Congress passed the Western Oregon Indian Termination Act. The Grand Ronde Tribe was terminated. Tribal members were no longer acknowledged as Indians by the federal government and other Tribes, and had no rights to the reservation lands. A relocation program, scattering members across the country, followed termination.

Then, in 1972, a small group of Grand Ronde Tribal members began the work to restore the Grand Ronde Tribe. Their base of operation was a small shack without running water and electricity located on the only land officially left of the once large Grand Ronde Reservation - 2.5 acres of the Tribal cemetery.

Tribal members held bake sales, car washes and get-togethers to raise money to fund Restoration efforts. They earned the support of members of Oregon's congressional delegation and local community members. Finally, on Nov. 22, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed the Grand Ronde Restoration Bill, making Grand Ronde a restored and federally recognized Tribe. The work of rebuilding a nation began."

Get the Story:
Siobhan Taylor: The Grand Ronde celebrates a proud history (The Oregonian 11/20)