Yesteryears -- Dec. 1, 2017

2012 – Redmond Police Department veteran Alvin LaChance Jr. was sworn in as Grand Ronde’s first Tribal Police chief during what Tribal Council Vice Chair Jack Giffen Jr. called, “a monumental day for Tribal self-governance.” LaChance, 60, joined Jake McKnight, who was also sworn in as sergeant. “This is a historic day for the Tribe,” Tribal Council member Kathleen Tom said. “To have its own police officers on its own land. And to have two longtime Tribal families to represent us is such an honor. It’s just another blessing for this Tribe.”


2007 – The “most important day in Grand Ronde history” -- Restoration Day -- was celebrated with a feast and powwow to fete its 24th anniversary. Almost 500 Tribal members, friends and family attended the events. Tribal Elder Cordelia Kneeland blessed the meal and was at the honorary head of the serving line followed by Elder Dale Langley.

2002 – A traditional longhouse project gained momentum as Tribal members volunteered to split cedar planks with traditional tools from the past. Tribal member Don Day and a crew of six volunteers braved the elements with wooden mallets and antler wedges to split the wood in the Willamette National Forest.

1997 – Polk County Deputy Sheriff Tom O’Brien encouraged community members to “take back control” by becoming more involved and depending less on the government. He explained that a sense of community responsibility had been passed to others and the results were sometimes very frustrating to understand. “Our resources are not keeping pace with the growth and probably won’t for the foreseeable future,” he said. “Even with all this, we have the opportunity to maintain some local control and project influence on future decisions affecting Grand Ronde.”

1992 – Indian Health Service honored Cheryle A. Kennedy as Outstanding Portland Area Tribal Health Administrator. She was feted during a banquet at the Portland Holiday Inn attended by approximately 250 health care workers. At the time, Kennedy had worked for the Grand Ronde Health Department for eight years.

1987 – Eight Tribal members were issued penalties for failure to return first-season elk tags by the designated deadline. Penalties issued by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission involved the loss of hunting privileges until Jan. 1, 1989. The delay in returning the tags resulted in delays reissuing those to second season Tribal hunters.


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