Yesteryears -- Feb. 15, 2018

2013 – The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde officially became a minority owner of SAM Medical Products on Monday, Feb. 11, after Tribal Council Chairman Reyn Leno and company Chief Executive Officer Sam Scheinberg and his wife, Cherrie, signed the documents before 50 Tribal representatives, employees and other dignitaries. As part of the agreement, the Tribe provided a five-year term loan and revolving loan to SAM Medical, which would allow the company to quickly expand its product line.


2008 – Dozens of Tribal hunters convened at the Community Center to pave the way for the return of Tribal ceremonial hunts. The Tribe was awaiting a mid-April decision by the state Fish and Wildlife Commission that was expected to return its sovereign right to hunt for ceremonial game outside of state-sanctioned hunting seasons. The proposal had the support of Gov. Ted Kulongoski and a number of commissioners.

2003 – The Tribe hosted six of Oregon’s nine federally recognized Tribes in an effort to find ways to better work together and form a state gaming alliance. However, differences on casino issues threatened to drive a wedge into the discussion. “This is not about Tribe versus Tribe,” Intergovernmental Affairs Director Justin Martin said. “This is about a policy that affects all nine Tribes and ultimately the future of Indian gaming in Oregon.”  

1998 – An expansion of Spirit Mountain Casino, which originally opened in 1995, was scheduled for completion in June. The casino grossed $40 million in 1997. The expansion was set to include 150 to 250 more slot machines, more buffet seating and increased capacity in the bingo hall, along with a larger non-smoking area and off-track betting, poker and keno rooms.

1993 – Leon “Chips” Tom was the subject of a February Smoke Signals Elders’ Spotlight article. Tom was born and raised in Grand Ronde, and spent 43 years working in the timber industry. He was elected to Tribal Council in 1992. He said serving on Tribal Council was a way to make a difference in the Tribe’s future. “There’s going to be many changes during the next 20 years,” he said. “In the future, people will not only need education, but they will need to be able to compete in the business world.”

1988 – The Housing Improvement Program for fiscal year 1988 was cut at the federal level and would only fund two repair projects for Elders. “Tentative recipients have already been notified they will receive help when our housing contract is approved,” Tribal Housing Coordinator Dave Bailey said. “Those of you who have not received a call or letter saying you will be helped will not receive assistance this year.”


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