Trump signs Oregon Tribal Economic Development Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A possible hurdle to the Grand Ronde Tribe developing its privately held land has been removed.

President Donald Trump signed the Oregon Tribal Economic Development Act on Friday, June 1.

The Senate approved the act on Nov. 30, 2017, and the House of Representatives OK’d it on Wednesday, May 16.

The act allows five Oregon Native American Tribes, including the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, to purchase, sell, lease or convey their interests in non-trust property without the approval of the federal government. The bill does not apply to Tribal interests in property that the federal government holds in trust.

The legislation is intended to allow the Oregon Tribes greater control over transactions involving property.

The bill was submitted by Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley on May 25, 2017. Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio introduced an identical bill in the House of Representatives on July 13, 2017.

The Oregon Tribal Economic Development Act allows five Oregon Tribes to forego that additional approval on privately held lands. In addition to Grand Ronde, the act affects the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, the Siletz Tribe, the Warm Springs Tribe and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians.