Smoke signals. (Grand Ronde, Or.) 19??-current, April 01, 2017, Page 6, Image 6

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S moke S ignals
APRIL 1, 2017
Tribal Council OKs Molalla Native mascot agreement
Smoke Signals editor
First came Banks.
Then Scappoose.
Now Molalla River.
During its Wednesday, March
22, meeting, Tribal Council ap-
proved its third memorandum of
agreement with an Oregon school
district that will allow the Molalla
River School District to retain its
Native American mascot as long as
it adopts more culturally appropri-
ate imagery.
The Banks School District west of
Portland retained its Braves mascot
under the first agreement, which
was approved by the Oregon Board
of Education on Thursday, March 23.
Scappoose, northwest of Port-
land, signed an agreement with
the Tribe to keep its Native mascot
name, the Indians. The agreement
went out for a first reading from
the Oregon Board of Education on
Thursday, March 23.
And now Molalla River will be
working to retain its Indian mascot
under the third agreement.
Although the Oregon Board of
Education initially banned the use
of Native mascots in public schools,
a legislatively mandated exception
to the ban was approved in early
2016 and school districts are al-
lowed to work with any of Oregon’s
nine federally recognized Tribes
toward keeping and modifying
their mascots into something more
culturally appropriate.
Molalla River will cease using a
Native Indian profile in full head-
dress in favor of a seal that features
a bear and coyote standing amid a
forest of trees.
“Grizzly and Coyote are inte-
gral to the Molalla people and are
symbolically juxtaposed with one
another,” states a Molalla River
presentation. “The stylized trees
portrayed as stacked triangles rep-
resent both fir trees and the Molalla
people. In a nod to collegiate design,
the graphics nestle into the power
of a circular emblem.”
The Tribal-school district agree-
ment features many of the same re-
quirements as previous documents.
The agreement will be for 10 years
with the Tribe and school district
reviewing it annually for the first
five years and again during the
ninth year.
The agreement requires the Mo-
lalla River School District, which
started using the Grand Ronde
Tribe’s fourth-grade Tribal history
curriculum in 2015, to begin using
the eighth-grade curriculum no
later than this spring.
In addition, the school district
agrees to sponsor a Native Club
open to high school students who
desire to participate.
Molalla River School District Su-
perintendent Tony Mann said that
18 of the district’s 2,335 students
identify as Native American.
Like Banks, Molalla River re-
ceived assistance and advice from
Grand Ronde Cultural Resources
Department Manager David Har-
relson in creating a new, culturally
appropriate seal.
During the Tribal Council meet-
ing, Tribal Council Secretary Jon
A. George and Tribal Council mem-
ber Jack Giffen Jr. complimented
school district representatives for
sincerely working on the issue with
the Tribe.
“This has been quite a process,”
Tribal Council Chairman Reyn
Leno said. “It has been a win-win
for everyone.”
In addition to Mann, Molalla River
School Board members Neal Lucht,
Craig Loughride and Ralph Gierke
attended the Tribal Council meeting.
The Molalla River School Board
approved the agreement on Thurs-
day, March 23. It will follow the
same process and go to the Oregon
Board of Education for a first read-
ing and then final approval.
The Grand Ronde Tribe part-
nered with the Molalla River School
District because Molalla is central-
ly located within the homelands of
the Molalla people, who signed the
1855 Willamette Valley Treaty and
were removed to the Grand Ronde
Reservation. The Molalla are one of
the five major Tribes of the Grand
Ronde confederation.
In other action, Tribal Council:
• Approved the agenda for the
Sunday, April 2, General Council
meeting to be held at 11 a.m. at
the Valley River Inn in Eugene.
The program presentation will be
from the Tribe’s Tribal Employ-
ment Rights Office;
• Appointed Spirit Mountain Casino
Advertising Supervisor Angela
Sears as a volunteer to Tribal
Court’s Tribal Member Review
• Approved two Tribal credit cards
for use by the Youth Education
Department to pay for off-Res-
ervation student activities with
vendors who do not accept pur-
chase orders;
• Approved an application to the
National Park Service for a
$50,000 Tribal Heritage Grant to
fund repairs at the Grand Ronde
Rail Depot;
• Approved a new two-year con-
tract with Tribal Court Chief
Judge David Shaw;
• Approved the annual perfor-
mance review for the Grand
Ronde Housing Department,
which is required by the Indian
Housing Block Grant program;
• Approved amendments to the
Tribe’s Elders’ Retirement Pro-
gram & SSI Program Ordinance.
Tribal Attorney Holly Partridge
said the proposed amendments
received no comments from Trib-
al members when they were
sent out for a first reading. The
amendments provide for an El-
ders’ SSD Program and make
minor technical changes;
• And approved the enrollment of
two people into the Tribe because
they satisfy the requirements
outlined in the Enrollment Ordi-
nance and Tribal Constitution,
and OK’d the correction of blood
quantum for one Tribal member.
Also included in the March 22 Trib-
al Council packet were authoriza-
tions to proceed that:
• Authorized staff to evaluate
opportunities for solar power
development on Tribal lands;
• Approved international travel for
Cultural Resources Department
employees Briece Edwards and
Jessica Curteman to attend an
archaeology conference in Van-
couver, British Columbia;
• Directed staff to bring amend-
ments to the Name Change
Ordinance and Small Claims
Ordinance forward to Legislative
Action Committee for action;
• And approved relocating the coffee
cart to a site near the Employment
Services Building with a cost for
the required infrastructure im-
provements not to exceed $22,000.
George opened the meeting with
a cappella cultural singing.
The meeting, in its entirety, can
be viewed on the Tribal website,, by clicking
on the News tab and then Video. n
Canoe Family Meetings
April 15th
May 13th
June 10th
July 8th
Meetings will be at
achaf-hammi, the
Plankhouse from 12 to 2
p.m., lunch provided
Canoe Journey
By Dean Rhodes