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About Smoke signals. (Grand Ronde, Or.) 19??-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 15, 2017)
S moke S ignals
DECEMBER 15, 2017
Food Bank provides
boxes, seeks help
2012 – The second
annual Salmon Cele-
bration began in the
rain at the Tribal fish
weir. At the start of
the ceremony, Travis
Mercier welcomed “our
relatives home for the
year.” Toward the end
of the dinner program
in the Tribal gym, he en-
couraged more than 100
guests to save the re-
mains from their salmon
for return to Agency Creek, effectively thanking the fish by putting
nutrients back into the water. Greg Archuleta and Jordan Mercier
built an alder fire in the rain and prepared the ceremonial salmon.
2007 – Tribal Elder and key Restoration figure Jackie Whisler
was honored at a celebration of life in the Tribal gym. Whisler, 56,
passed away after a long battle with cancer. Her son, Doug Colton,
remembered his mother leading Cub Scout groups, helping with Little
League and making chocolate chip cookies. He also recalled the many
long days and nights his mother spent working on Restoration efforts
in the 1970s and early 1980s. “She was always saying it would pay
off in the long run,” he recalled.
2002 – Bill Pierce, interim Spirit Mountain Casino chief executive
officer, was profiled. The Cherokee Tribal member grew up in Wil-
lamina, joined the Marine Corps after high school and then Oregon
State Police. When Tribal gaming was established in 1995, he was
assigned to auditing all eight Tribal casinos. After working in var-
ious capacities for the Tribe after retiring from police work, he was
named interim CEO at the casino. “We appreciate the fact that he
grew up in this part of the country,” Tribal Chairwoman Cheryle A.
1997 – Tribal youth Luhui Whitebear was honored for her volunteer
work with a $5,000 gift at the National Press Club in Washington,
D.C. She was feted for her service on the Oregon Native Youth Coun-
cil, serving as president of the Native Youth Club at her high school,
coordinating a youth empowerment conference, establishing a weekly
tutoring program, visiting incarcerated Native youth and promoting
the value of education.
1992 – The Tribe was actively pursuing two grants with the goal of
obtaining funds for future operations of Spirit Mountain Development
Fund. “The end result … prosperity for the Tribe,” a Smoke Signals
article stated. It also noted two possible business ventures in the re-
search stages. “The research is timely but important for determining
areas of concentration for future SMDC projects.”
1987 – The Tribe hosted its annual Christmas Party at Grand Ronde
Elementary School. Santa Claus was set to make a special appearance
and a bazaar was held with proceeds benefiting the Tribe’s annual
powwow. Parents were reminded to keep a watch over their children
during the meal to avoid injuries and property damage.
The Grand Ronde Food Bank – iskam mfkhmfk haws – is operated
by Marion-Polk Food Share, which has been leading the fight to end
hunger since 1987 because no one should be hungry.
Recipients of SNAP, TANF, SSI or LIHEAP assistance automat-
ically qualify for assistance at the Grand Ronde Food Bank, 9675
Grand Ronde Road. No one will be turned away in need of a food box.
“We believe that everyone deserves to have enough to eat,” Food
Bank Coordinator Francene Ambrose says. “You are welcome to get
a food box at each of our regular weekly distributions. No one will
be turned away in need of a food box.”
Upcoming food box distribution dates will be:
• 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15;
• 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22 (holiday box distribution).
The Food Bank will be closed the week of Dec. 25-29 in observance
of the Christmas holiday and re-open on Friday. Jan. 5.
Those who are unable to pick up a food box can fill out an autho-
rized representative form and that person can pick up a food box on
your behalf. The authorization is good for one year.
The Food Bank continues to seek volunteers to help with repacking
food, putting food on the shelves, handing out food boxes and end-
Call to ensure someone is available to assist. People also can sign
up for a monthly e-mail for the Food Bank calendar and events, as
well as follow the Food Bank on Facebook.
The Food Bank is an equal opportunity provider.
Call Ambrose at 503-879-3663 or contact her at fambrose@mari-
onpolkfoodshare.org for more information or to volunteer.
Clothes Closet open Friday mornings
The Clothes Closet is open from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the first and
third Fridays of the month and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. all other Fridays
on the Tribal campus near the Elders Activity Center at the end of
The Clothes Closet accepts clothing, small appliances, small pieces
of furniture, electronics and household goods that are clean and in
good condition. It does not accept books, large TVs or large furniture,
but there is a community board where people can post those items.
Donations are accepted during regular business hours.
For more information or emergency clothes, contact Lori Walk-
er-Hernandez at 559-847-7565.
Yesteryears is a look back at Tribal history in five-year in-
crements through the pages of Smoke Signals.
Ad created by George Valdez
Ad created by George Valdez