(House of Representatives - November 19, 2013)

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[Page H7196]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                            RECOGNIZED TRIBE

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Olson). The Chair recognizes the 
gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Schrader) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. SCHRADER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge a significant 
milestone for the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of 
Oregon. This Friday, November 22, 2013, marks the 30th anniversary of 
the Grand Ronde Tribe's restoration as a federally recognized tribe.
  The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde consist of nearly 30 different 
historic Indian tribes who lived in western Oregon, southern 
Washington, and northern California. This confederation of tribes was 
created almost 160 years ago when the Federal Government forced these 
tribes onto the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation in order to make room 
for the expanding settler population. Before the settlers arrived on 
the west coast, there were more than 60 tribes living within the Oregon 
stretch of the Pacific Ocean. These tribes resided in their homelands 
for over thousands of years.
  As more and more settlers flowed into Willamette, Umpqua, and Rogue 
River Valleys, they began to overwhelm the land that had once belonged 
to the tribes. Conflict ensued. By the 1850s the United States 
Government, in an effort to end conflict and open up land for settlers, 
initiated treaty-making with the antecedent tribes and bands of Grand 
  The United States and the Kalapuya and Molala Tribes, among others, 
entered into the Willamette Valley Treaty. With this treaty, the United 
States seized much of the Willamette Valley while promising money, 
supplies, education, health care, and protection to the Indians.

                              {time}  1045

  As a result of the Willamette Valley treaty and six other treaties 
ceding about 14 million acres, over 2,000 tribal people were removed 
from their native homelands and forced to resettle on the Grand Ronde 
Indian Reservation in the Yamhill Valley. At that time, the reservation 
consisted of more than 60,000 acres of land.
  Before the arrival of the settlers, there were 20,000 native people 
living in the Willamette Valley. When the tribes were forced onto the 
reservation, there were 2,000. At the dawn of the 20th century, there 
were only 302 people listed on the Grand Ronde Reservation census. Many 
people had died as a consequence of the administrative neglect or had 
moved away from the reservation to find better opportunities for work 
in the cities.
  By 1944, the United States Government found itself between a 
depression and a war. Seeking to cut government spending, they began to 
terminate their treaty responsibilities to Indian tribes and began the 
process of ending the United States' relationship with the tribe.
  In 1954, Congress passed the Western Oregon Indian Termination Act, 
which terminated treaties the government had entered into in the 1850s. 
As a result of that act, the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation was closed. 
By this time, the tribe had been calling the reservation home for over 
100 years. Along with losing their homes, people lost their access to 
health care, education, and other services the Federal Government 
promised to provide them in the treaties with the tribes. The Federal 
Government reneged on its promise to the tribes of a ``permanent 
reservation forever.''
  Although the Grand Ronde people were once again driven from their 
land, they refused to surrender their cultural identity and traditions. 
In the 1970s, members of the Grand Ronde reservation community united 
to form the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Indians to fight for 
their right to be recognized by the United States Federal Government.
  After years of dedication and persistent efforts by tribal members, 
the United States Congress finally restored its relationship with the 
tribe on November 22, 1983, passing the Grand Ronde Restoration Act 
signed by President Ronald Reagan. This act, following nearly 30 years 
of termination, allowed the tribe to be eligible again for Federal 
housing, health, and education services. It also initiated a process 
that would lead to the Grand Ronde Reservation Act and the tribe's 
recovery of almost 10,000 acres of its original reservation.
  Since restoration, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde has 
thrived, becoming one of the most successful and vibrant tribes in the 
Pacific Northwest. With their own money, they have reacquired parts of 
their original reservation. The population of the tribe has grown from 
roughly 1,500 members a year after restoration to almost 5,000 members.
  Grand Ronde boasts a stable economy that is rooted in timber and 
tribal gaming. The Spirit Mountain Casino on the Grand Ronde 
reservation has been responsible for a significant part of the tribe's 
income since the mid-1990s. Spirit Mountain is the most successful 
casino in Oregon and also the largest employer in Polk County, 
employing more than 1,200 people. Grand Ronde dedicates 6 percent of 
casino profits to its Spirit Mountain Community Fund. The fund, which 
supports a diverse array of charitable organizations in Oregon, has 
given more than $60 million to local communities, nonprofit 
organizations, and Oregon's Indian tribes since 1977.
  The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde emerged from over a century of 
hardship to become a thriving community. There can be no doubt that the 
people of Grand Ronde will continue to prosper, as they have done on 
this land for a thousand years.

                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair will remind all persons in the 
gallery that they are here as guests of the House and that any 
manifestation of approval or disapproval of proceedings is in violation 
of the rules of the House.