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Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Respond to Salem-News.com Article
The Council knows this process is not any easy one for the Tribal community but the Council is committed to getting through it with diligence and compassion.
Logo for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.
(GRANDE RONDE, OR) - The following is a response from the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, regarding an article recently published by Salem-News.com titled: Mass Disenrollment Hits the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde.
The article was submitted to our newsroom by families of the Grande Ronde Tribe who were potentially facing disenrollment. They say 15 tribal members of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde have already been disenrolled, and 79 cases are pending the outcome of hearings scheduled for December.
Siobhan Taylor, Public Affairs Director with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, contacted our newsroom, writing, "You recently posted an article featuring our Tribal government emblem that contained false and misleading information about tribal disenrollments. It has been posted on many social media sites and news blogs and is very misleading. Many of your readers may assume it is an official release from the Grand Ronde Tribe. It is not. I am attaching an official statement from the Tribe. I hope you will correct the misleading information."
The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde is conducting an enrollment audit. The audit fulfills one of the tasks assigned in the Tribal Strategic Plan for 2010, which was adopted in August of 2009. That plan was formulated after nearly two years of development that began with a Strategic Futures conference in 2007 involving Tribal leaders and members. The plan directed Enrollment to audit all enrollment files and applications, track reasons for denials, and audit blood quantum records with the goal of strengthening the Grand Ronde Family Tree.
Recently some statements have cropped up on social media sites regarding the Tribe’s Enrollment audit. One of them even featured the Tribe’s emblem and could have led people to believe it was an official statement from the Tribe. It was not. In addition, the statements contain extremely misleading and false information. For example, the statement that up to 20% of the Tribe is being disenrolled is simply not true. Audit proceedings are ongoing and in fact, over the last several months a number of Tribal members and their families have provided the necessary information to clear up inconsistencies in their files and resolve issues related to their enrollment.
Tribal Council cannot make any specific comments on the Enrollment Audit until audit proceedings have been completed. The Tribal Council does not see enrollment files until an Enrollment Committee recommendation is presented.
There is an established process under the Enrollment Ordinance for addressing loss of membership that includes working with Enrollment Staff, then hearings before the Enrollment Committee, a hearing before Tribal Council., and ultimately an appeal to Tribal Court and the Tribal Court of Appeals.
Over the years our Tribal membership, through Constitutional amendments, has consistently pushed for tightening our membership requirements. As elected officials the Tribal Council took an oath of office to uphold the Tribal Constitution and the laws of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. In that same pledge, the Council swore that they would perform all duties required of them by the Constitution and the laws of the Tribe. The Council knows this process is not any easy one for the Tribal community but the Council is committed to getting through it with diligence and compassion.
Public Affairs Director
Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde
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