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Think Out Loud

The Grand Ronde Story

What is life like 25 years after restoration?

On Highway 18 about half-way between Portland and Lincoln City you’ll discover Spirit Mountain Casino. For some beach-goers it is a pit stop en route to the waves. For many it is the destination — a place to gamble and have fun. For still others, it is home.

Spirit Mountain Casino is owned and operated by the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. The tribe decided to persue gambling as a revenue source in 1994. But it’s their history before that which, like the histories of many tribes, is so complex and compelling.

In 1954 Congress passed the Western Oregon Indian Termination Act which ceased recognition of the Grand Ronde tribe by the federal government or other tribes. They no longer had the right to their reservation lands. It wasn’t until 1983, after over a decade of pressuring Congress, that the Grand Ronde was restored, and the tribe began to rebuild its home.

This weekend marks the 25th anniversary of the restoration of the Grand Ronde. We’ll hear the stories of tribal members, young and old, and find out what life is like today on the reservation. Do you remember when the Grand Ronde was restored? Do you have experience with other tribes in Oregon? Do you go to Spirit Mountain and wonder about the lives of people who call Grand Ronde home?


  • Greg Archuleta: member of the Grand Ronde tribe who works in the Chinuk Wawa language program
  • Chris Mercier: the youngest member of the Grand Ronde Tribal Council
  • Margaret Provost: Grand Ronde Tribal Elder who was one of two who began the restoration efforts
  • Nora Kimsey: Margaret Provost’s mother, and the eldest member of the Grand Ronde
  • Kathryn Harrison: Grand Ronde Tribal Elder who worked on the first post-restoration Tribal Council
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