SHINE on Salem 150, celebrating the sesquicentennial of our city's 1860 charter, continues (and concludes) with the 2012 entry.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Salem in 1983

World Events
  • President Reagan dubs the USSR an "evil empire" and proposes a defense system "Star Wars".
  • The US supports the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
  • M*A*S*H ends on TV.
  • First artificial heart transplant is attempted.
Interior of Governance Center, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon

In Salem
Grand Ronde Governance Center, 34 miles west of Salem on highways 22/18 in Polk County, was formerly within the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation, established when several tribes of Native Americans were forced off their lands into this confinement. The southern Oregon tribes were marched 263 miles from their homelands to Grand Ronde during 33 days of February and March of 1856. In all, over 25 tribes from western Oregon, the Willamette Valley, the central Columbia River, the Cascade Range and the Umpqua and Rogue River valleys were removed to the reservation under seven treaties. The Bureau of Indian Affairs area office of the reservation was closed in 1925, but had been removed to various locations, either Siletz Agency, Chemawa Indian School or Portland from 1856 to 1954. The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon was originally governed by a council of tribal representative chiefs. On May 13, 1935, the corporate charter of the reservation was accepted by the BIA. The tribe and reservation was terminated August 13, 1954 when the Western Oregon Indian Termination Act (Public Law 588) revoked the tribe's sovereignty. Kathryn Harrison, who has spent almost 25 years on the council, recalls each tribal member receiving $35 and being told they were no longer a sovereign people. She remembers that larger tribes with resources could go to Washington, DC and testify that they didn't want to be terminated. However, it was many years until Grand Ronde members could take part in their own petition process that began in 1972. By that year, of their originally allotted 69,100 acres, only 2.5 acres remained, the tribal cemetery. Mrs. Harrison said the restoration was a justice issue that required educating government representatives, historical societies, and other tribes of the Grand Ronde's distinctive culture. The long years of tribal effort were rewarded when Congress restored the sovereignty of the Grand Ronde Confederated Tribes in 1983.

When you visit
In 1994 members voted to pursue gaming as a revenue source. A direct result of the successful Spirit Mountain Casino is the Spirit Mountain Community Fund established in 1997. Salem cultural and charitable enterprises benefit from part of the 6% of profits that are distributed in 11 Oregon counties. The casino entrance reminds visitors of the tribal culture; it features a representation of a tribal grandmother and child, Hattie Sands with her grandchild Gertrude (Hudson) Mercier. The Hall of Legends, leading to the lodge is lined with interpretive historical displays. "You have to keep telling your story", Mrs. Harrison says. "Otherwise, people will forget."
The Governance Center of the restored Grand Ronde Community is located a few miles from the casino. The sunlit interior, seen above, features a historic canoe donated to the tribe by the Willamette Heritage Center. The design of the Council Chamber recalls traditional Native American council chambers. An impressive Veteran's Memorial to tribal members of the US military forces stands near the Governance Center.

Our thanks to David G. Lewis, PhD, Cultural Resources Department Manager, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde for his editorial contributions.
Other events
  • Ralph Hanley retires as City Manager and Russ Abolt, his assistant, is appointed.

Chief Moore joins a neighborhood celebration
  • Our Police Department is one of the first in the nation to sponsor a local celebration of "National Night Out", an opportunity for a neighborhood start a special community project in their area with a goal to complete on National Night Out. Some areas have neighborhood clean-up, graffiti paint-overs, expand Neighborhood Watch or other neighborhood problems as their project. Some block parties sponsor food drives, neighbors bringing canned food donations.
  • Salem Electric provides a Member Assistance Program for 100 member families to receive help in paying their utility bills during an exceptionally cold winter.

A view of Willamette University campus
  • Willamette University is selected by a U. S. News and World Report poll of college and university presidents as the best small comprehensive university in the West.
  • The rodeo, which had suffered from lack of attendance and low revenues, is discontinued the State Fair. From its original agricultural focus, the fair has grown into a large and diverse event, with something for everyone: livestock, floral, 4-H and home economics exhibits, country western and jazz concerts, commercial exhibits, art and photography displays, food from all cultures and, of course, the carnival.
  • The Salem Parkway is completed, allowing southbound 99E traffic to exit I-5 near the Lockhaven Drive/Chemawa Road in Keizer and connects with Broadway, Commercial or Front Streets in Salem. This is a by-pass of Portland Road, the traditional entrance to the city. This by-pass is near two local attractions: Salem-Keizer Volcanoes Stadium, hosting baseball games and the recently established Keizer Station, a complex of shopping venues.
  • The Salem Cultural and Tourism Advisory Board is established to advise the City Council on matters pertaining to the use of the transient occupancy tax, cultural activities and convention/tourism business in Salem. The board encourages development of a unified approach to the promotion of Salem; recommending an annual budget to implement such activities; and reviewing and making recommendations on the performance of contractors funded by the transient occupancy tax. The CTPAB budget for 2012-13 offered three types of funding for local cultural attractions. Operating Expense funding was awarded on a competitive basis to 10 venues: the Salem Multicultural Institute, Willamette Heritage Center, Salem Art Association, Willamette Art Center, A. C. Gilbert's Discovery Village, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Elsinore Theatre, Deepwood Estate, Riverfront Carousel and Grand Theater. Three Capital Improvement projects were evaluated and awarded according to need. Twenty-one Special Event requests were also partially funded according to requests. This funding is directed both toward encouraging tourism and offering cultural opportunities for Salem residents.

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