With President Ronald Reagan‘s signature on Tuesday, November 22, 1983, the Grand Ronde Indians were once again recognized as a tribe by the U.S. government (The Oregonian, 23 November 1983).
The Western Oregon Termination Act had terminated 61 tribes west of the Cascades in Oregon, including the Grand Ronde, in 1954. Oregon Representative Les AuCoin sponsored the bill to restore tribal status (The Oregonian, 19 October 1983). Kenneth L. Smith, assistant Secretary for Indian affairs under President Reagan, stated in hearings that restoration would entitle 1,143 Grand Ronde Indians to about $850,000 in Bureau of Indian Affairs programs annually.
Smith called the 1954 federal congressional act terminating the Grand Ronde Indians’ tribal status “wrong” and said the situation could be rectifed by adoption of the Oregon Democrat’s bill.
The Grand Ronde Community reservation now covers just over 16 square miles in parts of southwest Yamhill and northwest Polk Counties, 18 miles east of Lincoln City.
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