The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde in Oregon are pushing to win congressional streamlining and simplification of the federal government’s tribal land acquisition process. The Tribes have also won the formal blessing of the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners who unanimously approved a resolution lending its support to the cause.
The press report states: “Currently, when the tribe acquires a new piece of property, it moves initially just from fee status to trust status. The move from trust status to reservation status, fully incorporating the property into the tribe’s recognized reservation holding, literally requires an act of Congress. And as old saw about something taking an act of Congress suggests, that can take years.”
The tribe is recruiting sponsors for legislation, to be introduced later this year, that would remove that hurdle, according to attorney Rob Greene, who made the tribe’s case to the county board.
Currently, the tribe owns only a small portion of its original 60,000-acre reservation — about 9,800 acres straddling the western parts of Polk and Yamhill counties. It would like eventually to restore all 60,000 acres to reservation status, or at least a substantial portion — whatever it can obtain from willing sellers at reasonable prices.