In an historic first, on Wednesday, July 11 2012, the City of Portland publicly recognized the sovereignty of tribal government partners, and declared the intent of the City to establish formal government-to-government relations with them.
The City’s geographic connections extend to federally recognized tribes in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. The tribal governments with historic ties to use of the Columbia River basin and therefore to Portland, include the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde; the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon; the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation; the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs; the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation; and the Nez Perce Tribe.
Leaders of the Warm Springs, Umatilla, Grande Ronde, Siletz, and Nez Perce governments. The chairman of the Yakama Nation was unable to attend.
The Resolution passed unanimously by the City Council affirms Portland’s policy to implement programs and activities in ways that honor and respect tribal treaty rights, federal-tribal trust responsibilities, and traditional Native spiritual beliefs. Under the Resolution, the City will cultivate opportunities to partner with tribes in relationships of mutual respect to achieve economic, environmental, and other improvements. The Resolution directs the City to develop policies and procedures that support and affirm its commitment to government-to-government consultation with tribal government partners.
I authored the Resolution in partnership with Mayor Adams, assisted by Patti Howard in my office; Warren Jimenez formerly the Mayor's Chief of Staff; Steffeni Mendoza Gray in the Office of Government Relations; and community consultant Roy Sampsel, a Board Member of the Institute for Tribal Government at PSU.
Update 7/18/12: Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde web site news article is here.