KWSO News for Wed., Jan. 13, 2021

Tribal Employees all returned to their workplace yesterday after many had been on admin leave to slow the spread of COVID-19.  The Tribal Administration building ended up closing by mid-day yesterday but will be open regular hours again today.  Please remember that all COVID-19 precautions remain in place for all Tribal offices:

  • Tribal Buildings remain closed to anyone without an appointment
  • Temperature checks are being done upon entry into Tribal Buildings
  • Face masks or coverings are required
  • Social Distancing of at least 6 feet is marked and enforced

Gov. Kate Brown says after guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Oregon will expand COVID-19 vaccination to include people age 65 and older. Vaccination of Oregon seniors, as well as child care providers and early learning and K-12 educators and staff, will start on Jan. 23. Also Tuesday, the governor’s office said four Oregon counties will move back to the extreme risk category after COVID-19 cases there increased.  Baker, Clatsop, Coos and Morrow counties will move from high risk to extreme risk. Effective Jan. 15 through Jan. 28, 26 counties including Multnomah will be in the extreme risk level.

The Warm Springs Tribal Police Department issued a PRESS RELEASE  yesterday afternoon regarding human remains that were located along Tenino Road.  The FBI and their Evidence Response Team were contacted to help with the processing of the site.  Based on some preliminary examinations by the medical examiner’s office – the remains are estimated to have been in the location where they were found anywhere from one to ten years.  Anyone with information is asked to call the local tip line at 541-553-2202.

The Lincoln’s Powwow Committee announced yesterday that there will not be a gathering this February due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  They acknowledged the challenging time we have been living in for the past year and said “Many gatherings and powwows in Indian country have been cancelled to help keep our people safe.  We, too, are concerned about the safety of all our precious people and with that in mind, our committee has decided to cancel the 2021 Lincoln’s Powwow in Simnasho Oregon.”

Warm Springs Tribal Council was in session on Monday January 4th.  Updates were offered by Bodie Shaw for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, by Hyllis Dauphinais & Dr. Locker for Indian Health Service and from the Covid-19 local response teams by Dauphinais, Danny Martinez, Carmen Smith & Caroline Cruz.  There were Legislative Updates from Matt Hill in Washington D.C. and Michael Mason in Salem.  Tribal Attorney Howie Arnett presented information about the Sale of the Federal Archives Building in Seattle Lawsuit.  Tribal Council voted to approve one option regarding the lawsuit.  You can read the meeting summary HERE.

Warm Springs Tribal Council was in session last Wednesday January 6th.  There was a discussion led by Alfred Estimo Jr. and Michele Stacona regarding trust dollars.  A landfill update was offered by Travis Wells, Joie Simtustus and Said Amali.  Resolutions were approved for a limited waiver of Tribal Sovereign Immunity for an Apollo Incorporated contract as well as approval of conditions and responsibilities outlined in a Bureau of Indian Affairs Indian Highway Safety Program Grant.  Board Appointments were made.  The Warm Springs Financial Strategies LLC Management Committee for the purpose of managing, investing, and directing the appropriation for the membership approved capital improvements and economic development.  The members of the committee are Garland Brunoe, Judith Charley, and the Tribes’ Secretary Treasurer.  William Sam was approved to a 3 year term on the Warm Springs Credit Enterprise Board of Directors.  Appointments to the Warm Springs Composite Products Board and Warm Springs Telecom Board were tabled.  CARES Grant appeals will be reviewed by Tribal Council members Wilson Wewa and Glendon Smith.  There was an executive session on John Deere Mediation.  An update was provided on 509J with superintendent Ken Parshall and school board chair Laurie Danzuka.  And Tribal Council voted to endorse Jaylyn Suppah’s candidacy for the Jefferson County School district board of directors, position 3.   You can read the meeting summary HERE.