Grand Ronde Land Claims Technical Correction
Long with Oregon Representatives Blumenauer, Bonamici, and DeFazio, Congressman Schrader introduced H.R.4888 - To amend the Grand Ronde Reservation Act. This legislation is a technical correction that would restore historical parity for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde in Oregon.
HR 4888 concerns the 84-acre “Thompson Strip,” a piece of Grand Ronde’s original reservation lands that was erroneously excluded in an 1871 survey of the reservation. Because it was not included in this survey of the reservation, the Thompson Strip was also excluded from a 1904 sale of the unallotted lands within the reservation and Grand Ronde was not compensated for it. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held the land and allowed three private companies to harvest timber on it, profits from which the Tribe never received. The Tribe, thus, lost two avenues of compensation because of this initial survey error.
BLM discovered the hiatus in 1988 and arranged a land exchange with Grand Ronde in which the Tribe would receive 240 acres of BLM land contiguous to the present Grand Ronde Reservation in exchange for relinquishing their claim to the Thompson Strip. In the 1994 legislation to effectuate this land exchange, language was erroneously inserted that relinquished Grand Ronde’s right to bring any land claims in the whole State of Oregon, not just the Thompson Strip.
HR 4888 is important, common-sense legislation that would restore the land claims rights of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.