Story by Diane Rodriquez, Siletz Tribes
The public is invited to join the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians on Nov. 19 as it holds its annual Restoration Pow-Wow at Chinook Winds Casino Resort.
This free event begins with a grand entry at 6 p.m. Siletz cultural displays and American Indian vendors – with jewelry, beadwork and other items for sale – will be available throughout the day.
This is the 34th year the Siletz Tribe has celebrated the signing of Public Law 95-195, which re-established government-to-government relations between the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians and the federal government. The Siletz Tribe was among the Tribes of Western Oregon that were terminated from federal recognition in August 1954.
In the late 1960s, it became apparent that the only way to preserve and revitalize Tribal culture was for the Siletz Tribe to regain its status as a Tribe recognized by the United States.
In November 1977, after years of intense lobbying, Congress and President Jimmy Carter approved Public Law 95-195, which reinstated recognition of the Siletz as a federal Indian Tribe. The Siletz Tribe was the second in the nation – and the first in Oregon – to achieve restoration.
Dedicated to improving the quality of life of its more than 4,800 members, the Tribe puts strong emphasis on the education, health and social well-being of all its members.
Significant Tribal accomplishments since Restoration include opening the original health clinic in 1991 and a new much larger clinic in 2010; building more than 100 homes and multiple dwellings for Tribal members, including 20 units at Neachesna Village in Lincoln City that opened in 2009 and another eight units that opened earlier this year; completing the Siletz Dance House in 1996; opening the Tenas Illahee Childcare Center in 2003; and opening the Tillicum Fitness Center, a new gymnasium and a new USDA food distribution warehouse, all in Siletz, in 2008.
Through its economic development division, the Siletz Tribal Business Corporation, the Tribe opened the Siletz Gas & Mini-Mart in Siletz in 2003, the Logan Road RV Park in Lincoln City in 2004 and the Hee Hee Illahee RV Resort in Salem in 2006. The Tribe purchased the Imprints printing business in Lincoln City in 2008. It also opened O’Downey’s Irish Pub and Family Dining in Depoe Bay in 2010.
Tribal offices in Portland, Salem and Eugene now are housed in Tribally owned buildings. The Eugene office moved to its current location in 2005, the Salem office did the same in 2006 and the Portland office moved to its current location in 2008.
The Tribe also played a lead role in opening Siletz Valley School in 2003 and the Siletz Valley Early College Academy in 2006.
Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City opened in May 1995. In June 2004, the Siletz Tribe purchased the former Shilo Inn adjacent to the casino and opened Chinook Winds Casino Resort. Chinook Winds Golf Resort opened in April 2005 when the Tribe purchased the former Lakeside Golf and Fitness Center in Lincoln City. The combination of Tribal employees and those at Chinook Winds Casino Resort has allowed the Siletz Tribe to become the largest employer in Lincoln County.
The Siletz Tribe has honored its tradition of sharing within the community by distributing more than $9 million through the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund and other Tribal resources. Chinook Winds has donated nearly $2.3 million in cash and fund-raising items since 1995. It also provides in-kind donations of convention space for various fund-raisers as well as technical support, advertising and manpower for events.