Native News Network Staff in Native Currents. Discussion »
SALEM, OREGON Last Friday the American Indian tribes in Oregon celebrated the annual Tribal Government Day at the State Capitol. With the state legislature not in session, the annual event aimed at educating legislators and state employees about Oregon's nine federally recognized Tribes and their government-to-government relationship with the state.
Klamath Councilman Frank Summers, Councilman Shawn Jackson,
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, and Vice Chairman Don Gentry
This year's theme was "Tribal Governments: Discover, Explore, Connect" and was open to the public.
Each tribal government had a designated roundtable for their tribal council, and other guests. Then following table discussions, tribal representatives were ushered upstairs to witness Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber sign the annual American Indian Week proclamation. American Indian Week in Oregon is May 13 to May 19.
The event also featured a wide-ranging selection of 10 films produced by seven of the Tribes. The Klamath Tribes video featured the Modoc War.
The Klamath Tribes also took the opportunity to promote Senate Bill 1851, which promotes Salmon Treaty Rights along the Klamath River, dam removal, and assists with helping to resolve, in-part, the Klamath Basin Water Adjudication on mutually agreeable terms.
This year's event featured a new aspect of communication called, The 2012 State Agency small group discussions. These were held on Thursday afternoon and were also the 2012 American Indian Week Kick Off.
In all, 28 state agencies were part of the small group discussions, 15 state agencies represented in Session One and 15 represented in Session Two. There were also directors, deputy directors & managers who have been key contacts for many years and some agency representatives who were new to the key contact or tribal liaison position. Some agencies had more than one representative attend.
“Oregon's relationship with its nine federally recognized Tribes is one that is growing and it has certainly been one of the best relationships in the United States,”
stated Robert Garcia, tribal chair of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua & Siuslaw Indians.
“Since I came back into office in 2010, this is our second celebration,”
Oregon Governor Kitzhaber said.
“I'm very honored to have a chance to participate again at this very important gathering I'm very grateful that representatives of your sovereign governments travel here every year to share your stories about your history, about your sovereignty and about your survival. I think we are all enriched as a state from learning about your governments, your culture and your traditions.”
Governor Kitzhaber also acknowledged how Tribes have assisted Oregon in natural resources management and Oregonians through their continued philanthropy during the recent economic downturn.
“I believe that the strength and commitment through the government-to-government relationship that we have forged between the state and the nine sovereign Tribal governments provides a pathway to explore new ideas and new perspectives,”
photo credit T. David, Klamath News
posted May 16, 2012 7:20 am edt