It's official. A historic day for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde announced today that they have purchased the 23-acre site at the former Blue Heron paper mill, which includes the planned future site of the Willamette Falls Riverwalk.

“This is a historic day for the Grand Ronde Tribe and our people,” said Cheryle A. Kennedy, Chairwoman for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. “Since 1855 the government has worked to disconnect our people from our homelands. Today, we’re reclaiming a piece of those lands and resurrecting our role as caretakers to Willamette Falls – a responsibility left to us by our ancestors.”

Willamette Falls Trust will continue to partner with both the Willamette Falls Legacy Project and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde in shaping the future of the Riverwalk. Our shared vision is to create a world-class public space at Willamette Falls—connecting people to the natural beauty, cultures and histories of this iconic place.

We look forward to continuing to work with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde on the Riverwalk project. They have been a valuable and active supporter in its development and will continue to be an active part of planning moving forward. We value their active support of the Riverwalk project.

Along with the Willamette Falls Legacy Project, we remain committed to working closely with each of the sovereign tribal governments that have ties to Willamette Falls and who have actively shaped the Riverwalk vision to date — The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, and The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation.

Riverwalk groundbreaking at the site is coming in 2020 – we can’t wait to share more.

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Photo by Timothy J. Gonzalez/Smoke Signals

Photo by Timothy J. Gonzalez/Smoke Signals