Online Reunion, Building the Tribal Community

As a Tribe, The Grand Ronde Tribe is dispersed throughout the United States and abroad because of termination policies forced upon us by the U.S. Federal government back in the 1950s, for more on termination click here.  This has put us in the unique situation of being a Tribe and Tribal without living in close proximity to each other.  This begs the question: What does it mean to be “Tribal?” 

Tribal Elder, Elinore Anders

Recently, I was talking with two elders, my Mother, Elinore Anders (LaChance), and Margret Provost when I posed that question.  Their response surprised me.  “It is not about beads and moccasins,” replied Provost, “Rather it is about family and sharing our lives with each other.”  The conversation turned to reminiscing about days gone by, stories of friends, family, and reservation life.

It dawned on me, today it is impossible for my Tribe to enjoy being “Tribal” the way our elders enjoyed it because it is physically impossible for us to gather together in one place.

So, how do we build relationships with extended family members who live hundreds, even thousands of miles away?  We connect online, using the technology available to us.  We use social media to find each other and begin to share our lives with each other.  We have conversations, dialogs about our lives and passions because this is what makes us a Tribe.

Do you agree?  What do you think makes us a Tribe and how do you suggest we be more “Tribal?”


About andyjenness

Christian, Husband, Father, Son, Brother, Grand Ronde Tribal Member, Entrepreneur, Friend. Education: BS Economics, Masters of Business Administration, Masters of Science in Journalism; University of Oregon. Personality: Passionate, Compassionate, Champion for Justice.
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4 Responses to Online Reunion, Building the Tribal Community

  1. Tamie Spitzer says:

    Thank you Andy. I agree that it is difficlt to be tribal when we are so scattered throughout the country. It is important to have a connection with other tribal members and family. We all have something to share of value.
    Recently our daughter asked “Mom, who is Andy Jennes? I am getting a (facebook) friend request?” I told her “Accept his friendship honey. He is a tribal member trying to do good things for us I think.”

    • andyjenness says:

      Tamie, thank you for the kind words. It is my pleasure to work for our Tribal members. I hope to get to know you and your immediate family better.

  2. Shayla says:

    Great stuff here, Andy!

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