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Coquille Tribe awards grants to Jackson County groups

The Coquille Indian Tribe, which operates The Mill Casino in North Bend, announced grants to groups throughout Southern Oregon. [Coquille Indian Tribe photo]

The Coquille Indian Tribe has awarded $110,839 in grants to 16 organizations in Jackson County.

La Clinica received the largest grant — $25,000 for acute care clinic expansion.

The grants are part of $815,000 in 2023 Coquille Tribal Community Fund donations to groups in Jackson, Coos, Curry, Douglas and Lane counties.

The tribe shares proceeds from The Mill Casino-Hotel in North Bend on the Southern Oregon coast. The Community Fund grants focus on education, public safety, arts and culture, the environment, historical preservation, health and problem gambling.

“It was humbling to see the list of grant recipients for our Community Fund grants this year,” Tribal Chairman Brenda Meade said in a press release. “The incredible amount of work happening by our nonprofit organizations reminds us how lucky we are to live here in Southern Oregon. On behalf of the Coquille Tribe, we feel honored to be able to support their hard work.”

Other Jackson County groups that received grants are:

  • Southern Oregon Navigator, $15,000
  • Rose Circle Mentoring Network, $8,000
  • Rogue Valley Family YMCA, $8,000
  • Dogs for Better Lives, $7,500
  • United Way of Jackson County, $5,000
  • St. Martin's Episcopal Church Food Pantry, $5,000
  • Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice, $5,000
  • Peter Britt Gardens Music & Arts Festival Association, $5,000
  • Jacksonville Community Center, $5,000
  • Habitat for Humanity/Rogue Valley, $5,000
  • Applegate Partnership Inc., $4,339
  • Living Opportunities, $4,000
  • Crater Lake Academy, $3,500
  • Oregon Conservatory of Performing Arts, $3,000
  • North Medford High School Color Guard, $2,500

The tribal fund accepts grant applications in the fall each year. Learn more at coquilletribe.org, or call fund administrator Julia Willis at 541-756-0904, ext. 1254.

According to the tribe’s website, before the arrival of European settlers, the Coquille lived in timber and plank houses in villages along the coast and inland rivers. They carved cedar canoes, gathered seafood, fished, hunted deer and elk, made elaborate baskets, traded widely and made useful tools from obsidian, blueschist and other hard minerals.

European diseases, conflicts with settlers and miners and forced removal to a distant reservation decimated the Coquille population. Children were separated from their parents and sent to boarding schools. The federal government took away the Coquilles’ tribal status in 1954, but survivors kept their heritage alive and regained their tribal status in 1989, according to the tribe’s website.

The Coquille built a casino and manage a 5,400-acre tribal forest for timber, jobs and cultural and spiritual renewal. They offer health, education and housing services for Tribal members and have revived traditional skills, such as canoe-building, seafood gathering and dancing, according to the tribe’s website.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.