The importance of Willamette Falls to the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde is immeasurable. Decades of industrial use have damaged this sacred place. Native habitats have been degraded, soils have been polluted and many decrepit old buildings on the site contain hazardous materials. But the Tribe is working to heal this land.
Environmental restoration at tumwata village
Partnering with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and others, the Tribe is embarking on an environmental restoration and remediation effort that will help return the land to a healthier, more natural state.
That effort will involve testing for and removal of hazardous substances and decommissioning underground storage tanks. We will also work to restore riparian areas and improve migrating fish habitat and water quality.
The health of the Willamette River is tied to the health of tumwata village. This connection highlights the importance for the Tribe to act as caretakers of the falls, the river and this place.