Remembrance of Kathryn Harrison

Floor Speech

Date: May 24, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, I rise to celebrate the extraordinary life of Kathryn Harrison, who walked on last Sunday at the age of 99. Kathryn was an extraordinary woman of vision, leadership, and determination.

Kathryn was a key leader for her Grand Ronde tribe, and indeed for Native Americans everywhere. Her amazing life resulted in numerous honors and widespread recognition for her testimony before Congress that ultimately led to the restoration of Grand Ronde's federal recognition. After the restoration, Kathryn was instrumental in developing ways to capitalize on tribal resources for the lasting benefit of both the people of Grand Ronde, and indeed all Oregonians.

She was patient, thoughtful, determined, and always had a great spirit and a terrific sense of humor. I am honored to have been able to work with Kathryn on tribal issues for over 20 years. She led with dignity and focus simply by being in the room. We are all better people for being touched by her life and her services of giving back. I count myself lucky that our paths crossed many times. She was a powerful symbol of determination--helping secure justice for tribal people and providing inspiration for Native Americans across the country.