Community vaccine events

Tribe Offers Vaccines for Seniors and Teens

 Wednesday, March 17, 2021

 The Coquille Indian Tribe will offer COVID-19 vaccinations for local senior citizens and teens in two special events this week at The Mill Casino-Hotel.

Coos County residents age 65 and older are eligible for vaccinations on Friday, March 19, or Sunday, March 21. Coos County youth age 16-17 are eligible for the Sunday event.

“We’ve been working hard to vaccinate our tribal families, and we’re delighted that we can reach out to the broader community,” said Coquille Tribal Chairman Brenda Meade.

The Sunday event will use the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Unlike the Moderna vaccine, the Pfizer vaccine can be given to anyone age 16 or older. So this event will target two groups: senior citizens age 65 and up, and teens age 16 and 17.

Meade said the Coquille Tribe is grateful for the opportunity to help protect vulnerable senior citizens as well as teens.

 “With kids going back to school and sports, getting them vaccinated will help protect their teachers and coaches and the whole community,” she said.

She noted that sharing this resource with the tribe’s neighbors reflects the traditional culture of Pacific Coast tribes.

“Our potlatch tradition is all about assisting those around us whenever we have the chance,” she said. “We’re so happy that we are in a position to do this.”

Teens and senior citizens can sign up by going to the tribe’s website, Once there, click on the large white box labeled, “COVID-19 Vaccines.”

Both vaccines require a second dose. The tribe will automatically schedule the Pfizer boosters three weeks after the first appointment and the Moderna boosters four weeks after the first appointment.

The Pfizer vaccine is a one-time supply, made possible by a partnership of the Coquille Tribe, the Oregon Health Authority, the Indian Health Service and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians. The OHA and IHS collaborated to provide the vaccine supply, which the two tribes are splitting.

The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians will help staff Sunday’s event.

Please note: The opportunity to sign up for appointments will end at 4 p.m. the day before each event. The supply of vaccine is limited, and shots at both events are available by appointment only.

For more information, please visit the vaccination page on


Eugene-area Indigenous people soon will have a Coquille Indian Tribe medical clinic

The Eugene Register Guard

An estimated 6,000 Native American and Alaskan Natives in Lane County don’t have a culturally specific medical clinic. The Coquille Indian Tribe is set on changing that.

Read more



Coquille Tribe Opening New Medical Clinic In Eugene

By Brian Bull


The Coquille Indian Tribe is opening an outpatient medical clinic…in Eugene. 

The tribe’s already developing a wellness center in Coos Bay, but citing the “Potlatch Tradition” of sharing resources, Coquille officials say they’re starting a new one in Eugene – more than 100 miles away – where an estimated 6,000 Indigenous people live.  (Read more)





Compass Hotel, Medford

November 19, 2020

Margaritaville Enterprises and The Coquille Indian Tribe
Announce Upcoming Compass Hotel in Medford, Oregon

Following completion in Q1 of 2022, Compass Hotel Medford will
become the first Margaritaville lodging concept in Oregon.

 MEDFORD, OREGON – Today, Cedars Development announced their partnership with Margaritaville Enterprises to bring a new 111-room Compass by Margaritaville Hotel to Medford, Oregon, expected to open in early 2022.

Owned by the Coquille Indian Tribe, Cedars Development is managing the Cedars at Bear Creek, the Tribe’s multi-property economic development project along Pacific Highway in South Medford.

Bringing the fun and flavor of their full-scale resorts to a more boutique concept, Compass Hotel will be the first Margaritaville venue in Oregon. Development kicked off this November on the Tribe’s property at 2399 South Pacific Highway and comes at the same time the community has begun rebuilding from the devastation of Oregon’s Almeda Fire.

“This hotel represents a very important step for the Coquille Tribe’s economic development vision for its Medford properties and for the economic recovery of the South Medford and Phoenix area,” said Coquille Tribal Chair Brenda Meade. “We are fortunate to have a partner like Margaritaville join us in this exciting endeavor.”

Compass Hotels launched in 2020, capturing the Margaritaville state of mind, while delivering fresh, up-scale, and vibrant designs. Compass Hotel in Medford will feature plush and comfortable, island-inspired accommodations and amenities signature to the branded concept in an attentive but laid-back ambiance. Relaxed and casual dining and drinking spaces will offer flavors and entertainment that transport guests to paradise.

“Our team is thrilled to work with Cedars Development on expanding our West Coast portfolio,” shared Tamara Baldanza-Dekker, Chief Marketing Officer at Margaritaville. “We knew this partnership was the perfect fit when Cedars shared their commitment to making visitors feel at home, through the spirit of potlatch, the ancient practice of greeting, feeding and bestowing gifts on guests in daily life, a practice we share in our passion for hospitality.”

Financing for the project comes from Columbia Bank and is guaranteed by the Division of Capital Investment of the federal Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development. Architects for the project are ORW Architecture and Jansen Construction Company of Oregon. Jansen also will manage construction of the hotel.

“It took a truly collaborative effort by all partners to bring the project forward during a pandemic,” said Judy Duffy, CEO of Tribal One and manager of Cedars Development LLC. “We are thrilled to be working with a brand that complements our vision for development in our community and we have appreciated working with staff and agencies at the city of Medford for required permitting and entitlement. We also are particularly grateful for Norton Smith, and the Smith Family who are the former owners of the development site. This project would not have been possible without their support.”

To learn more, please visit and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


 About Compass by Margaritaville 

Margaritaville, a state of mind since 1977, is a global lifestyle brand inspired by Jimmy Buffett, whose songs evoke a passion for tropical escape and relaxation. Margaritaville features over 20 lodging locations and over 20 additional projects in the pipeline, with nearly half under construction, two gaming properties and over 60 food and beverage venues including signature concepts such as Margaritaville Restaurant, award-winning JWB Prime Steak and Seafood, 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill and LandShark Bar & Grill. More than 20 million travelers every year change their latitude and attitude with a visit to a Margaritaville resort, residential real estate destination, vacation club, vacation home rental or restaurant.

Compass by Margaritaville is the newest addition to global lifestyle brand’s growing collection of concepts, where casual luxury, comfort and convenience all meet. Compass offers a fresh way for guests to relax, rejuvenate and escape the everyday, with an ideal design concept for new builds, adaptive reuse and conversion projects in smaller leisure markets, vibrant downtown hubs and college towns.

Compass by Margaritaville’s first property, Compass Hotel Anna Maria Sound, launched in Florida in Q2 of 2020. Future Compass properties are under development in Medford, Oregon, Beaufort, North Carolina and Louisville, Kentucky.

Margaritaville Media Contact:
Caitlin Galeotti,, 646-202-9782

Tribal One Media Contact:

Ray Doering,, 541-982-3047


A home for healing

Tribe builds holistic wellness center 

From The World newspaper, Coos Bay, Ore

CHARLESTON — Just up the hill from Cape Arago Highway, atop a former cranberry bog, heirs of an ancient culture are creating a new approach to health care.

The Ko-Kwel Wellness center will offer primary health care, dentistry, a pharmacy, behavioral health and more — all under one roof. Coquille Indian Tribe families, tribal employees and patients from the surrounding community will come together in a diversified “one-stop shop.”

“Our goal is to be able to take care of the whole person, not just the part that needs a prescription,” said Coquille Tribal Chairman Brenda Meade. “If you’re a patient here, we want this to be your home for health care.”

The wellness center will be Oregon’s first tribal health facility to welcome the non-tribal public. Upholding the ancient potlatch tradition of sharing resources, it will serve hundreds of Oregon Health Plan patients in collaboration with Advanced Health, the organization that administers OHP locally.

Ben Messner, Advanced Health’s CEO, described the center as “an innovative, patient-centered, full-service primary care model that is truly of significant benefit for Advanced Health members and our entire community.”

When it’s finished next year, the 22,000-square-foot facility will nearly triple the Coquille Tribe’s existing health-care space. The center’s medical, dental and pharmacy departments will work alongside additional services such as chiropractic, massage and acupuncture.

“We have a lot of opportunities to offer more services,” Meade said. “It’s really going to depend on the needs of our patients.”

Situated amid homes and tribal offices on the Kilkich Reservation, the wellness center will be an up-to-date structure, infused with more than 10,000 years of tribal history.

Reinforced concrete and quake-resistant steel piling will combine with indigenous cedar planks and Coquille River rock. The color scheme will evoke the South Coast environment. Indigenous plants will fill an interior courtyard, flanked by corridors tracing the shape of a fishing spear. Showcases will display the tribe’s virtuoso basketry, beadwork and even a cedar canoe.

The facility’s name is another salute to tribal heritage. “Ko-Kwel” is a phonetic spelling of the tribe’s name, based on an Indian word for the Coquille River’s once-abundant lamprey.

“We want tribal members to feel welcomed in a setting that celebrates their history,” Meade said. “And we want to share that sense of history and that feeling of potlatch with others in our community.”

Meade emphasizes that the center won’t aim to compete with existing clinics. Rather, it offers a new option in a community where health care providers can be hard to find.

Construction began in April, led by Medford-based S+B James Construction and aided by several Coos County subcontractors. The job is on schedule despite the economic hardships of a global pandemic.

An innovative financing plan is the reason. A regional nonprofit, Craft3, created a financing package that employs federal lending plus an investment tool called New Market Tax Credits. The investor, Wells Fargo, fronts construction money to the tribe in return for a future tax break.

“Craft3 invests in projects that meet community needs and bring people together – and the new wellness center checks both of those boxes,” said Adam Zimmerman, Craft3’s president and CEO.

“We look forward to seeing this vital community project benefit the local community for years to come,” said Kelly Reilly, a Wells Fargo vice president for corporate communications.

Shutdown Ends

The Mill Casino Reopens

KVAL television report (May 14, 2020)

The World newspaper report (May 14, 2020)

KGW television report (May 15, 2020)

News Release

May 14, 2020

NORTH BEND – Just in time for the 25th anniversary of its original opening, The Mill Casino-Hotel & RV Park once again will welcome the public to enjoy its hospitality and entertainment.

The Mill Casino’s limited reopening will commence Monday, May 18. Hours will be 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.

“Seeing our friends again after a two-month closure will be an exciting moment,” said Brenda Meade, chairman of the Coquille Indian Tribe. “The Mill is a hub of community life on the South Coast, and we’re delighted to resume that role.”

The Mill closed in late March, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the shutdown of public places across the country. With Oregon counties and local businesses making plans to reopen, Meade said the Coquille Tribal Council deliberated carefully about resuming operations. As a sovereign Indian nation, the Coquille Tribe self-governs all operations at its businesses.

“Closing The Mill Casino was heartbreaking for the tribe and our employees, and we’ve been eager to get back to work,” Meade said. “We want everyone to know we remain committed to the health and safety of our guests, our employees and our community.

“Things may look a little bit different for a while, but we are all doing everything we can to make The Mill as friendly, comfortable and fun and as it always has been.”

The Mill Casino originally opened on May 19, 1995, in a converted wood-products plant on the shore of Coos Bay. It has grown into the Coos Bay area’s premier entertainment, lodging and dining venue, as well as Coos County’s second-largest employer.

The Mill Casino = Hotel & RV Park’s contributions to the community’s economy include not only its payroll, but also purchases of goods and services, millions of dollars in grants to community organizations, and taxes and fees paid to local government.  

“Like everyone else who closed during the pandemic, we have to rebuild our business,” Meade said. “It won’t happen all at once, but we’re thrilled to be starting.”

See the “Safe Play Plan” summary



Ko-Kwel Wellness Center

A crew drives piles to support the foundation of the future Ko-Kwel Wellness Center. The tribe’s existing health center is visible in the background.

Tribe will expand local care access

Project provides ‘some good news’ during pandemic

April 30, 2020

The Coquille Indian Tribe has begun construction of Oregon’s first tribal health center offering services to the general public.

“This is an exciting opportunity to apply our potlatch tradition of community sharing,” said tribal Chairman Brenda Meade. “It will be another option for people who have had trouble finding a health-care provider.”

The Ko-Kwel Wellness Center will be a 22,000-square-foot building on the tribe’s Kilkich Reservation near Charleston. When it opens next year, the $12 million center will offer primary care, dental care, behavioral health, a pharmacy and other services.

The tribe has discussed the project for several years, and plans solidified in the fall of 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t affected the construction timeline.

“In the midst of this crisis, we’re really pleased to be able to give the community some good news about health care,” Meade said.

The tribe is working with Craft3, a nonprofit lender that serves Oregon and Washington, to develop a financing package expected to include a direct loan and allocation of federal New Markets Tax Credits.

The New Markets Tax Credit program attracts outside investment to projects that benefit critical community needs. Together with favorable loan terms and several private grants, the financing package will let the tribe pay for the wellness center with only a minimal investment of the tribe’s own money.

“It’s a wonderful example of how a tribe can be an economic engine for the broader community,” Meade said.

The new facility nearly triples the square footage of the tribe’s existing Community Health Center, which it replaces. The wellness center will open its doors to several hundred new patients from the community at large, along with tribal families and tribal employees.

“Our vision is for a wraparound health-care home for patients,” said tribal Chairman Brenda Meade. “We’re aiming to create a holistic wellness experience, in keeping with our people’s traditional values.”

The tribe will welcome patients using Medicare, the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) or private insurance.

Construction began in April, and the facility is scheduled to open in the summer of 2021. The tribe intentionally named it a “wellness center” to reflect a focus on serving each patient’s overall needs.

“We want to care for the whole person,” Meade explained. “People will be able to get primary medical care, dental care and a pharmacy, all under one roof. And we don’t want to stop there. Over time, we want to add alternative therapies, such as massage, acupuncture and chiropractic.”

The wellness center will not be a hospital. Nor is the tribe positioning it as a competitor to existing medical clinics. Instead, the intent is to cooperate with other care providers to meet community needs.

“Finding a primary care provider can be challenging for patients, especially those on Medicare and Medicaid,” Meade said. “We’ll provide another option to help relieve the strain.”

The wellness center is being built atop a former cranberry bog on the tribe’s Kilkich Reservation near Charleston. Its design will reflect the tribe’s indigenous heritage: Its exterior will evoke a tribal plankhouse, with a main entrance simulating a traditional round door. The center’s interior corridors will trace the shape of a forked fishing spear, a common symbol of the Coquille Tribe. The space between the fork’s tines will form an interior courtyard where patients can relax in a secluded green space.

S+B James Construction, Medford, is the design-build contractor for the project.  Several subcontractors on the project are local or employ local workers, including Billeter Marine, Coastline West Insulation, Guido Construction, Knife River Materials, Kyle Electric, One Way Builders, Rich Rayburn Roofing and Umpqua Sheet Metal.

The word “Ko-Kwel” in the center’s name highlights the historical pronunciation of the tribe’s own name. Although the city and river bearing the Coquille name are commonly pronounced “ko-keel,” the tribe has revived the older pronunciation in recent decades.