Grace Elting Castle was raised on the Siletz Indian Reservation in Siletz, Oregon. She is a fierce protector of Native culture, traditions, stories, natural resources, sacred items and burial sites. She was an outspoken advocate for the passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and was often the lead investigator for Native American defendants. A member of the initial committee for restoration of tribal rights terminated by the U.S government, she later helped the Siletz tribe regain their largest burial ground, as well as the surrounding acreage known as Government Hill. In 1985, she led a successful drive to strengthen Oregon’s law against robbing of Native American gravesites.
Grace is a retired professional investigator, a nationally recognized writer/editor and an award-winning newspaper reporter and photographer. She edited and co-authored the critically acclaimed investigative textbooks Advanced Forensic Civil Investigations, Advanced Forensic Criminal Defense Investigations and Corporate Investigations. She represented the National Association of Legal Investigators (NALI) on the planning committee for the 1998 “Wrongful Convictions and the Death Penalty Conference” in Chicago and was a speaker at the event. In 2001, she co-sponsored and chaired the first conference for investigators working on wrongful conviction cases. She participated in the re-investigation of countless wrongful convictions during her years as the Executive Managing Director and Innocence Project Coordinator for Paul J. Ciolino and Associates in Chicago and continues the battle to reform our system of justice.
She is a past president of the Oregon Association of Legal Investigators (OALI), past regional director of the National Association of Legal Investigators, Inc. (NALI) and past editor of their educational journal, The Legal Investigator. She has also served as editor of the National Association of Process Servers’ newsletter, The Docket Sheet; as editor of the Pacific Northwest Legal Assistants’ newsletter, Hearsay and for over a decade as editor of PI Magazine, the Journal for Professional Investigators.
A deep interest in the history of her paternal families, the Dutch and French Huguenots, of the Hudson River Valley of New York state, resulted in Grace serving in several offices, including president and editor of the Bevier-Elting Family Association of New Paltz, NY. She served on Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) committees, and in 2008, published a 244-page book, Answering the Call, An Elting Military Tribute. She is a past president of Paul Washington Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars 732, Siletz Oregon.
Grace has written non-fiction numerous newspaper and magazine articles on Siletz history and culture. In recent years she has written on those topics for Oregon Coast Magazine.
At the December 2018 launch of her first novel, A Time to Wail, An Indian Country Novel set in the 1970s Siletz Valley, STAHS presented a lifetime achievement award in honor of Grace’s support and promotion of the heritage and culture of the Siletz People.
Grace joined STAHS’ Board of Directors in July 2019 and is excited to be involved in the capital campaign to fund building of a culture center/museum.