Celilo Falls Fishing on the Columbia River, Oregon (gallery)

Celilo Falls, on the Columbia River at the border of the states of Washington and Oregon, was an important tribal fishing site for native peoples for centuries. At this stretch of the river, the stream contracts into two stretches of narrow water, one short and one long, funneling migrating salmon into a single channel and making easy, if dangerous, fishing possible. Celilo Falls is believed to be one of the oldest continously inhabited native communities on the North American continent; it was destroyed in 1957 to construct The Dalles Dam.

What was lost when the energy potential of the Columbia shifted from a free-flowing river filled with migrating fish to a hydropower dam?

How have American ideas about energy and environmental justice changed since The Dalles Dam was built in the 1950s? How have they stayed the same?

Library Item Location: 

United States