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

  • Print showing a camp on the shore of The Dalles, on the Columbia River, Oregon, ca. 1855
    Print showing a camp on the shore of The Dalles, on the Columbia River, Oregon, ca. 1855
  • Russell Lee, "Indians fishing for salmon, Celilo Falls, Oregon," U.S. Farm Security Administration, 1941.
    Russell Lee, "Indians fishing for salmon, Celilo Falls, Oregon," U.S. Farm Security Administration, 1941.
  • Dipnet fishing at the Cul-De-Sac of Celilo Falls (Columbia River) around 1957, Oregon, Pacific Northwest, USA.
    Dipnet fishing at the Cul-De-Sac of Celilo Falls (Columbia River) around 1957, Oregon, Pacific Northwest, USA.
  • The Dalles Lock and Dam
    The Dalles Lock and Dam was built in 1957, flooding Celilo Falls.

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?

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United States
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