Multimedia Collection

Celilo Falls and the Remaking of the Columbia River

31 min
F853 .C4 2006 DVD

This documentary examines a turning point in the history of the Pacific Northwest. For more than 10,000 years the native peoples of the region lived successfully off the land and waters as hunters, gatherers, and fishers. Salmon was a mainstay of the Indian's diet, and the tribes of the Columbia River were particularly linked to the fish not only for their food but also as an integral part of their religion and way of life.

For millennia Celilo Falls was the great Indian fishery on the mid-Columbia, and it drew Indians from throughout the West to trade for salmon. But in 1957 the federal government began operation of a giant hydroelectric dam at The Dalles that drowned Celilo Falls and ended the fishery there.

Through a combination of rare historic films and photographs, Celilo Falls and the Remakin of the Columbia River provide a glimpse of the life at Celilo as it once was and considers the cultural, social, and political forces that brought about its end, signaling a new era in the relationship between people and nature. The history of the development of the Columbia for industry and commerce is conveyed through archival film footage from the Bonneville Power Administration, the Oregon Historical Society.

Distributed by Oregon Sea Grant Communications, Oregon State University.

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