By host on
11/1/2010 3:19 PM
On October 1, when I heard Russell Jim talk about the loss of Celio Falls and his dream that the Dalles Dam might be removed and the Falls reclaimed, I decided to share these thoughts developed during the NEH faculty development grant.
Early in my time at Heritage, I visited the Yakama Nation Museum and learned about the destruction of Celio Falls, a place sacred to the tribes and bands collected together under the Treaty of 1855 with the Yakamas. I came to understand the cultural clash, in which the river conditions for Salmon, essential to the Yakama traditional way of life, were destroyed for electricity, essential to the industrial and farming way of life.
This information was especially personal because my grandfather had been active in the Grange, an organization that lobbied for the Rural Electrification Act. My father had left the life of farming at my grandfather’s suggestion to become an electrical engineer. I came to know that our family way of life and subsequent economic success were...