One of the most beautiful aspects of facing truth is it’s capacity to free our individual and collective hearts. Facing the truth of the Celilo Falls story is to face an ongoing tragedy. By facing this truth together We The People have the power to transform our shared truth toward a greater shared truth – one which may stop ongoing harm and heal the mistakes of the past.
In this presentation the Honorable Judge Ted Strong of the Yakama Nation bears witness to his experience of the falls as a Palousapum (sic)– a man who has inherited indigenous title to a traditional fishing spot at the falls on the CheeAwana – the River. He bears witness to his experience of the power and medicine of the falls and the cultural traditions of the peoples who have lived in connection with the falls and the surrounding lands for thousands of generations. He also shares the challenge that has been endured with a rampant poorly regulated Capitalism and the United States Government, which has had poor vision or comprehension of the existential rights of First Nations and their ecological context. He also refers to parallel experiences of allies in the North and other areas who share this struggle – and the importance of bringing out these stories – that we may find a moral compass to steer through the ongoing damage toward a future which respects the rights of the landscape and the people.
Featured on each end of the presentation are historic images of the falls from the archives of The Oregon Historical Society and Oregon State University. Photos of the falls site as it exists today are also included. Native American Flute music courtesy of Paul Che’Oke ten Wagner. Produced by Treothe Bullock.
This video is a part of the 2013 Celilo Falls Restoration Panel on March 2nd, 2013 at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference 2013 – Earth – Too Big to Fail sponsored by The Celilo Falls Restoration Fund.
For More Information about Celilo Falls including maps, before and after imagery of the flooding and video of the falls in 1957 before the flooding visit –