CORVALLIS, Ore – The Oregon Sea Grant program based at Oregon State University has released a new edition of a popular DVD that examines a turning point in the history of the Pacific Northwest.
The documentary DVD, “Celilo Falls and the Remaking of the Columbia River,” provides a glimpse of life at Celilo Falls 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.
For millennia Celilo Falls was the great Indian fishery on the mid-Columbia River, and it drew native peoples from throughout the West to trade for salmon. But on March 10, 1957, the federal government began operation of a giant hydroelectric dam at The Dalles that drowned Celilo Falls and ended the fishery there.
The new edition of the DVD contains approximately five minutes of additional color footage of the falls obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and presented separately from the 30-minute Sea Grant documentary. The latter has been broadcast on Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Oregon Public Affairs Network and has been shown in a series of public education events, “Celilo Stories,” hosted by Columbia River-area libraries and sponsored by the Center for Columbia River History.
“Celilo Falls and the Remaking of the Columbia River” was written, edited and produced by Joseph Cone, assistant director of Oregon Sea Grant and author of “A Common Fate: Endangered Salmon and the People of the Pacific Northwest.”
Cone will present and discuss the documentary at a conference in The Dalles on March 17 at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. This conference will bring together more than 20 anthropologists, archeologists, historians, linguists, artists, poets and scholars for panel discussions and informal conversations on the many meanings of Celilo Falls.
The DVD is available from Oregon Sea Grant, 322 Kerr Administration, OSU, Corvallis, OR 97331-2131. Price is $19.95 plus shipping ($2 first copy; $1 each additional copy).