The Native fishing community of Celilo Village was in crisis following World War II. Large dams, highway widening, and federal policies of termination and relocation conspired to remove Indian people from a place their families had occupied for more than 12,000 years.
Stepping into this maelstrom were two women from very different backgrounds. Together, they forged an alliance that made a difference. Flora Thompson and her husband, Chief Tommy Thompson, fought to protect fish drying sheds, fishing stations, and Celilo Village homes for decades. Joining her was Martha Ferguson McKeown, a high school English teacher, community activist, and author of several local histories, including two children's stories about the Thompsons. Their intertwined stories, as told by historian Dr. Katrine Barber, illustrate the importance of cross-cultural alliances at a transformative period in Northwest history.
The presentation will include a short documentary by Oregon high school students Alan Zhou and Kyler Wang, Echo of Falling Water: The Destruction of Celilo Falls, followed by a conversation between author Katy Barber and Linda Meanus (Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation) about how Celilo is remembered.
This program is presented in partnership with and hosted at Oregon Historical Society, 1200 SW Park Ave., Portland. Doors open at 5:30 pm for this free event.
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