Celilo Legacy: 
Commemorating 50 Years Since the Loss of Celilo Falls,
Saturday, March 10, 2007

For centuries, the roar of the great waterfall Celilo Falls echoed from the canyon walls near the start of the Columbia Gorge.  Celilo Falls made visible the power and majesty of the Columbia River.  In these tumultuous waters, Indians caught the giant Chinook and other salmon that struggled to make their way upstream through the rocky barrier of tumbling waters and swift, narrow channels.  The ancient ones left a record in the ashes of campfires and buried sanctuaries of their dead.  They left tools and weapons, items of adornment, and samples of their art.  Celilo Falls was one of the longest occupied sites in North America.
That world came to an end on the morning of March 10, 1957 when the massive steel and concrete gates of The Dalles Dam closed, choking back the unimaginable force of the mighty Columbia River.  Six hours later and eight miles upstream, Celilo Falls, the age-old Indian salmon fishery was under water.
That was 50 years ago.  Most of the leaders have since passed on but the spirit of Celilo still lives in the traditions and religions, indeed the very souls of Columbia River Indian people.

Today, the Columbia River flows silently past this ancient fishing site.  The falls' rugged rock outcrops and turbulent waters are out of sight; its deafening roar silenced, buried under the waters of lake Celilo.  But the memory of Celilo will always be held in solemnity by the Salmon People of the Columbia River.
                                                  (Used with permission)


Canoe Ceremony
Celilo Falls 2007



Chief Olsen Meanus, Jr.,

Chief Olsen Meanus, Jr.,




Longhouse Ceremony
Celilo Falls 2007








Flag Ceremony



Canoe Ceremony in Celilo Longhouse
Puyallup Canoe Family Delegation, "Thunder Spirit" Canoe




Linda Meanus, Elder, Wy-am LaMoosh

Linda Meanus, Elder, Wy-am LaMoosh



Words of Honoring, Commemoration, and Remembrance


Chief Olsen Meanus, Jr., Wy-am

Sub-chief Raymond Colfax, Wy-am

Chief Bronsco Jim, Jr., Columbia River


Chief Johnny Jackson,
Cascade, WA

Chief Wilbur Slokish,


Allen Slickpoo, Sr., Nez Perce Elder, and Allen Slickpoo, Jr., Nez Perce

Blanket Honoring Ceremony



Chief Rex Buck, Wanapam

Delvis Heath, Elder, Warm Springs

Ceremonial Chief Bill Burke,
Walla Walla, on the Umatilla Reservation

Sam Jim, Sr., Elder


Chair Antone Minthorn, Confederated Umatilla Tribes

Chair Rebecca Miles, Nez Perce Tribe

Horace Axtel, Elder

Chair Ron Suppah, Confederated Warm Springs Tribes


Lt. General Carl Strock, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Commander

Lt. General Carl Strock, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Commander


Regional Director Stanley M. Speaks, Bureau of Indian Affairs


Traditional Salmon Dinner hosted by the people of Celilo Village






Traditional Give-away Ceremony






Pictures taken with permission





About Us Articles Announcements Artisans Books
Calendar Contacts Us Gallery Member Services Library
Links Pow-Wows Recordings References Video
 This site created for Cascadia Flute Circle by Scott Thingelstad
copyright 2007 Cascadia Flute Circle, All Rights Reserved