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.,
Wy-am


Chief Olsen Meanus, Jr.,
Wy-am

 

 

 

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,
Klikitat

 

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

 

 
 


Ruby

 

 
     
 

Pictures taken with permission

 

 

 

 


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