Sponsored by Oregon Business

Getting straight on Celilo

| Print |  Email
Monday, January 01, 2007

Regarding the letter from James P. Miller, it appears that some myths regarding the Columbia River Indians refuse to die [LETTERS, DECEMBER]. I would point out the following information, most of it obtained from the records of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Indian Affairs while doing research for my book, Empty Nets: Indians, Dams and the Columbia River.

There has never been a “Celilo Tribe.” The small core of people who lived at the original Celilo Village were the Wy’am. The $26 million settlement was paid to the four treaty tribes as compensation for the loss of Celilo Falls as the premier fishing site that had provided the sole or major source of livelihood for hundreds of Indian families for centuries. By the time The Dalles Dam was built, the Celilo Village site had been squeezed to less than seven acres by the railroad, the Celilo Canal and the Columbia River Highway. There is no record of any compensation to the Indian residents.

In 1949 the Corps bought 34 acres south of the railroad (the current Celilo Village site). It built water and sewer systems, both now badly deteriorated, and 10 homes.

In 1950 Congress appropriated $210,000 to relocate permanent residents of Celilo. This did not cover the dozens of families who lived there six months or more every year and left only during winter months. Records are not clear as to the number of people compensated for destroyed houses. The records say about two dozen families still lived in the old village in 1955, when they were removed. Appraisals valued the majority of homes at $200-$800, while even modest replacement homes would cost $7,700. Some of the displaced Indians moved to the new Celilo Village, where they were housed in surplus Army tents. To say “the planning and compensation were coordinated by a commission that included members of the tribe” gives a distorted picture. The tribes negotiated for the settlement over loss of the fishing at Celilo. The rest was pretty well dictated by the government and reluctantly accepted by the Indians as the best they could get.

Roberta Ulrich
Beaverton

 

More Articles

Banking Perspective

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Craig Wanichek, president and CEO of Summit Bank.


Read more...

VIDEO: The 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015

videothumbVIDEO: 2015 100 Best Companies to work for in Oregon


Read more...

10 Oregon companies positioning themselves for growth

The Latest
Friday, March 13, 2015
vcthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Ten startups have secured venture capital, angel or seed funding in 2015.


Read more...

Opening soon: 3 of the coolest new breweries in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, March 19, 2015
brewthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

There are 278 companies licensed to operate as brewery, according to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Here are three new beer-making hubs slated to open soon.


Read more...

Car Talk

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Everyone knows cell phones and driving are a lethal combination. The risk is especially high for teenage drivers, whose delusions of immortality pose such a threat to us all. Enforcement alas, remains feeble; more promising are pedagogical approaches aimed at getting people to focus on the road, not their devices.


Read more...

MBA Perspective

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

Robin Anderson, dean of the Pamplin School of Business, University of Portland: "You need people who are comfortable leading in ambiguity."


Read more...

4 highlights of the MLS labor deal

The Latest
Wednesday, March 04, 2015
timbersthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

On Wednesday night, a couple days ahead of the 2015 season kickoff, Major League Soccer and the Players Union reached an agreement.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS