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More of the Celilo story

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Archives - December 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006

A little background information is needed to complete the picture of Jeanie Senior’s November article [REHABBING CELILO, AROUND THE STATE].

Much has been written about Celilo Village, but rarely is the whole story told. When The Dalles Dam flooded the falls in 1957, members of the Celilo tribe received a total of $26 million in compensation.

In addition, nearly 40 families were given new homes built at a cost of over a million dollars (in today’s terms) and a new longhouse was built at the same time. The planning and compensation were coordinated by a commission that included members of the tribe.

It is unfortunate that the village has fallen into disrepair, and it is laudable that steps are being taken to improve conditions for its residents. It is not, however, due to a lack of attention on the part of the U.S. government. And it is not because the residents were ignored in 1957.

James P. Miller


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