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Murdock Talks: "In Defense of Wyam: Native-White Alliances & The Struggle for Celilo Village"

  • Museum of the Oregon Territory 211 Tumwater Drive Oregon City, OR, 97045 United States (map)


When the US Army Corps of Engineers proposed The Dalles Dam at Celilo Village in the mid-twentieth century, it was clear that this traditional fishing, commerce, and social site of immense importance to Native tribes would be changed forever. Controversy surrounded the project, with local Native communities anticipating the devastation of their way of life and white settler-descended advocates of the dam envisioning a future of thriving infrastructure and industry. In Defense of Wyam presents a remarkable alliance across the opposed groups, chronicling how Flora Thompson, member of the Warm Springs Tribe and wife of the Wyam chief, and Martha McKeown, daughter of an affluent white farming family, became lifelong allies as they worked together to protect Oregon's oldest continuously inhabited site.


Presentation by Katrine Barber.