Personal Losses Due to the Construction of the Bonneville Dam

"I am a Mid-Columbia River Indian. I grew up along the river. I have many close relatives and friends who lived their lives on the river, who died there, and who are buried along its banks. I know that river well. In my lifetime, I have seen great changes take place on the river. I remember the time when there were no dams, and the Columbia River was wild and free-flowing. I have observed the massive destruction caused by the dams. The lakes created by the dams have covered many of the places I knew as a boy and a young man. The fishing sites, the places where I camped with my family, and even the places where some of my children were born, are all under water."
-Delbert Frank, Sr., Warm Springs
A Short Chronology of Treaty Fishing on the Columbia River.
Last Visited: October 27, 1998
Last Updated: February 13, 1998

"The fish (salmon) fulfills the symbolism of the Northwest environment more than any other species, more than the duck or the eagle. If we lose the fish, we have lost an important part of our life."
-E. Kimbark MacColl Sr.
Historian and Author of several
books about the Northwest

"Salmon are the Northwest. No other animal weaves together our culture, our identity, our economy, and our environment like salmon."
-Liz Hamilton, Executive Director
Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association

"Salmon was presented to me and my family through our religion as our brother. The same with the deer. And our sisters are the roots and berries. And you would treat them as such. Their life to you is just as important as another person would be."
-The Importance of Salmon to the Tribes.
Columbia River Inter-tribal Fish Commission
Last Visited: October 27, 1998
Last Updated: February 26, 1998

"Survival of the salmon has always meant more than just food for the Indian people. Indians have long recognized that if they are to survive it will be because the salmon survives. It is their legacy."
-Bill Frank Jr.
Legacy of the Salmon
University of Oregon, Biology130
Last Visited: October 27, 1998
Last Updated: January 15, 1996

"Besides clearcutting it was the hydro-dams all over the Columbia River system that wiped out many runs of salmon...At the same time the United States created the Bonneville Dam, the tribes complained about the Bonneville back in 1933 or 1934. Representatives of the government said, well, to mitigate the Bonneville and other dams that were put on the Columbia system, they would create hatcheries. So the Mitchell Act was passed in 1938 enabling the creation of hatcheries. The Indians said, it sounds good but we still want fish up in our traditional areas or on our reservations. You know the Yakima's, the Warm Springs and the Nez Perce were saying this back in those early days...Ninety percent of these hatcheries were down below the Bonneville Dam so it didn't do any of us good to have hatcheries built. All the fish returned to the lower Columbia, no on the reservation fishing lands."

"Compounded with other hydro development, everybody knows that the hydro system kills ninety to ninety-five percent of our salmon. At five to ten percent that is still surviving, the habitat is degraded to such an extent that, even if they survive, all the hydro systems will still come back to degrade the system."
-Landscape And Urban Planning, Vol: 36, Issue: 2, November 1996
"A traditional American Indian perspective on land use management"

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