Tuesday June 25, 2024

Jefferson Public Radio

The Biden administration released a report this week acknowledging “the historic, ongoing, and cumulative damage and injustices that the federal dams on the Columbia River have caused and continue to cause to Tribal Nations.”

Across 73 pages, the report from the U.S. Department of Interior concludes “the government afforded little, if any, consideration to the devastation the dams would bring to Tribal communities, including to their cultures, sacred sites, economies, and homes.”

But here’s what’s not in the new document: The injuries to Native people were not just an unforeseen byproduct of federal dam building. They were, in fact, taken into account at the time. And federal leaders considered that damage a good thing.

In government documents from the 1940s and 1950s, obtained by OPB and ProPublica, officials openly discussed what they called “the Indian problem” on the Columbia River. At times, they characterized the destruction of the last major tribal fishery as a benefit of dam construction.

Read more >

Link copied successfully