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Directed by John Gussman, Jessica Plumb

Port Townsend 2013 70 mins. In English

When frontiersmen came to Washington’s Olympic Peninsula to “conquer” the untamed landscape, they paid little attention to the ecological consequences on the Elwha River and even less attention to the social impact on the indigenous Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. Dams were built and the river was re-routed, creating bustling new towns while destroying tribal lands and decimating the critical salmon population. With the river’s ecosystem on life support, it seemed unlikely that anything could remedy the situation. But a group of environmental advocates, scientists, politicians, and dedicated Klallam crusaders reversed the tide of public opinion and initiated the largest dam demolition in history.

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.