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Celilo Park

Located near The Dalles, Oregon, Celilo Village and Park is still a sacred site for tribes who once gathered at the Celilo Falls for bountiful salmon runs. Thousands of Native peoples gathered here for fishing, trading, and socializing. The vast falls were flooded by The Dalles Dam in 1957, a loss that brought deep sorrow.

At Celilo Park, Maya Lin’s artwork will be a simple curved ramp leading 300 feet to a point cantilevered over the water. Text set in the ramp will chronicle the geological formation of the falls, mythic origins and tribal oral histories, Lewis and Clark’s accounts, and tribal members’ testimonies given in protest of the dam. At the water’s edge will be a description of the lost sound of the roaring water. Inspired in part by the iconic fishing platforms built there, the ramp is a reminder of how Native people stood over the falls with spears and dip nets to catch life-sustaining salmon.

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