August 01, 2003

Wyden & Smith Announce Funding For Celilo Village

Bill Authorizes Funds to Rehabilitate Dilapidated Landmark

WASHINGTON, D.C.Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced today the successful passage of the Native American Technical Correction Act of 2003 which contains a provision authorizing the Army Corps of Engineers to rehabilitate Celilo Village in the Columbia River Gorge.Celilo Village is one of Oregons unique historical treasures, but it is in desperate need of appropriate restoration, said Smith. This legislation ensures the rehabilitation process will begin, and that the federal government will finally make good on its nearly half-century old promise to Oregon tribes.The legislation passed today will ensure that the Federal government will meet its long-overdue promise of rebuilding this community," said Wyden.The Native American fishing and trading site of Celilo Falls on the Columbia River was submerged by the reservoir created by the 1957 construction of the Dalles Dam. At that time, the village was re-established at a nearby site with the promise that regional tribes would be given fishing access sites on the edge of the new reservoir. Although 400 acres of sites were set aside, a new Celilo Village has never been developed.The Corps of Engineers currently has the funds to develop a new fishing site and Congress has now given it the authority to do so. Smith and Wyden asked for authorization before the celebration of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Observance. The original Celilo Falls fishing site was located along what is now known as the Lewis and Clark Trail.