Chuck Williams

Oregon Historical Quarterly, Winter 2007 | Go to article overview

Chuck Williams


Chuck Williams (Cascade) was instrumental in pushing legislation that led to the passage of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Act in 1986. Williams is a photographer and the author of Bridge of the Gods, Mountains of Fire: A Return to the Columbia Gorge (New York., Friends of the Earth; and Elephant Mountain Arts, 1980). Tumalth, Williams's grandfather, was a chief at a village near the present location of Bonneville Dam, which he references in this short selection.

Clark Hansen interviewed Chuck Williams on January 22, 1999, as part of a project, "The Columbia River Dissenters," which collected the oral histories of people who objected to the management of the Columbia River. The "dissenters series" was a joint project of the Oregon Historical Society and the Center for Columbia River History and was funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The complete transcript is available at the Oregon Historical Society and www.ccrh.org.

SO FOR INDIANS, [salmon is] the whole center of the religion and such. You don't eat salmon in the spring until there's the ceremony at Celilo, which is probably the most important religious ceremony for a Northwest Indian. Celilo's kind of Mecca for Northwest Indians. …

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