Discussion

The purpose of this discussion is to delve into the themes of privilege, discrimination and Native struggle, as particularly explored by “Celilo Falls: Parallel Lives Among N’Che Wana” by Lani Roberts and Ed Edmo.
Answer the following questions:
1. In the introduction to their essay, “Celilo Falls: Parallel Lives Among N’Che Wana,” Lani Roberts and Ed Edmo stated, “We grew up in the same geographical space but lived in radically different worlds” (p. 174). Discuss some concrete examples from the article about how Lani and Ed lived radically different worlds, particularly in terms of race, class, or other forms of discrimination.
2. The flooding of Celilo Falls in March 1957 is described by Edmo and Roberts as “the single most tragic and traumatic wrong done to the mid-Columbia River and to the peoples who live there” (p. 175). What were the specific consequences of this flooding addressed in their essay and in the Echo of Water against Rocks video that dramatized how Native people in particular were detrimentally impacted, even though the construction of The Dalles Dam was touted as an example of progress?
3. In her own words, Lani reflected on her different experiences from that of Ed’s: “How it is possible I did not notice any of these wrongs? Why didn’t my parents tell me about the injustices towards the Indians right there in our town and warn me not to ever treat another person like that? . . . Why is it that the wrongs most present in our everyday lives are the very ones most difficult to see? Is it because they are so ever-present everywhere that they become like the air we breathe, invisible? Is it because I am European- American, ‘white’, so that my privileged place in my Oregon hometown meant I didn’t have to notice, that those of us who do not receive the cruelty of racism, even those of us who are the perpetrators, are oblivious”? (p. 183)
Have there ever been occasions where you were personally made aware of your unearned advantages? Discuss some of these most “oblivious” privileges that you have and compare them to the experiences depicted in the essay and video for this week.

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