A herd of mule deer grazed on the south-facing hill above the Flathead River near Kerr Dam Tuesday. Far below, near the dam powerhouse, Dustin Shelby walked through the ice and slush, describing the ties his family has to this land — and this dam.
Directed by Roy Bigcrane and Thompson Smith, the documentary, The Place of the Falling Waters, tells the history of the Flathead Indian Reservation from the perspective of the Indian people who live there. The story relates the complex and volatile relationship between the people of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and a major hydroelectric dam situated within the Flathead Indian Reservation. The documentary is presented in three 30-minute parts.
Please join Energy Keepers, Inc., on Thursday, October 2, 2014 at the University of Montana Payne Family Native American Center for a screening of the documentary film: The Place of the Falling Waters.
The state Public Service Commission today approved NorthWestern Energy’s $870 million purchase of 11 hydroelectric dams, paving the way for return of the Montana dams to utility ownership 15 years after they were sold off by Montana Power Co.
Commissioners who voted for the deal called it the “opportunity of a lifetime” that would provide a stable, long-term source of electricity for NorthWestern’s 340,000 electric customers in Montana.
In exactly one year, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes will make history, by becoming the sole owner of the large hydroelectric facility called the Kerr Project.
It will be the culmination of many years of dedication, and sacrifice, by the Tribes. Built against the wishes of many Tribal Members, now the dam is set to become an important tool for ongoing management of important natural resources of the Flathead Reservation– in addition to playing a substantial role in a sustainable economic future for many generations to come.
As the conflict over water rights intensifies, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes prepare to reach a milestone by acquiring the Kerr Dam.
Five miles below the southern shores of Flathead Lake, wedged between a rugged river canyon where a great waterfall once roared, Kerr Dam plays a prominent role in the landscape.
In 1939 there was a ceremony dedicating, and publicly naming, the Kerr Project (named after Frank Kerr, then President of the Montana Power Company).
Many Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Members were present during this ceremony. Energy Keepers, Inc., has been using one photo that was taken that day: