Creation site of the Lower Elwha Klallam people revealed after dam removal

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Jamie Valadez, Klallam language teacher, dips a pendant into water in one of the bowls of the rock that is the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe’s creation site during the tribe’s first visit in nearly a century. Behind her is Luana Arakawa. — Photo by Wendy Sampson. All rights reserved.

There’s no part of me so bereft of my sense of origin that I can truly identify with the wholehearted joy this reconnection must engender in the hearts of the Lower Elwha Klallam people, but that doesn’t prevent me from feeling a great sense of pleasure at the improvement of their circumstances.

The creation site referenced in the stories of the Lower Elwha Klallam people has been buried under the waters of Lake Aldwell until the removal of the dam & draining of the lake earlier this year.

“You could feel the power of the rock,” Charles said. “You could feel the emotions. It was really overwhelming,”

“There were a few songs and prayers and just the overwhelming joy of realizing that this is reality. It’s not a myth.”

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