JAMESTOWN – Lake of Betrayal, a 2017 documentary about the displacement of Native Americans to create the Kinzua Dam and reservoir, will be shown at Jamestown Community College’s Jamestown Campus Wednesday Night.
Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania was a flashpoint in history for the Seneca Nation of Indians. Completed in 1965, the dam was to mitigate flooding in Pittsburgh, 198 miles downriver, but the 27-mile reservoir that formed above it inundated vast tracts of the Seneca Indians’ ancestral lands, forcing their removal in breach of one of the United States’ oldest treaties.
Set against a backdrop of a federal Indian termination policy, pork-barrel politics, and undisclosed plans for private hydropower, Lake of Betrayal reveals an untold story from American history-a one-sided battle pitting a small Native American nation against some of the strongest political, social, and commercial forces in the country. Although the Seneca suffered irreplaceable cultural losses, the Kinzua crisis became a turning point to build a stronger Seneca Nation.
The film, which is free and open to the public, begins Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Carnahan Center Theatre.