Friends of Ganondagan will screen “Lake of Betrayal,” which explores the history of the Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania and its impact on the Seneca Nation, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on May 19 at Seneca Art and Culture Center, 7000 County Road 41, Victor.
Filmmakers Paul Lamont, Scott Sackett and Caleb Abrams will participate in a post-screening discussion.
When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers attempted to take their land to build Kinzua Dam, the Seneca people stood up to the government and prevailing political forces of the 1950s and ‘60s to save their culture, sovereignty and way of life to preserve their future.
Completed in 1965, the Kinzua Dam was originally proposed to help mitigate flooding in the city of Pittsburgh — 200 miles downriver — but the 27-mile reservoir that formed behind it inundated vast tracts of the Seneca Indians’ ancestral lands, forcing their removal in breach of the Canandaigua Treaty of 1794, the oldest treaty between the Hodinohso:ni’ and the U.S. still in effect.
“Lake of Betrayal” looks at the Seneca Nation’s fight to protect its sovereignty against a backdrop of a federal Indian termination policy, pork-barrel politics and undisclosed plans for private hydro-power generation. The documentary takes a long view of the imposed changes on the Seneca’s way of life that led to major economic benefits and irreplaceable cultural losses.
Admission is $6, or $5 for Friends members. Visit ganondagan.org for information.