whik’ixoniwhe’ (my awareness of things): “DamSpeculation” and Native Resistance on the Klamath River Basin


Using Mishauna Goeman’s “settler grammars of place” and an analysis of racial capitalism in the context of water infrastructure the talk traces the politics and the implications of forgetting in California. The presentation will reflect on proposed but never realized projects, such as the Electro - Metals Company "corkscrew" Dams and Ah Pah Dam to flood Hupa, Yurok, and Karuk lands, for profit toward Indigenous dispossession of land. These projects while never constructed demonstrate procedural state violence in California Indian country until the passage of the California Wild and Scenic River Act in 1980. While the history of these projects is little recognized, Indigenous resistance halted the construction of both and influenced Indigenous environmental advocacy over California waters with the contemporary proposed construction of the Sites Reservoir. 



Dr. Brittani Orona (She/Her) is currently a UC President's and Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Santa Cruz in the Department of History. Her research and teaching focus on Indigenous history and human rights, environmental studies, public humanities, and visual sovereignty. She is Hupa and an enrolled member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe in Northern California. She received her Ph.D. in Native American Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Human Rights from University of California, Davis, an M.A. in Native American Studies from UC Davis and an M.A. in Public History from Sacramento State University, and her B.A. in History from Cal Poly Humboldt.