ELIZABETHTOWN, Kentucky, Tuesday, November 12, 2019 – WKU in Elizabethtown will host a free public viewing of “Lake of Betrayal,” a documentary about the plight of the Seneca Nation to protect their land, defend their sovereignty and preserve their way of life. The public is invited to view the documentary on November 25 at 6 p.m. at the Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, RPC 212.
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.
In 1965, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed the Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania. The Dam was initially proposed to reduce flooding in Pittsburg, but the project instead created a 27-mile reservoir behind the dam, resulting in massive flooding of the Seneca Indians’ ancestral land and irreparable damage to the Seneca culture.
WKU faculty member and Director of Regional Programming Dr. Donielle Heron-Lovell will lead a discussion following the documentary. Dr. Heron-Lovell is the granddaughter of former Seneca Nation President George Heron who was president during the Kinzua Era. She recalled a conversation she had with her grandfather about 25 years ago as he prepared for an interview with the media about the Kinzua project.
“I’ll never forget that conversation,” she stated. Her grandfather said that they didn’t really want to hear what he had to say, so would just tell them what they wanted to hear. “This documentary gives us the opportunity to finally tell our story the way we want to tell it.”
The event is offered through a partnership between WKU in Elizabethtown, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College Office of Cultural Diversity, WKU Libraries and the WKU Department of Sociology and Criminology.