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Sackett co-presents featured session at 'Repair 2024' event

Apr 11, 2024

Scott Sackett, a documentary filmmaker, public media producer and Jandoli School of Communication lecturer, co-presented at a featured session of the American Ethnological Society Spring Conference, Repair 2024, hosted by the University of Pittsburgh, April 4-6.

The session encompassed a screening and panel discussion of his national public television documentary "Lake of Betrayal" (2017) about Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River and its impact on the Seneca people. His co-producers, Paul Lamont and Caleb Abrams (Seneca Nation, Wolf Clan) participated remotely. 

Joining the panel was Eli Hall, Seneca Nation, Beaver Clan, a predoctoral fellow in the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences whose research focuses on the algae communities in the Allegheny Reservoir. 

Nicole Heller, associate curator of Anthropocene Studies for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, served as moderator.

The conference invited scholars to grapple with the complexities and possibilities of repair in the contexts of the people and sites in which they work. In the framework of compounding ramifications — mass extinctions, settler-colonial dispossession, gentrification, and displacement — presentations centered on what it means to repair the historic legacies of damage and harm. 

Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River, more than 200 miles above Pittsburgh, was originally planned as part of an extensive flood control system, but at the time of construction, in 1965, there were undisclosed plans for a hydropower facility that would drive economic development. 

Ten thousand acres of the Seneca Nation’s treaty-protected lands were taken for the reservoir in the era of Indian Termination when Native American tribes were removed from protected status and their lands were sold to non-Indigenous people