"Broken Treaties, Forgotten Archives" exhibit

An exhibit about the Kinzua Dam curated by the students of Ecological Imaginaries.

Posted on December 14, 2016

"Broken Treaties, Forgotten Archives" is a collaborative recovery project completed by the students in John Hyland's writing seminar, "Ecological Imaginaries: Identity, Violence, and the Environment." In this environmental humanities-based seminar, students interrogated how imaginings of the environment are inseparable from issues of social justice. For this project, students spent significant time in Haverford's Quaker & Special Collections, studying materials in the Theodore Brinton Hetzel papers, a Haverford alumnus who belonged to the Indian Committees of the American Friends Service Committee and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends. Hetzel, along with other Philadelphia Quakers such as Walter Taylor, served on the Friends Kinzua Dam Project in the 1960s, which fought to stop the construction of a 179-foot dam on the Allegheny River in Warren, Pennsylvania. The dam, which was completed in 1964, flooded out the sacred grounds of the Seneca Nation of Indians, dispossessing them of lands that had been granted to them in 1794 by the US Government with the Pickering Treaty. Using archival materials, this exhibition seeks to tell the story of a fight for Indigenous rights, sacredness, and environmental justice that has been--like so many stories of dispossession--too easily forgotten.

The exhibit is on display in the library lobby in December; student annotations of the documents in the exhibit can be found in the class digital project, which also includes a timeline.