When Betty Cooper picked up the San Francisco Chronicle on the day after the flood, it was the first news she had heard of the Blackfeet tragedy. A federal relocation program had moved her and her family to the Bay Area, a world away from her family in Montana. Her husband’s brother, Sam New Breast, as well as Sam’s wife and young daughter, died when Swift Dam collapsed, sending a wall of water down tiny Birch Creek.
“If you’re not home, there’s so many impacts, still today,” Cooper said. “So many young people don’t know about the flood. It’s passing into history.”
Photo by Lailani Upham.