ESIA: Film - Paya: The Water Story of the Paiute


Paya tells the untold story of America’s longest lived water war between the Owens Valley Paiute and the city of Los Angeles. Using in-depth interviews, 2-d animation, archival footage and photography, Paya documents the history of the Owens Valley Paiute who constructed and managed sixty square miles of intricate irrigation systems for millennia, long before Los Angeles diverted the Owens River through the Los Angeles Aqueduct, 220 miles across the Mojave Desert. After the Indian War of 1863, surviving Paiute returned to the valley from the Eastern Sierra and White Mountains to find their ancient waterworks taken over by white settlers. Over 150-years later, the Paiute continue the fight to save their waterworks, which are remnant in the Owens Valley landscape. Using archival maps from 1856, the filmmakers spent four years working with Paiute elders to locate and map their remnant irrigation systems using GIS technology, ultimately laying the foundation for a ‘first use’ water rights case now underway. Paya is currently being used by the Owens Valley Paiute and the Native American and academic communities nationally to mobilize tribes.

Harry Williams will be the presenter for the film showing.

When: Wed., Jan 23 (6-9pm)

  • 6:00 p.m. Doors Open - Edison Theater Lobby

  • 7:00 p.m. Presentation Begins - Edison Theater

Where: Mammoth Lakes Foundation, 100 College Pkwy, Mammoth Lakes, CA
Cost: $5.00
Click here for tickets