| || Located on the Utah-Colorado border, Lake Powell is one of the largest artificial lakes in the world. With its surface area of 65,000 hectares (160,000 acres), depth of 170 meters (560 feet), length of 300 kilometers (185 miles), and shoreline 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) long, it is truly on an American scale. The lake originated with the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam in 1956, but did not become a lake proper until 1980, filled by water from rivers such as the Colorado, San Juan, Escalante, and Dirty Devil. The successive stages of its creation evoke the region’s history, that of the mythical West and of its Indians, whom the nineteenth-century European colonists on the east coast went west to conquer. Before it was lost under Lake Powell, the land here belonged to the Navajos, who were forced to swap it for another territory in southern Utah, of the same size though much less useful. The future may bring some justice, however. There are now more than five million Native Americans in the U.S., and their numbers are rapidly increasing. Many groups are successful in reclaiming their ancestral lands, and Lake Powell could soon become Navajo territory once more.
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