Salmon are probably the most well-known icons of the Pacific Northwest.  They are beloved for their recreational value, commercial value, and cultural importance to Native Americans. When salmon are lost from our rivers and streams, efforts to stimulate their return garner tremendous public support.

The award-winning hour long film portraying efforts by the Winnemem Wintu tribe to reintroduce salmon to the McCloud River in Northern California will be shown at the next meeting of Southern Oregon Climate Action Now.  The meeting scheduled for November 25th at 6:00 pm in Medford Public Library is free and open to the public.  In addition to the film, Jakob Shockey, Riparian Program Manager, Applegate Partnership and Watershed Council, will discuss climate change impacts on long term salmon population viability.

In the 1880s salmon from the McCloud River were shipped to New Zealand, South America, and Europe.  Opening of the Shasta Dam in 1945 blocked the migratory pathway of the fish.  Before that construction, this river was one of the most productive salmon and steelhead waterways in the Sacramento watershed.  Salmon are critical to the lives and culture of the Winnemem Winto.  Finding that the New Zealand salmon were the closest relatives to the extinct McCloud salmon, the Winnemem Winto set about reintroducing these salmon to their native waters. Dancing Salmon Home chronicles this adventure.

The film was awarded Best Feature at the 2012 San Francisco American Indian Film Festival, and was recognized in 2013 at the Nevada City CA, Wild and Scenic Film Festival, the Chicago Peace on Earth Film Festival, the Palm Springs American Documentary Film Festival, the Chico Focus Film Festival, and the New Zealand Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival.

“By offering this program” SOCAN Co-facilitator Kathy Conway said “we hope to demonstrate how inspiring efforts by Native Americans to reintroduce salmon and recapture their traditional culture can be threatened.”

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