At a sacred spring high up on Mt. Shasta, the Winnemem Wintu recount the beginnings of the world when salmon gave up their voices so that humans could speak. They now feel a special obligation to defend salmon in return for this gift. A biologist details Chinook salmon’s catastrophic decline since the arrival of Euro-American settlers to California and the Northwest. Read More
“I just I can’t emphasize enough though how precarious the situation for winter-run Chinook is.”– Jonathan Ambrose, biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service
A Prayer for Salmon is an 11 part audio documentary series from KALW’s The Spiritual Edge that tells the story of the Winnemem Wintu people and their clash with Northern California’s Shasta Dam. The dam’s construction turned California into an agricultural powerhouse. It also left the Winnemem Wintu displaced and without say over their land. The series details their fight to resist a proposed Shasta Dam Enlargement Project. It also highlights the Winnemem Wintu’s aspirations to return Chinook salmon to their homeland on the McCloud River, a major tributary of the dam.