When plans for the Shasta Dam Enlargement Project accelerate, the Winnemem Wintu decide to hold a war dance, their first in more than 100 years. Members of the community dream into existence songs, dances and regalia. News of the ceremony, and the tribe that declared war against the U.S. government on top of Shasta Dam, goes around the world. That leads to an unexpected message from Down Under. Read More
“The message came through of the salmon going through the ice waterfall. It was going to go away from the river. At the time, they’re like, what? How are the salmon going to go away?”– Michael Preston, Winnemem Wintu
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.