We go to Shasta Dam and learn about the history behind its construction in the 1930s and 1940s. We hear from Chief Caleen Sisk about how the federal proposal to raise the dam another 18 and a half feet opens old wounds for the Winnemem Wintu and further threatens their tenuous survival. Read More
“There’s nowhere else in the world that we can go to learn how to be Winnemems. Only there. We can’t go to Navajo. We can’t go to Alaska. We can’t go to Cherokee to learn how to be Winnemems.”— Caleen Sisk, Hereditary and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu people
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.