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Video: Yakama Nation’s Work to Bring Back the Salmon

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Time was when the salmon ran so thick you could walk on their backs to cross the river.

That’s how the elders tell it.

Then came the dams. The dams cut off key points in salmon migration, preventing the mighty fish from returning to their birthplace to spawn future generations. It was obvious to the indigenous experts that this was going to affect not only the well being of the fish species but also of the entire forest—and ultimately, of the tribes themselves.

But now, 100 years later, Turtle Island’s Indigenous Peoples are using that same knowledge to restore the habitat. Northwestern tribes have toiled for decades to stop the degradation of salmon habitat and bring back the fish’s numbers.

The video below looks at the efforts of the Yakama Nation and its innovative programs. It was recently posted to the site of the website Washington Tribes, dedicated to disseminating information about the ways in which the state’s 29 tribes contribute to the economy, business, environment and many other areas. The site's environment page is a treasure trove of examples of how other indigenous nations in the Northwest have toiled in similar, parallel efforts as well.

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