The revival of a river people

  • 'UNCONQUERING': Robert Lundahl's video, which takes its title and its cover art from Thomas Aldwell's 1950 autobiography, Conquering the Last Frontier

 

    Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story.

    At night the salmon move,

    out from the river and into town,

    They avoid places with names,

    like Fosters Freeze, A&W's, Smileys,

    but swim close to the tract

    homes on Wright Avenue where sometimes

    in the early morning hours

    you can hear them trying doorknobs

    or bumping against Cable TV lines

    We wait up for them.

    We leave our back windows open

    and call out when we hear a splash.

    Mornings are a disappointment.

    - Raymond Carver, Port Angeles, Wash.


    Carver's poem leads into Robert Lundahl's new film, UnConquering the Last Frontier. "Port Angeles," the narrator tells us, "is haunted by its rivers." Using historic photos and new footage, Lundahl's film tells of that haunting, focusing primarily on the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe's connection with the Elwha and its salmon.

    Lundahl's film also portrays the dignity and wisdom of the Lower Elwha Klallam in the face of almost a century of racism and political ill-will. And he shows us how the tribe has taken center stage in the efforts to retain what's left of Elwha salmon stocks. When the stocks return, more than the ecology will be restored*the tribe will have salmon to complete the circle of traditional ceremonial ways.

    "It was moving to watch our elders interviewed in the film, and to hear their stories," says Dennis Sullivan, tribal chair of the Lower Elwha Klallam. "The young kids in our tribe that are growing up today - they'll have this film to look back on, they'll have the video and the storytelling in it. And they'll know where we come from."

    Copies of the film are available in 1 hour-40-minute and 57-minute versions, www.evolutionfilm.com, 415/543-3155.

    High Country News Classifieds
    • STAFF ATTORNEY
      STAFF ATTORNEY POSITION OPENING www.westernlaw.org/about-us/clinic-interns-careers The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is a nonprofit public interest environmental law firm with a 25-year legacy of success...
    • PLANNING & BUILDING DIRECTOR
      Searching for candidates with a Bachelor's Degree in Planning, Community Development, or a related field with 7 years' experience in land use planning forums, including...
    • LAND CONSERVATION DIRECTOR
      Manage, develop and implement all stewardship and land management plans and activities on both private and public lands. Guide and direct comprehensive planning efforts, provide...
    • NEWS DIRECTOR
      Based in the state capitol, Boise State Public Radio is the premier NPR affiliate in Idaho. With 18 transmitters and translators, it reaches 2/3rds of...
    • INTERNET-BASED BUSINESS FOR SALE
      Dream of owning your own business, being your own boss, working from home ... this is the one.
    • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR MOJAVE DESERT LAND TRUST
      Organization Background: The Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT) is a non-profit 501(3)(c) organization, founded in 2006. Our mission is to protect the ecosystems of the...
    • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
      If you are deeply committed to public service and would like to become part of our high performing, passionate and diverse team, NCAT is looking...
    • TRIPLEX .8 ACRE KANAB, UT
      Create a base in the center of Southern Utah's Grand Circle of National Parks. Multiple residential property with three established rental units and zoning latitude...
    • FORGE & FAB SHOP
      with home on one beautiful acre in Pocatello, ID. Blackrock Forge - retiring after 43 years! Fully equipped 5,500 sf shop including office, gallery and...
    • SMALL FARM AT THE BASE OF MOUNT SHASTA
      Certified organic fruit/berry/veggie/flower farm. Home, barns, garage, separate apt, more. Just under 2 ac, edge of town. Famously pure air and water. Skiing, mountaineering, bike,...
    • FOREST STEWARDSHIP PROJECT DIRECTOR
      Become a force for nature and a healthy planet by joining the Arizona Chapter as Forest Stewardship Project Director. You will play a key role...
    • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
      Ranchers Stewardship Alliance is accepting applications for an Executive Director. This position will provide leadership to RSA, develop a fund raising plan, and effectively communicate...
    • EQUITY IN THE OUTDOORS COORDINATOR
      The Equity in the Outdoors Coordinator will lead community engagement, program implementation and development, and data collection for the Eagle Valley Outdoor Movement (EVOM). EVOM...
    • COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT ASSISTANT
      The Idaho Conservation League is seeking a personable individual who is passionate about conservation to join our Sandpoint Field Office. The Community Engagement Assistant will...
    • LIGHTWEIGHT FLY ROD CASES
      4 standard or custom lengths. Rugged protection for backpacking. Affordable pricing.
    • EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION INTERN/ASSISTANT
      Actively introduce students to Experiential Education, Outdoor Recreation, and Sustainability while engaging and challenging them to learn and participate in these diverse opportunities. Room, board,...
    • ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTIGATIVE MEDIA SERVICES
      In-depth investigations of polluters, lobbyists, regulators, elected officials and others focused on environmentally damaging projects in the U.S. and internationally. We specialize in mining projects,...
    • UNDEVELOPED 40 ACRES - SOUTHWEST COLORADO
      in beautiful Montezuma County.
    • TRUCK DRIVER
      Class A & B drivers, pass all DOT requirements and clean driving record
    • MARIA'S BOOKSHOP FOR SALE
      - Thriving Indie bookstore in the heart of Durango, Colorado. General bookstore with 34-year history as a community hub for Southwest region of CO. 1800...