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Covenant of the Salmon People

Directed by Shane Anderson

60 mins | 2022

About the Film

The Nez Perce is the oldest documented civilization in North America, with archaeological sites along Idaho's Salmon River dating back 16,500 years. The basis of this civilization, and the cornerstone of their creation story, is an ancient covenant with salmon. It is woven into their culture, history, and their species restoration work.


The tribe is facing the extinction of Chinook salmon, despite decades of recovery efforts, due to the widespread construction of dams across tribal lands. The dammed river system and climate changes threaten the salmon’s existence. Tribal members continue to honor their relationship, protecting the basis of their ancestral diet. Their only option to save the salmon from extinction is the breaching of four dams on the lower Snake River. Will the Federal Government take charge of the situation or sit idly by while this iconic species vanishes?

About the Director

Shane Anderson is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and conservationist with a focus on socio-environmental issues in the American West. 

Native to the Pacific Northwest and with a background in fisheries biology he has carved out his niche documenting Pacific salmon and is the owner of Swiftwater Films and North Fork Studios. He has produced 6 award-winning feature-length documentaries and over 70 shorts viewed by millions worldwide. His films have been broadcast nationally on PBS, utilized in education curriculums, and have driven impact campaigns that have led to positive conservation outcomes for rivers, forests, and wild fish. In 2021 Shane began collaborating with BBC’s natural history division for Planet Earth 3 and he’s been on assignment and licensed footage to some of the world's top wildlife programs on Netflix, BBC and International PBS.

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