COVENANT OF THE SALMON PEOPLE is a 60-minute documentary portrait of the Nez Perce Tribe as they continue to carry out their ancient promise to protect Chinook salmon, cornerstone species and first food their people have subsisted on for tens of thousands of years. As a dammed river system and climate impacts threaten the extinction of Chinook salmon, a cornerstone of their culture and ancestral diet, they continue to do their part to uphold this relationship–but will it be enough to save wild salmon from extinction?
The covenant with salmon is woven into their culture, history, and now their modern-day species restoration work. The Nez Perce people are the oldest documented civilization in North America, with archaeological sites along Idaho's Salmon River dating back 16,500 years.
Today the tribe is facing the extirpation of their most prized salmon species despite decades of recovery efforts, and the widespread construction of dams across their Traditional lands has challenged recovery. The only option for the tribe to uphold their ancient deal with salmon and save the species 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 while this iconic species vanishes from their home waters?