Chief Caleen Sisk on the Fight for Free and Wild Salmon Rivers /47


Ayana is joined by Chief Caleen Sisk, spiritual leader of the Winnemem Wintu of Northern California, to explore how the forces of industrial society have attempted to tame and exploit living waters, and how these native stewards are facing the ecological predicament that has ensued. Upon learning that the extinct Chinook salmon of her territories had survived a world away in New Zealand, Caleen has led the unprecedented effort with Maori and federal fish biologists to return Chinook to the McCloud River. Since assuming leadership responsibilities in 2000, Caleen has focused on maintaining the cultural and religious traditions of the Tribe as well as advocating for California salmon restoration, the Human Right to Water and the protection of indigenous sacred sites. Caleen is an internationally known speaker on traditional tribal and spiritual issues, having spoken on diverse topics such as spiritual medicine ways, the spirit of water, global warming, sacred sites protection and the responsibility of tribal people to honor their tribal lifeway.

Please visit to donate to this historic effort to bring back the long-lost Chinook salmon!
Learn about the journey at