Through guided river trips, Jessica and Sammy Matsaw have created a corridor of connection for their tribal youth and people through their project, River Newe. A film from the ongoing ‘Just Add Water’ series brings light to their effort.
The film “River of Return” sheds a different kind of light on connection to landscape. And it’s one that deserves your attention.
In 1879, the Shoshone-Bannock tribes were forcibly removed from the Middle Fork of the Salmon as a result of the Sheepeater Indian War. The war ended near the River of No Return (in what is now the Frank Church Wilderness) in Idaho. And the river got its name from the extremely difficult-to-navigate land surrounding it.
However, for members of today’s Shoshone-Bannock tribe, it’s a river to return to. And through River Newe, more than 63 tribal members have come back to the river in a new way. Throughout the film, the community forages, fishes, and navigates the landscape together. They dig into their personal histories and language while telling a broader story of Indigenous power and resilience.
In another great effort of NRS’s “Just Add Water” series, the stories of Jessica, Sammy, and their community are brought to light in this fabulous and beautiful film.
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By Nicole Qualtieri
Based in Montana, Nicole Qualtieri is GearJunkie’s Hunt + Fish Editor. When she’s not writing or editing, she’s likely hunting, fishing, or on the back of her little brown horse with a border collie named Butch Cassidy on heel in the mountains. Find her on Instagram at @nkqualtieri.