Segments in this Video

Elwha River and Salmon (04:47)


Lower Elwha Klallam tribal members reflect on life along the river. Dick Goin recalls moving to the area from the Dust Bowl; salmon was plentiful. He visits the river and discusses spawning.

Elwha River Restoration (03:02)

In 2012, conservation groups file a lawsuit against the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and the federal government for using hatchery fish to jumpstart salmon restoration. Experts discuss the ecological controversy.

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe (06:15)

Tribal members reflect on the growth of the tribe and their culture; education is important. Jamie Valadez discusses the preservation of the tribe's native language and challenges of preconceived prejudices.

Importance of the Elwha River (03:19)

Traci Solomon explains canoe journeys. The Elwha River supports five species of anadromous salmon. Biologists take a DNA clip of a salmon to determine genetics; restoration is about the ecosystem.

Physical and Cultural Restoration (03:01)

Experts reflect on conflicts surrounding the Elwha River restoration project. Valadez explains that language and cultural activities do not occur in isolation. See images of the dam removal.

Sacred River (03:58)

Experts and tribal members reflect on the Elwha River dam removal project, salmon restoration, and cultural traditions; partnership is important for sustainability. Courts dismiss the lawsuit against the tribe and government in 2013.

Credits: The Strong People (02:48)

Credits: The Strong People

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The Strong People

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This award-winning documentary chronicles the largest dam removal project in US history on the Elwha River in Olympic Peninsula, Washington. It is told through the eyes of the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe that has long resided in the area, looking specifically at how these dams have affected the life ways of their people. The video examines the controversy and ambiguity about just what should be done to restore a once prolific salmon run: whether they should be allowed to return naturally, thereby delaying the Klallam’s hopeful return to prosperity for even longer, or whether salmon should be artificially injected into the environment, which would expedite the salmon’s return, but irrevocably alter the river’s ecosystem in the long run. Both sides are equally compelling without any single clear, even-handed resolution. There is a dense and intriguing layer of environmental and cultural issues at play here, which is why the story is worth telling and why it needed to be captured on camera.

Length: 28 minutes

Item#: BVL166070

ISBN: 978-1-64481-659-2

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.