TRIBAL WATERS, a new film from Patagonia and Teton Gravity Research, tells the story of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes and what happened when their land and water was taken, and what they are doing now to protect their water and fish.
The Shoshone people have lived on the eastern slope of the Wind River mountains for more than 10,000 years—this water runs deep for them. They pray alongside the river. They pray for the river. They pray with the river. But what happens when your river is highjacked by a ruthless system that would stop at nothing to control the resource?
Directed by Jon Klaczkiewicz, TRIBAL WATERS, a film by Teton Gravity Research presented by Patagonia, documents the course and history of the magnificent Wind River, now the home waters of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes. The story of the Wind is a record of stolen ancestral lands, insatiable agricultural demands and a mercurial, unreliable American justice system. Through the eyes of Darren Calhoun, an enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe and a descendent of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, we experience a river that impacts everything it touches—from the price of next season’s crops to a native culture, history and way of life.
“It is a hopeful story,” says Calhoun, a lifelong angler and conservationist. He’s leading efforts to develop the economic potential of tribal-owned, sustainable recreational opportunities on the 2.5 million acres of native land. “This is the story of the Wind River I want to tell.”
That story means healing the Wind River. It means rethinking water rights, protecting and maintaining instream flow, creating more efficient agricultural models and investing in a sustainable outdoor economy—fishing, rafting, hiking, whitewater and backcountry adventure.
“Investing in an equitable and just future for the Shoshone and Arapaho people is something Patagonia deeply believes in,” said Ted Manning, Patagonia’s Director of Fly Fishing. “Working to protect and preserve the water and fish of the Wind River is tied to our mission statement. We’re humbled and gratified to be part of a project where these two values meet.”
To underscore those efforts, Patagonia has partnered with Indifly, a nonprofit organization that creates economic opportunities for Indigenous communities while protecting the environments that sustain them. In partnership with Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes’ Fish & Game, Indifly works to educate and engage Native youth and create sustainable livelihoods through the power of fly fishing on the Wind River Reservation. Learn more about Indifly’s work at <https://www.indifly.org/wind-river>.