Description: This week we continue with episode three of A Prayer for Salmon, the audio documentary from The Spiritual Edge. The U.S. government has proposed raising the height of the Shasta Dam in Northern California by 18.5 feet to increase water storage capacity. But this move would flood sacred cultural sites and disrupt the rituals of the Winnemem Wintu people who argue the change would their cultural heritage and way of life.
Then producer of A Prayer for Salmon Judy Silber, explains why she felt called to get this story out.
Chapter Three: “The Shasta Dam and Reservoir Enlargement Project”
The story continues as Judy Silber explores how the Winnemem Wintu view water and land as sacred entities that must be in balance and believe they were put on Earth to protect and steward their homeland.
Meanwhile, she dives into the history of the dam construction by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation which is focused on providing water to California’s nearly 40 million residents. Shasta Dam and its possible expansion stand at the intersection of these competing values.
Chapter Three continues.
We continue with the story, exploring the history of Shasta dam, and the Winnemem Wintu’s fight against the dam’s enlargement that poses a threat to their lands and culture.
“I am carrying that story” How A Prayer for Salmon came to be.
We speak with Judy Silber, producer of A Prayer for Salmon. She talks about building trust with the Winnemem Wintu tribe as a journalist, the personal nature of the stories they shared with her, and how her education failed to include the full history of California’s Native people and how she works to overcome the blindspots by working with an advisory group.