Recolonizing the Elwha

2021 MOFF Official Selection

About This Project


Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission/North 40 Productions

Total Running Time:


Filming Location:

Elwha River Valley

Filmmaker Origin:

Pacific Northwest


Ten years ago, the world’s largest dam removal began on the Elwha River, allowing salmon to recolonize their lost habitat. This is the story of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe’s connection to that river and the hatchery that kept those salmon runs alive.

This film to be screened:

8/1/21 – The Mattawamkeag Program

Special Note:

New England Premiere, Maine Premiere

Filmmaker Bio:

The Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission partners with the filmmakers at North 40 Productions to tell the stories of the Northwest Treaty Tribes who co-manage natural resources in western Washington.

NWIFC is a natural resources management support service organization for 20 treaty Indian tribes in western Washington. It was created following the 1974 U.S. v. Washington ruling (Boldt decision) that reaffirmed the tribes’ treaty-reserved fishing rights. The ruling recognized them as natural resources co-managers with the state of Washington.

Three thoughts from the filmmaker:

1. The Elwha River Dam removal is believed to be the largest dam removal project in history. It took an act of Congress and nearly 20 years to complete.
2. Salmon are the cornerstone of tribal culture and economies in the Pacific Northwest.
3. Tribes in western Washington co-manage salmon fisheries with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

8/1 Eastern Promenade