Sierra Club Maine — in partnership with the Nez Perce tribe of Idaho, Wabanaki Alliance and the Penobscot Indian Nation — is set to host two screenings of the film “Covenant of the
Salmon People.”

One showing will be at 116 Maquoit Road in Brunswick on Wednesday, April 17, and the other will be at 1 College Circle in Bangor on Thursday, April 18. Doors open at
6 p.m.

The evening will include a screening of the film followed by a panel discussion focusing on restoration efforts of wild salmon populations, particularly the recovery of Atlantic Salmon in Maine. Chairman Shannon Wheeler of the Nez Perce tribe will attend both screenings. In addition to the Tribes, panelists will include the Atlantic Salmon Federation, Downeast Salmon Federation, and the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

Covenant of the Salmon People is a 60-minute documentary portrait of the Nez Perce tribe members as they continue to carry out their ancient promise to protect Chinook salmon, cornerstone species and first food their people have subsisted on for tens of thousands of years. The covenant with salmon is woven into their culture, history, and now their modern-day species restoration efforts, according to a news release from Pete Nichols, chapter director of Sierra Club Maine.

The Nez Perce people are the oldest documented civilization in North America, with archaeological sites along Idaho’s Salmon River dating back 16,500 years.

The Atlantic salmon, dubbed the “king of fish,” once numbered in the hundreds of thousands in the United States and ranged up and down most of New England’s coastal rivers and ocean waters. But dams, pollution and overfishing have extirpated them from all of the region’s rivers except in Maine. Today, only around 1,000 wild salmon, known as the Gulf of Maine distinct population segment, return each year from their swim to Greenland.


Numerous organizations and institutions have worked for many years to bring the rivers back to life and to return Atlantic salmon home to Maine in historic numbers. From the precedent-setting removal of the Edwards Dam in Augusta in 1999 to scores of smaller dam removal and habitat restoration projects, these individuals and organizations are champions of this effort.

These film screenings are sponsored by the partner organizations and the Maine Community Foundation and Bangor Savings Bank.

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