For centuries, the lives of Indigenous people and the salmon of Bristol Bay, Alaska, have been deeply entwined. The wisdom of harvesting, preserving, and sharing fish holds a significance that tops any formal, organized education.
Today, a younger generation learns not only the art of fishing from their elders but also the skills to advocate for their heritage. Corporations have relentlessly pursued the vast resources of this region, and the looming threat of the Pebble Mine jeopardizes the pristine headwaters of Bristol Bay.
School of Fish, a film from Orvis, provides a close-up of the seasonal salmon traditions of one family and their profound connection to the Bristol Bay Guide Academy. The group inspires and educates the local youth through fly fishing, enabling them to become guides and, more importantly, conservationists. It gives them a place in an industry that has enveloped their homeland and waters.
Can we find balance between development and tradition? Can we preserve the lifestyle of the Indigenous people who call this place home?
It’s deeper than the water and important on levels that are hard to describe, but School of Fish gives us a glimpse into what’s at stake — and those who stand to lose.
Runtime: 19 minutes