Home > Outdoor > Hunt & Fish

‘School of Fish’: How Alaska Natives Are Fighting to Preserve the Salmon Run

Balancing industry and tradition, the Indigenous people and salmon of Alaska work toward a positive future in 'School of Fish.'
Support us! GearJunkie may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

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

Save Big, Patagonia

Help Patagonia Stop Arctic Resource Extraction in Alaska's Brooks Range: Speak Out, 'Save Big'

Oil and gas developers are proposing a road that would cut through the Brooks Range of Alaska. Patagonia is asking you to help defend it. Read more…

Subscribe Now

Get adventure news and gear reviews in your inbox!

Join Our GearJunkie Newsletter

Get adventure news and gear reviews in your inbox!