Teachings & stories are traditions that will guide our movement to protect water and empower water leaders with knowledge, culture, and values.
Changing Currents is a platform for unique Native perspectives and experiences related to water – its place in our cultures, our creation stories, and our daily lives.
Changing Currents believes in upholding traditional teachings & stories. We have the shared responsibility of sharing, learning, and teaching to help guide Tribal, community, and state leaders in developing responsible and sustainable policies and approaches that reflect the needs of communities.
These stories were produced by Tribes, universities, partners and others, and are collected here as a way to lift up current tribal perspectives on our water resources.
Updates & News
Tribal leaders share how doing what’s right for treaty resources benefits the whole region, and emphasize the importance of working together with Tribal governments, state and local governments to restore our water for the common good.
Shirod Younker explores the Coquille Indian Tribe’s canoe customs and designs and the return of canoe culture among Northwest Tribes. “We’re all metaphorically in one canoe heading in the same direction and perpetuating some of the traditional customs that we used to have.”
Jesse Beers talks about what it means to be able to express your cultural ideals in how land - and water - should be managed. “Our culture developed in this place. … How to properly steward a place - you learn that from living for generations in that place.”
Since restoration in 1986, The Klamath Tribes have been working to bring back the c’waam - suckerfish. Key to this journey was reinstating the seasonal ceremonies to thank the creator for our fish. “Our prayers aren’t just for us. They’re for the whole world, for mankind. That little fish, in that water, is an ecosystem indicator.”
The River Vision for the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation states that a healthy river is capable of providing First Foods that sustain the continuity of the Tribe’s culture. Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and Oregon Lottery showcase the importance of restoring Meacham Creek to the Umatilla Tribe’s vision for future generations.
The inspiring story of one of the biggest salmon habitat restoration projects in Oregon’s history. Leadership by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs to restore this section of the Middle Fork John Day River increased chinook spawning by 12% on this property.
During Bonneville's 75 year history, affordable and reliable electric hydropower brought light and life to rural communities. But many Native Americans lost a cultural way of life. This is the story of the fish, and how collaboration between the Bonneville Power Administration and Northwest tribes has instilled a sense of hope as the fish return to the Columbia Basin.
The Mill Creek tributary of the Warm Springs River is one of the last strongholds for cold water salmonids in the Deschutes Basin. “This is a Native way. This is what it’s all about - nurturing and taking care of our fish habitat and the fish themselves, and all the environment which surrounds them.”
“Our elders have taught us that we need to protect, enhance and restore our natural resources because we are the keeper of natural resources, not the owners.” This video explores the efforts of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation to reconnect floodplains, protect First Foods and ensure the continuity of our culture.