Video: River of Return

Join Jessica and Sammy Matsaw of the Shoshone-Bannock tribes as they reclaim their people's place on the middle Fork of the Salmon

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The Middle Fork of the Salmon River was named the River of No Return by settlers, who traveled downriver but could not get back up through its numerous rapids. For for the people of the Shoshone-Bannock tribes, the Middle Fork is a place to come back to, after a long absence, to reconnect with the land and their culture.

In River Of Return, join Jessica and Sammy as they guide a journey with their Newe people, reintroducing Indigenous youth to the river. Learn more and support their organization, River Newe, at

For the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, the Middle Fork of the Salmon River has been home since time immemorial. Its people remain inextricably linked with the waters even after a history of forced removal from the landscape and generations of disconnection and trauma.

River of Return was directed by Skip Armstrong and screened as part of NRS’ Just Add Water Project webinar series, aimed at making outdoor recreation welcoming and accessible to all. The Just Add Water Project holds at its core that representation matters in outdoor adventure and lack of representation is a symptom of the deep roots of injustice. Watch a recording of the post-screening discussion hosted by Just Add Water guides Faith Briggs and Adam Edwards and featuring Sammy and Jessica Matsaw of River Newe, Mark Deming of NRS and Amy Kober of American Rivers. Discussion starts at 35 minutes in.

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