When the Salmon Spoke


About the Production

When the Salmon Spoke is a digital production featuring life stories from community members of the Stikine River. This project connects coastal Tlingit and Haida communities and inland Tahltan communities of Alaska and British Columbia. Drawn together by shared concern over the threats of climate change, a modern-day Gold Rush in northern British Columbia, and declining wild salmon populations, Stikine River Indigenous peoples are seeking reconnection and shared solutions.

A work in the Undesirable Elements series, adapted as a digital experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Production Team And Cast

Project Leaders

Tis Peterman (Tlingit/Tahltan), Annita McPhee (Tahltan/Tlingit), Kirby Muldoe (Gitxsan/Tsimsian), Heather Hardcastle, & Ryan Conarro.

Creative Director & Producer

Ryan Conarro


George Kuhar


Katherine George-Byrd (Tlingit)


Katherine George-Byrd & Ethel Lane (Tlingit), Formline Visual Art: Alano Edzerza (Tahltan)


Sarah Conarro & Julian Bozeman

Video Editing

Dan Mesec & Ryan Conarro

Sound Editing

Mike Sakarias & Ryan Conarro

Community Engagement & Facilitation

Tis Peterman (Tlingit/Tahltan), Nuskmata (Jacinda Mack)(Nuxalk/Secwepemc), Annita McPhee (Tahltan/Tlingit), Kirby Muldoe (Gitxsan/Tsimsian), Ryan Conarro, Heather Hardcastle, SEITC Outreach Consultant in Alaska: K’yuuhlgaansii Frederick, Otilius Olsen, Jr. (Haida)

Outreach Consultant in Tahltan Territory

Carmen McPhee (Tahltan)

Editorial Consultant

Sara Zatz

Research Collaboration

Nuskmata (Jacinda Mack) (Nuxalk/Secwepemc)

Dramaturgical Support

Maia Wikler


Lovey Brock (Haida, U.S.), Allen Edzerza (Tahltan, Canada), Trixie Kalkins-Bennett (Tlingit/Tahltan, U.S.), Annita McPhee (Tahltan/Tlingit, Canada), Bill McPhee (Tahltan, Canada), Rhoda Quock (Tahltan, Canada), Tis Peterman (Tlingit/Tahltan, U.S.), Frank Young, Jr. (Haida, U.S.)


Peter Morin (Tahltan, Canada), Erin Tripp (Tlingit, U.S.)

Performance History


PremiereOnline premiere (May 31, 2020)


Southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission, in collaboration with SkeenaWild Conservation Trust and Salmon Beyond Borders


National Endowment for the Arts

Sealaska Corporation

The Firelight Group

Western Organization of Resource Councils

Wilburforce Foundation

Leighty Foundation

The MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Network of Ensemble Theaters’ Travel & Exchange Network, supported by lead funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

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