First voices, first advocates

Fish racks hold sockeye salmon that will be put away from winter at a traditional fish camp on the banks of the Koktuli River. By Mountain Mind Media .

Today, as part of Indigenous People’s Day, we are taking a moment to highlight the people in the Bristol Bay community who were in this place first, who have successfully stewarded a fishery for 15,000 years, and who are now the loudest advocates for permanent protection for their traditional homelands.  

Bristol Bay includes the lands and waters of the Dena’ina, Alutiiq, and Yup’ik peoples who have lived in this place for generations; passing down countless traditions, lessons, and stories on the fish, wildlife and people that characterize this region.  

With immense gratitude, we thank the Indigenous peoples of Bristol Bay for being the best advocates for their home lands and waters, and for sharing this incredible place with us to learn, recreate, and connect with the pulse of the river.  

These stories are taken from the United By Hope conversation series with Trout Unlimited and partners from Bristol Bay Native Corporation, United Tribes of Bristol Bay, and Indigenous leaders in the community. We are greatly appreciative of our partners for sharing their stories with us and hope you enjoy watching these conversations as much as we enjoyed having them. 

Listen and watch the rest of the stories here.  


Triston Chaney, Student, Fishing Guide, Commercial Fisherman. Dillingham, Alaska


Alannah Hurley, Executive Director, United Tribes of Bristol Bay. Dillingham, Alaska.


Joe Chythlook, Chairman, Bristol Bay Native Corporation. Aleknagik, Alaska