About the Eklutna River Restoration Project
For over 90 years the Eklutna River salmon run has been impacted by a dam built near the mouth of the river. Last summer, we celebrated the removal of the upriver dam, but there is still work to be done. The next step in the restoration process is conducting research about the health of the river, and working with utility companies to take action. With the support of our leaders and community members, we can restore the water to the river so the salmon can return.
Eklutna River Restoration Sticker Competition
Help us choose a sticker design for the Eklutna River Restoration Project! Get to know the artists then vote on your favorite design!
Artwork by Tristan Agnauraq Morgan
Tristan Agnauraq Morgan is a contemporary Iñupiaq artist based out of Anchorage, Alaska who works primarily in watercolor and oil paints. As a mixed Iñupiaq Alaska Native woman, Agnauraq pulls from her unique outlook on life to create culturally contemporary pieces that discuss important dialogue surrounding indigenous issues as well as celebrate identity and inclusion.
This design focuses on the process of healing process that is restored to the Eklutna River brought by the demolition of the damn. The importance of water and restoration to ancestral lands is a part of the values that we all carry with us as indigenous peoples and by sharing this journey with indigenous and non-indigenous peoples alike, this is an act of celebration of strength as a movement of decolonization.
Artwork by Britt’Nee Kivliqtaruq Brower
Iñupiaq artist Britt’Nee Kivliqtaruq Brower was born and raised in Utqiaġvik (formerly Barrow), Alaska. She spent her childhood summers under the midnight sun picking wildflowers for her mother and absorbing the values of her culture from her Elders. Britt’Nee is a strong proponent of Iñupiat values and their relevance in our modern age. She advocates the revitalization of the language, arts and traditions of her Iñupiat people and brings this passion to her artwork. Her work in prints and children’s coloring books incorporates traditional Qupak motifs and adds a modern twist.
The qupak motif design on the salmon represents the breaking of ice, in this scenario it would represent the breaking of the Eklutna River dam along with waves to help restore the river back to its original state. It’s important to help with the recovery of the river for the salmon and wild life habitats who had to adapt to the changes after the dam installation. This sticker was made in hopes to help restore water clarity, more water flow for future salmon and to help benefit the Native People of Eklutna.
Artwork by Aria Wells
Aria Wells is a visual artist from Palmer, Alaska currently studying at Emily Carr University in Vancouver BC.
Recently, salmon as a visual motif have taken over her practice in spray paint, acrylics, drawing, printmaking, and now sculpture. Salmon activism is inherent for Aria as she grew up eating the salmon her family caught dipnetting, and spending a few weeks each summer at the family fishing cabin on the Kenai River was tradition.
The importance of saving salmon goes far beyond personal experience though. Salmon are inherently essential to the way of life in the North West, whether it be economic importance, subsistence for indigenous people, preserving an ecological environment, or letting residents of Alaska harvest salmon every fall. The Eklutna river is very close to Aria’s home town of Palmer, so to see a local habitat restored is motivating in her activism as well as her outlook on Alaska’s future.