The histories and futures of Indigenous peoples and salmon are inextricably bound across the vast ocean expanse and rugged coastlines of the North Pacific. Keystone Nations addresses this enmeshment and the marriage of the biological and social sciences that have led to the research discussed in this book. Salmon stocks and Indigenous peoples across the northern Pacific region represent a significance beyond their size in maintaining the viability and legitimacy of ecological and political systems. Both species’ futures are simultaneously a matter of the conservation concerns of natural scientists and the political agenda of Indigenous sovereignty movements that arc across the northern hemisphere. If wild salmon vanish in the North Pacific, as they largely have in the North Atlantic, their absence will herald the cascading failure of a complete marine system. If Indigenous peoples vanish from the North Pacific, as they largely have in the North Atlantic, their absence will sound the failure of the world’s dominant political powers to recognize the human right to cultural expression and survival.
Benedict J. Colombi and James F. Brooks. 2012. Keystone Nations: Indigenous Peoples and Salmon Across the North Pacific. School for Advanced Research Press.