Yakama fisherman Andy Sohappy (left) hauls in a gill net on the Columbia River with his employee Kyle Brisbois. Both are longtime residents of Cooks Landing, WA, a fishing community on the river. The Sohappys have fought many legal battles to preserve their right to fish and live on the Columbia.
Yakama member Louis George works on his fishing scaffold below The Dalles Dam in Oregon.
A Native American village at Underwood, WA, at the confluence of the White Salmon and Columbia rivers in 1934, prior to the construction of the Bonneville Dam.
Homes in a tribal fishing site at Lyle, WA.
Johnny Jackson stands at the site of his former home in Underwood, WA. His cabin, which he built by hand, burned to the ground one winter evening when an aging propane stove malfunctioned. Such fires are common in the tribal communities on the Columbia River. Since many homes lack safe indoor heating and plumbing, the fires are often catastrophic.
The Tahkeal family, members of the Yakama Tribe, prepare to fish at their home at Cooks Landing, WA. To earn the lion's share of their annual income, the Tahkeals spend every spring, summer and fall catching salmon on the Columbia. During the fishing season, they share a one-room, uninsulated home without plumbing.
Alec Yallup (left) of the Nez Perce Tribe works with Yakama enrollee BJ White Foot in the harbor at Cooks Landing.
A tourist exhibit at the Bonneville Dam in Oregon. Electricity from the dams on the Columbia River powers the economy of the Pacific Northwest, but few of the benefits have trickled into Native American communities on the river.
Like many Native American fishing communities on the Columbia, Cooks Landing occupies marginal land sandwiched between the river and the rail tracks and highways that flank it.
A tour in the Dalles Dam, OR. When the Works Progress Administration began building hydroelectric dams on the mid-Columbia in the early 1900s, federal officials promised to compensate native people for the villages and fishing structures that would be inundated. The dams are now managed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Full compensation has never been provided.
Russell Tahkeal walks through detritus at Cooks Landing, WA. The federal government is legally obligated to clean and maintain tribal fishing sites on the river, but funding is insufficient and red tape gets in the way. Native fishing communities on the Columbia have been described as some of the most legally complicated terrain in Indian Country.
Joyce Spino, of the Yakama Tribe, visits a tomb for repatriated native remains near Dallesport, WA.
Leon Aleck mends a hoop net near a Native American fishing site below the Dalles Dam in Oregon.
Yakama enrollee Jackie Cloud cleans her gear after fishing near Lyle, Washington.