mountain landscape

Restoring the River

Resource Type
Grade Level:
Nature, Native Americans, California

The Restoring the River episode follows the Yurok, Karuk and Hupa people of the Klamath River Basin in Northern California as they work with other groups to address the declining salmon population and an unhealthy Klamath River.  This river supports the Native peoples and other communities and ecosystems in the area.  The curriculum was developed in consultation with the Yurok and Karuk Tribes as well as government agencies and non-profit organizations.

The curriculum provides the opportunity to integrate Native peoples into courses besides social studies like science and environmental studies. It also highlights how Native communities are still here today, active in their traditions as well as active participants in the contemporary world. Specific to the episode, the Tribal groups actively incorporate their collective knowledge of place and western science to help solve environmental problems today.

Curriculum Overview

The Restoring the River Curriculum and videos are on the PBS Learning Media Site.

Click HERE to access the videos and accompanying curriculum.

The Restoring the River curriculum is centered around 2-5 minute video clips from the Restoring the River episode. Each video clip is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards for middle school Life, Space and Earth or Environmental Sciences (you can find associated standards for each clip on the PBS Learning Media site).

The Video Clips address (see curriculum link above)

  • the Klamath River Basin in Northern California and its multiple ecosystems
  • the special relationship between the Klamath Basin Rivers, the salmon and local Yurok and Karuk tribes
  • the problem of an endangered salmon caused by an unhealthy river system
  • the collaborative efforts by local tribes, government agencies and non-profit groups to solve the problem by restoring the river  

Each Video clip has accompanying (see curriculum link above)

  • Video Activities to
    • set the stage for the video clip content
    • document important information during the video and post-video
    • to discuss the significance of Tending Nature and Restoring the River themes
  • Background Readings to provide in-depth information to better comprehend video clip content (this also allows the lesson to be stand-alone providing the necessary background information).
  • Digging Deeper Activities to conduct experiments related to the video clip science content and to allow for interdisciplinary opportunities exploring art and history associated with the video clip.
  • Extension Activities to allow students to zoom out and look at all the video clips together compiling what they learned from all the video clips.
  • Teacher’s Guide with answers and suggested responses to activities as well as teaching tips for the activities.

Lessons were created to be stand-alone or as a lesson series with individual, group and whole class activities.

Click HERE to access the videos and accompanying curriculum

Educational Programs at the Autry are sponsored by:

Dean and Laura Beresford · Molly and Neal Brockmeyer · Vince and Colleen Caballero · Capital Group · David F. Eisenberg · The Georgina-Fredrick Children's Foundation · Christy McAvoy · Marleen and Bruce Rognlien · Robert E. Ronus · Brenda and Gary Ruttenberg · The Steinmetz Foundation · Virginia F. Stevenson · Thelma Pearl Howard Foundation

Land Acknowledgment

The Autry Museum of American West acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). We recognize that the Autry Museum and its campuses are located on the traditional lands of Gabrielino/Tongva peoples and we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.

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Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462
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