This video shares the different perspectives of people who rely on the Klamath Basin, the ongoing water conflicts there, and the relationships they have with the water and ecosystem.
It is primarily focused on the Indigenous people, the farmers, and the desire to preserve their ways of life.
The video has an empathetic tone toward everyone interviewed and ultimately advocates for understanding each other and working together.
There is a map shown at 1 minute, 20 seconds of the area that demonstrates how the areas are connected through the Klamath Basin.
Teachers should be aware of some of the heavier topics discussed in the video, such as the water crisis, endangered species, and threats to Indigenous sovereignty.
A social-emotional check-in may be helpful for students to process their feelings.
Students in ELA classes can discuss the different perspectives and the claims, evidence, and reasoning of the various perspectives.
Students in history classes can discuss the historical events, treaties, and acts that have led to the differing perspectives on how the water should be managed.
Students can discuss solutions, justice, and appropriate action steps that can be taken toward river restoration and equity.
Science classes can tie this video into lessons about eutrophication, the water cycle, plant cell structures, soil science, ecosystems, or aquatic habitats and the negative effects of dams on river ecosystems.
As an extension, this resource discusses why lakes and rivers should have legal rights similar to people and this other resource gives more context about the water conflict near the Klamath Basin.
This video resource from The Guardian examines the water crisis in the Klamath basin. Farmers and Native Americans are pitted against one another as water needs for farms and salmon (held sacred by tribes) cannot be met due to a changing climate and increasing demands. This resource examines the history of settlement, wetland destruction, and hydropower development in the early twentieth century leading up to the current crisis, where there is not enough water to go around. Interviews with farmers, tribal representatives, and scientists are featured (along with images that show the extent of the crisis). This video presents the concerns of both Native Americans and farmers in a sympathetic way, showing that each group is just trying to live their own traditions. This resource is recommended for teaching.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
Dimension 2: Geography
D2.Geo.6.6-8 Explain how the physical and human characteristics of places and regions are connected to human identities and cultures.
D2.Geo.5.9-12 Evaluate how political and economic decisions throughout time have influenced cultural and environmental characteristics of various places and regions.
Dimension 2: History
D2.His.5.9-12 Analyze how historical contexts shaped and continue to shape people's perspectives.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS2: Earth's Systems
HS-ESS2-5 Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.
LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
HS-LS2-6 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.