Coyote's Corner

Field Lessons and Games, Insights and Resources

Indigenous Connections to Water

by CFI Staff

Join founders of River Newe, Jessica and Sammy Matsaw, along with Indigenous guides, Nikki and Colleen Cooley, and Lyle Balenquah for a virtual screening and panel discussion of two short films that highlight Indigenous connections to water.

Water Flows Together elevates the importance of acknowledging Indigenous lands in outdoor recreation through the voice of Colleen Cooley, one of a few female Diné (Navajo) river guides on the San Juan River.

River of Return follows River Newe founders and Shoshone-Bannock tribe members Jessica and Sammy Matsaw down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho.

Below, you can find these two films as well as a panel discussion with the filmmakers and guides touching on topics around Indigenous connections, allyship, river running, and the protection of cultural heritage.


  1. Start the video of the panel discussion to hear the introduction of the event.
  2. When prompted, pause the discussion and watch the two films.
  3. Resume the discussion.

This project is a collaboration between Canyonlands Field Institute, River Newe, Spruce Tone Films, American Rivers, and Northwest River Supply. Funding was supported by the Utah Division of Arts and Museums.

Panel Discussion
Water Flows Togeher
River of Return