Paddle Tribal Waters: Deschutes River


In preparation for the Klamath descent in 2024, the Paddle Tribal Waters program traveled to the land of the Warm Springs and spent three days on the Deschutes River building skills and confidence and lighting the fire for something bigger.

“The Warm Springs people, they deal with a lot of the same issues that we do in the Klamath, and with talks of having a new hydro-electric project on the Deschutes, it’s really imperative that we spend some time out here… and have these conversations on the Deschutes amongst our celebration as we finish this struggle on the Klamath River.” — Paul Robert Wolf Wilson, chief storyteller, Ríos to Rivers

More than building a team of skilled whitewater paddlers capable of descending a free-flowing Klamath River, Paddle Tribal Waters is using whitewater kayaking to forge a powerful community of river allies.

The Deschutes was just one part of a two-and-a-half-weeklong beginner program for the indigenous youth training to reclaim their lands and water. With each stroke, the connections they form with people and place grow stronger. Imagine what they could do in three months.

Paddle Tribal Waters is a program of Maqlaqs Paddle and Ríos to Rivers and is proudly supported by NRS.