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Spirit Rangers Season 2 Features Major Contributions from Cowlitz Indian Tribal Members

In 2022, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe celebrated the contributions of Cowlitz Tribal member Joey Clift to Season 1 of the Netflix series Spirit Rangers – an animated preschool series created by the first California Native American showrunner, Karissa Valencia, and written by an all-Native American team. With today’s release of Spirit Rangers Season 2, the Tribe is proud to uplift the work of its members who continue to play a key role in the popular children’s series.

Joey Clift again served as a consulting producer and writer for Season 2 of the show and wrote an episode celebrating Cowlitz culture. That episode, titled “Salmon, Where are You?”, also features Cowlitz Tribal member and musician Debora Iyall as a voice actor for “The Great Cowlitz Sa’mn Spirit” character who sings a song about the importance of salmon preservation to the Cowlitz people.

Native Salmon character with canoe on its back
Cowlitz Tribal member Debora Iyall’s character “The Great Cowlitz Sa’mn Spirit.”

"It's truly heartwarming to see Spirit Rangers back for a second season and continuing to share Cowlitz Indian Tribal teachings with our children," said Cowlitz General Council Chairwoman Patty Kinswa-Gaiser. "Appropriate and accurate representation is so important for young and growing minds. We raise our hands to Joey Clift, Debora Iyall, the Spirit Rangers showrunners, and Netflix for positively showcasing Cowlitz culture with native youth and our next generation of leaders, teachers, healers, and advocates."

"Listening to Debora Iyall’s amazing music on Seattle rock radio stations growing up was the first time I ever witnessed Cowlitz representation in mainstream media," said Joey Clift. "Working with her and having her guest star in a Spirit Rangers episode I wrote that is a celebration of Cowlitz culture, that people all around the world will be able to watch on Netflix is a beautiful full circle moment in my life. Spirit Rangers season 2 is a celebration of Native joy that I’m so proud to be a part of, and I can’t wait for Native and Non-Native kids to experience even more adventures from the Skycedar family and all their spirit friends and to see even more positive Cowlitz representation in the media!"

4 spirit rangers characters in canoe
Spirit Rangers kids in their own Cowlitz canoe from the “Salmon, Where are You?” episode

"Having grown up in California away from the Cowlitz homeland, the first everyday exposure I had to Native Salmon culture was when I worked for Indian Action Council Preschool in Eureka California,” added Debora Iyall. “We had elders from the Yurok tribe as regular guests and through them I became very good friends with some Karuk people and spent time camping on the Klamath river with them. I saw the men cook salmon on cedar skewers around the fire. We also gathered huckleberries which are staples of the Cowlitz diet as well. When Joey Clift approached me about doing the voice of the Great Sa’mn Spirit of the Cowlitz, I was very honored and excited. I think my father Daniel Victor Iyall, son of Frank Iyall, would be very proud. I was asked to sing a song about preserving the environment for the salmon in the Spirit Rangers episode I’m featured in. I think preserving and maintaining the environment is essential to the survival of not only Native people, but Native culture."

Spirit Rangers season 2 is available to stream on Netflix now. For more information about Spirit Rangers, please visit the 

Click here to access additional pictures from Season 2.


The legacy of an ancient people in southwest Washington is rich with descendants who manage a growing portfolio of health, education, scientific research, housing, transportation, development, elder care, conservation and legal issues. The Cowlitz Tribe is a growing force in community building in what are now Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis and parts of Pierce, Skamania and Wahkiakum Counties, a vast territory occupied by numerous Cowlitz villages prior to non-Cowlitz exploration and seizure. Today, an elected Tribal Council is composed of professionals adept at managing multiple programs and projects.