Mike Maquinna returns to his home town of Gold River on Vancouver Island to attend the funeral of his father, Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations Chief Ambrose Maquinna. With a troubled past including alcoholism, Mike does not intend on staying to claim his rightful place as Chief, but intends on returning to his current life as a logger in Bella Coola. Meanwhile, a lone Orca whale - dubbed Luna by western media - has been spotted in the area, the whale unusually socialized to boats and humans. Luna, suspected to be a missing juvenile from a pod now living south of the area in Puget Sound, becomes a public sensation, both as a spectacle and a human interest story. The Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO) administration, led by Ted Jeffries, plans on reuniting Luna with his pod, which means capturing the young Orca. This move by DFO does not sit well with Mike and the band, who see the spirit of Ambrose inhabited within Luna. They feel it best for Luna to decide where he chooses to live. This issue - in combination with caring for a troubled band youth, Adam Ross - reintegrates Mike into his band life. The band does have an ally in local DFO officer Jill Mackay, who - behind the scenes - is continually butting heads with her boss, Jeffries, the public face of the DFO.