Pacific NW Native Americans - History

It is estimated that 250,000 Native Americans were living along the coast of the Pacific Northwest. The area had a temperate climate, waters rich in fish and interiors full of small animals that could be hunted. With plenty of readily available food as well as an endless supply of wood the residents of the area built large sturdy homes.

The tribes of the area are also known for creating beautiful totems with intricate carvings and pictures that were used to tell the story of the clan. The natives often wore necklaces which symbolized the wealth of the wearer. They also created beautiful baskets and even hats which were important in the rainy Pacific Northwest.

The Natives believed that they were all connected to the world of the supernatural that surrounded them. The Shaman or medicine man was the bridge to that world.

Most of the celebrations held by Native Americans of the area were called Potlatch- which comes from the word to give. Families would spend months planning a Potlatch. It was a means of showing off a families standing and wealth.

Bella Bella
Bella Coola
Puget Sound Salish
Straits Salish

Pacific Islander Americans

Pacific Islander Americans (also known as Oceanian Americans) are Americans who are of Pacific Islander ancestry (or are descendants of the indigenous peoples of Oceania or of Austronesian descent). For its purposes, the United States Census also counts Indigenous Australians as part of this group. [2] [3]

Pacific Islander Americans
Total population
582,718 population (2018) [1]
1,225,195 alone or in combination
0.4% of the total U.S. population (2010 Census)
Regions with significant populations
American Samoa, Guam,
Northern Mariana Islands,
California, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, New York,
Texas, Utah, Florida
American English, Polynesian languages, Austronesian languages, Micronesian languages.
Christianity, Polytheism, Baháʼí, Judaism, Mormonism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Sikhism, Jainism, Confucianism, Druze
Related ethnic groups
Pacific Islanders

Pacific Islander Americans make up 0.5% of the U.S. population including those with partial Pacific Islander ancestry, enumerating about 1.4 million people. The largest ethnic subgroups of Pacific Islander Americans are Native Hawaiians, Samoans, Chamorros, Fijians, Palauans and Tongans.

Pacific Northwest Native people a brief history

Native American Indians in the Pacific Northwest are engaged in a struggle for their human, economic and civil rights that takes many forms. Every four years, for example, there are “paddles” in which tribes travel long distances in their dugouts for big, festive gatherings with much singing, dancing, story telling and feasting reminiscent of “potlatches” of centuries past.

Two summers ago, the Lower Elwha band of S’Klallams staged “Paddle to Elwha” in part to protest the desecration of their tribal burial site at the base of the Ediz Hook spit in Washington. This past summer, the tribe won a major victory when Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire signed an agreement with tribal Chairwoman Frances Charles on the disposition of the burial ground, which was badly damaged during excavation to build a giant facility for construction of bridge pontoons.

The heightened political activism dates back to the role of the tribes in defeating Washington state’s reactionary and virulently racist Republican Sen. Slade Gorton in 2002. Indians throughout Washington delivered a powerful vote for Democrat Maria Cantwell in that election, providing her razor-thin margin of victory over Gorton.

This report by Elizabeth Yates from Seattle offers valuable background on the history of similar struggles by the Nisqually, Muckleshoot and Puyallup tribes in the Puget Sound region.

The story of how three Northwest states acquired much of their land includes a war, an execution and eviction. 2006 marks the 150th anniversary of the end of that war, with repercussions still felt today.

Before the Europeans arrived, the Native Americans of the Northwest Coast were among the few hunting and gathering societies in the world that produced wealth beyond that needed for subsistence, and built up a strong trading system. Salmon was the center of their livelihood and their diet, and on the land along the rivers where they had fished for generations, the focus of their cultural and spiritual life.

In 1853 Isaac Ingalls Stevens, appointed governor and superintendent of Indian affairs for the new territory claimed by the U.S., was determined to get control of the land. The only language that was used to conduct treaty negotiations was Chinook jargon which contained about 300 words. Translators made mistakes, in some cases deliberately mistranslating, and provided limited information.

“In less than a year Gov. Stevens had made treaties with more than 17,000 Indians and in so doing had extinguished the Indian title to more than 200,000 square miles (64 million acres) of land now making up much of the territory of Washington, Idaho and Montana, leaving the Indian people with less than 6 million acres,” according to historians.

Chief Leschi of the Nisqually people, in present-day western Washington, strongly objected to this taking of their land, and this resistance led to the Puget Sound War of 1855-56 and ultimately to his execution on the orders of a kind of kangaroo court. And it led his people to a century of struggle under the new government. (In 2004 Leschi was exonerated through a Legislature-mandated Historical Court of Justice judicial review.)

In 1856, under new negotiations, the Nisqually and Puyallup lands became larger but still small, with some land on both sides of the Nisqually River. The U.S. and state governments originally wanted the native people to become farmers and, presumably, to “melt” into the new economic way of life. For people whose history and knowledge for centuries was bound to fishing, this radical course caused great hardship, “plus the prairie land did not cooperate,” said Cecelia Carpenter, Nisqually historian.

In 1917 came the second taking of their land by the U.S. Army, in order to build Fort Lewis. Those living on the north and west half were evicted in mid-winter, with no advance notice and no opportunity to line up other arrangements. So they scattered. Many disappeared and many died. In the 1920s the population of the tribe was reduced to about 40 people on the reservation. They continued fishing. One provision of the 1854 treaty was that they could continue to fish “in all their usual and accustomed places.”

The Washington state government over the years passed many contradictory laws regarding fishing. Controversy over interpretation of various laws and treaties, building of dams, growing competition with commercial and sports fishermen, and failure in the first place to consult with the true original experts on fish conservation led to environmental degradation.

In the late 1960s, “fish in” protests by the closely related Muckleshoot, Puyallup and Nisqually tribal members drew national attention and support. After 100 years, their struggles to retain treaty rights to fish culminated in 1974 in the Boldt decision. Federal Judge George H. Boldt’s ruling affirmed that Indian people had the right to fish off the reservation. Several tribes together soon established the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.

With help from federal grants to implement the Boldt decision, and improved income, the Nisqually tribe began to establish legal services and an infrastructure. From a reservation of ten families with no electricity or running water or health care because promised treaty funds were never distributed, the situation began to change after 1977 as little by little they became able to buy back the land. The reservation, with a population of about 500, now covers more than 4,000 acres, north and west of Olympia, dedicated to reclaiming the land and experimenting with new crops.

Today the Nisquallys have a complete political and economic organization with social, legal, health and education services, enabling them to function as an independent entity and to take care of virtually all of their people’s needs, said Cynthia Iyall of the tribal planning commission.

The Nisqually salmon-recovery plan, developed in cooperation with others, is a key element and example for a broader plan under discussion to resuscitate the state salmon industry, thus helping to expand the economy of the state. In the Nisqually River watershed, between Tacoma and Olympia, there just 400 fish spawned a decade ago, about 2,600 did in 2004.

“It’s an ongoing battle to make sure your treaty rights and sovereignty are protected,” said Georgiana Kautz, natural resources manager for the tribe and tribal elder. “The state has come to recognize our ability, in cooperation with all the people of the state, to manage and protect our natural resources. The quality of life we are trying to protect benefits everybody.”

Pacific Northwest Coast Indians

Cedar: Tree of Life to the Northwest Coast Indians
Hillary Stewart and Bill Reid
Paperback: Dimensions (in inches): 0.61 x 9.00 x 10.06
University of Washington Press ISBN: 0295974486 (March )

Eyewitnesses to the Indian Wars: The Wars for the Pacific Northwest
by Peter Cozzens (Editor)

American Artists (American Indian Lives)
Lawrence Abbott
Listed under Native American Art

Bella Bella : A Season of Heiltsuk Art
Martha Black
Paperback 1997

Bill Reid : Beyond the Essential Form (Museum Note, No 19)
Karen Duffek
Paperback 1986

Carving Totem Poles and Masks
Alan Bridgewater, Gill Bridgewater
Paperback 1991

The Coming of the Spirit of Pestilence: Introduced Infectious Diseases and Population Decline Among Northwest Coast Indians, 1774-1874
by Robert T. Boyd
Hardcover from University of Washington Press

The Eyes of Chief Seattle
Suquamish Tribal Cultural Center
Paperback 1995

A Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest
by Robert H. Ruby and John A. Brown

The Great Canoes: Reviving a Northwest Coast Tradition
by David Neel
Listed under Canoeing

First Fish, First People: Salmon Tales of the North Pacific Rim
by Judith Roche, Meg McHutchison
Paperback from University of Washington Press

From the Land of the Totem Poles: The Northwest Coast Indian Art Collection at the American Museum of National History
Aldona Jonaitis, Stephen S. Myers
Paperback 1991

Guide to Indian Rock Carvings of the Pacific Northwest Coast
by Beth Hill
Listed under Native American Rock Art

Haida Art
George F. MacDonald
Hardcover: 242 pages Dimensions (in inches): 0.98 x 12.35 x 9.98
Publisher: University of Washington Press (September )
ISBN: 029597561X

Haida Monumental Art: Villages of the Queen Charlotte Islands
George F. MacDonald, Richard J. Huyda
Paperback 1994

Hamatsa: The Enigma of Cannibalism on the Pacific Northwest Coast
by Jim McDowell
Paperback from Ronsdale Pr

Special Order

Howling Wolf and the History of Ledger Art
Joyce M. Szabo
Hardcover 1994

Indian Healing: Shamanic Ceremonialism in the Pacific Northwest Today
by Wolfgang G. Jilek
Listed under Native American Healing

Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest
by Ella E. Clark
Book Description: This collection of more than one hundred tribal tales, culled from the oral tradition of the Indians of Washington and Oregon, presents the Indians' own stories, told for generations around their fires, of the mountains, lakes, and rivers, and of the creation of the world and the heavens above. Each group of stories is prefaced by a brief factual account of Indian beliefs and of storytelling customs. Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest is a treasure, still in print after fifty years.
Paperback from University of California Press

Indians of the Pacific Northwest: A History
by Robert H. Ruby and John A. Brown

Indians of the North Pacific Coast
by Tom McFeat
Paperback from University of Washington Press

The Inuit Imagination : Arctic Myth and Sculpture
Harry Seidelman, et al
Listed under Inuit

James Swan, Cha-Tic of the Northwest Coast: Drawings and Watercolors from the Franz & Kathryn Stenzel Collection of Western American Art
by George A. Miles, James Swan, Franz Stenzel, Kathryn M. Stenzel
Hardcover from Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

The Legacy : Tradition and Innovation in Northwest Coast Indian Art
Peter L. MacNair, et al
Paperback 1984

Learning by Doing Northwest Coast Native Indian Art
by Karin Clark, Jim Gilbert
Paperback from Raven Publishing

Looking at Totem Poles
Hilary Stewart
Paperback 1993

Kwakiutl Art
Audrey Hawthorn, Audrey Hawthorne
Paperback 1988

Learning by Designing Pacific Northwest Coast Native Indian Art, vol.1
by Jim Gilbert, Karin Clark
Paperback from Raven Publishing

Learning by Designing Pacific Northwest Coast Native Indian Art, Volume 2
by Jim Gilbert, Karin Clark
Paperback from Raven Publishing
24 October, 2002

Looking at Indian Art of the Northwest Coast
Hilary Stewart
Paperback 1979

Looking North : Art from the University of Alaska Museum
Aldona Jonaitis (Editor), et al
Hardcover 1998

Mythic Beings: Spirit Art of the Northwest Coast
by Gary Wyatt
Paperback from University of Washington Press

Myths and Legends of the Pacific Northwest
by Katharine B. Judson, Jay Miller
Paperback from Univ of Nebraska Pr

Native Peoples of Alaska: A Traveler's Guide to Land, Art, and Culture
Jan Halliday with Patricia J. Petrivelli and the Alaska Native Heritage Center
Paperback: 320 pages Dimensions (in inches): 0.79 x 9.03 x 5.93
Sasquatch Books ISBN: 1570611009 (April )

Native Peoples of the Northwest: A Traveler's Guide to Land, Art and Culture
by Jan Halliday, Gail Chehak, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians
Paperback from Sasquatch Books

Native Americans of the Northwest Coast (Indigenous Peoples of North America)
by Veda Boyd Jones
Library Binding from Lucent Books

Native American Crafts of the Northwest Coast, the Arctic, and the Subarctic (Native American Crafts)
by Judith Hoffman Corwin
Listed under Native American Crafts

Native Visions : Evolution in Northwest Coast Art from the Eighteenth Through the Twentieth Century
Steven C. Brown, et al
Paperback 1998

Northwest Coast Indian Art : An Analysis of Form
Bill Holm
Paperback 1965

Northwest Coast Indian Designs (Dover Design Library)
Madeleine Orban-Szontagh
Listed under Native American Clip Art

Northwest Coast Native and Native-Style Art : A Guidebook for Western Washington
Lloyd J. Averill, Daphne K. Morris
Paperback 1995

The Naked Man (Mythologiques, Vol 4)
Claude Levi-Strauss, Doreen Weightman
Paperback 1990

The Owl in Monument Canyon and Other Stories from Indian Country
H. Jackson Clark, Terry Tempest Williams
Hardcover 1993

Our Boots : An Inuit Women's Art
Jill E. Oakes, et al
Paperback 1996

Tangible Visions : Northwest Coast Indian Shamanism and Its Art
Allen Wardwell
Hardcover 1996

The Raven Steals the Light : Native American Tales (Shambhala Centaur Editions)
Bill Reid, et al
Paperback 1996

Raven's Village: The Myths, Arts & Traditions of Native People from the Pacific Northwest Coast
by Canadian Museum of Civilization, Nancy J. Ruddell, George F. MacDonald
Paperback from University of Washington Press

She's Tricky Like Coyote : Annie Miner Peterson, an Oregon Coast Indian Woman (Civilization of the American Indian Series, 224)
by Lionel Youst

Siwash Their Life Legends and Tales: Puget Sound and Pacific Northwest
by J. Costello
Hardcover from Glen Adams
Special Order

The Spirit of Haida Gwaii : Bill Reid's Masterpiece
Ulli Steltzer, Robin Laurence
Paperback 1997

The Spirit Within : Northwest Coast Native Art from the John H. Hauberg Collection
Seattle Art Museum, et al
Hardcover 1995

Totem Poles : An Illustrated Guide
Marjorie M. Halpin
Paperback 1981

The Twana, Chemakum, and Kallam Indians of Washington Territory
by Myron Eells
Paperback: Dimensions (in inches): 0.50 x 9.25 x 6.25
Publisher: Ye Galleon Pr (April )
ISBN: 0877705852

Visions of the North : Native Arts of the Northwest Coast
Don McQuiston, Debra McQuiston, Lynn Bush, Tom Till (photographer)
Paperback 1995

Dzelarhons : Myths of the Northwest Coast
Anne Cameron
Paperback 1987
Out of Print - Try Used Books

Indian Art of the Northwest Coast: A Dialogue on Crafsmanship and Aesthetics
by Bill Holm and Bill Reid
Out of Print - Try Used Books

Totem Poles : According to Location (Distributed for the Canadian Museum of Civilization) Vol 2
Marius Barbeau
Paperback 1991
Out of Print - Try Used Books

A Time of Gathering: Native Heritage in Washington State
Robin K. Wright
Paperback 1992
Out of Print - Try Used Books

Chiefly Feasts: The Enduring Kwakiutl Potlatch
Aldona Jonaitis
Paperback 1996
Out of Print - Try Used Books

Dancing on the Rim of the World : An Anthology of Contemporary Northwest Native American Writing (Sun Tracks, Vol 19)
Andrea Lerner (Editor)
Paperback 1990
Out of Print - Try Used Books

Haida Gwai: Journeys Through the Queen Charlotte Islands
Ian Gill, David Nunuk (photographer)
Paperback 1997
Out of Print - Try Used Books

Peoples of the Coast: The Indians of the Pacific Northwest
by George, Woodcock
Hardcover from Indiana University Press
Out of Print - Try Used Books

Why learning real Native history is important to the PNW and beyond

Washington schools are changing how they teach Indigenous histories. Here's what the people who've already been through school can learn from these efforts.

In River Ridge High School history teacher Alison McCartan’s classroom, she asks students to analyze their history textbooks and rewrite sections based on what they learn in her class about Native history. The Lacey, Wash. school is one of the first in the state to create a U.S. history class that is taught through Native perspectives. (Jovelle Tamayo for Crosscut)

The way we learn Native history in the United States just doesn’t make sense.

Think, for a second, about the first time you can remember a teacher mentioning Native Americans in a classroom. How old were you? What was it about? How were Native people portrayed?

The first time I can remember that was in the second grade. My class was learning the story of Thanksgiving, this fantasy where pilgrims peacefully came to the Americas, shared a meal with Native people and were best friends ever since. At least, that’s what it sounded like to my kid brain when I first heard about it.

After that, it got fuzzy. The next thing I can recall is fifth or sixth grade, learning about the Trail of Tears, when the U.S. government forced Native communities to leave their ancestral homelands.

That’s a pretty big change from the first story. What was I supposed to make of that seemingly sudden shift, one that skipped over hundreds of years of history in between? I never got a complete timeline. And even in what I did get, Native people were often lumped together. As a lifelong Washingtonian, I never learned the histories of tribes across this region. I didn’t even know most of their names.

Most students aren’t taught the basics of Native history in the U.S. One recent study found that 87% of state history standards don’t include Native history after 1900, and 27 states don’t mention Native Americans in their K-12 curriculum at all. That doesn’t mean it’s never taught — you may have been lucky enough to get more information than I did as a kid — but it does mean that it’s frequently not required.

And that has a huge impact: Other studies have found that the general U.S. population sees Native people as historical, as part of the past, and know little about what they look like today. In effect, it makes Native communities invisible. It makes sense, then, that Native people frequently find themselves misrepresented in or completely absent from all forms of American pop culture and media.

In Washington, a 2015 curriculum requirement aimed at including more Native history in state education standards could help change that. I wrote about a high school class in Lacey teaching U.S. history through Native perspectives, one of the first in the state, that came partially as a result of it.

But where does that leave the rest of us? With the help of Alison McCarten, the teacher of that class in Lacey, I wrote up a quiz that you can take on Native history in the U.S. to get a sense of our readers’ own education. The quiz has eight questions, all based on lessons from McCarten’s class. It’s pretty basic stuff, asking about the number of federally recognized tribes in the U.S. for example, and includes a little about Native history in Washington.

So far, we’ve gotten a little over 200 responses. The average for respondents was 4/8 — 50%. A failing grade, people!

But I get it. In lots of ways, our schools failed us from the beginning. So what do we do with this information?

Well, you can take a note from McCarten’s class and learn about Native history by looking to contemporary news and resources. You could read publications that cover Native issues that are frequently unreported elsewhere for me, some good ones have been Indian Country Today, Native News Online and High Country News. You could listen to podcasts, like This Land, that examine how historical events impact Native communities today. You could read books by contemporary Indigenous authors. You could subscribe to a newsletter I recently subscribed to Indigenously myself.

The bottom line: If you’re a non-Native person looking to dismantle what little we learned about Native communities in school, look beyond the stories we were told. Look for stories that don’t paint Native people as only parts of history, but as communities that continue to exist and thrive — right now, right here, today.

This story was first published in Crosscut's Weekly newsletter. Want to hear more from reporters like Manola Secaira? Sign up for the newsletter, below.

Science / Technology

Lewis and Clark expedition

The Lewis and Clark expedition was commissioned by President Jefferson in 1803, shortly after the united States completed the Louisiana Purchase. The expedition was designed to explore, establish commerce routes, and possibly find a waterway from east to west. The explorers left in May of 1804 and reached the Pacific Ocean in November of 1805. They headed east the following spring, and in September, arrived in St. Louis. The expedition was unable to find a waterway from east to west, however, they did make several scientific, and geographical discoveries in the Pacific Northwest.

Wagons for the Oregon Trail

When the Whitman's traveled along the Oregon Trail in 1836, it was believed by many that wagons were not able to make the entire journey. The Whitman's managed to use a wheeled vehicle as far west as Ft. Boise. That fact gave other emigrants hope that they too, could make the dangerous journey. At the time, most wagons were the Conestoga model.These were very heavy, and required 8-10 animals to pull them. Wagon companies such as Studebaker, began making the "prairie schooners". These wagons were much lighter, and required only 4-6 oxen to pull it. This technological innovation allowed pioneers to traverse the Oregon Trail into the Pacific Northwest.

River Steamboats

Around 1850, steamboats began operating along the Columbia river, and it's tributaries. These boats were mainly paddle wheels. There were three basic models stern wheel, side wheel, and propeller. This technology allowed pioneers to haul goods, and people along the river routes, expanding the economic impact of the Pacific Northwest. As time passed, new technology such as, railroads, and the automobile eventually led to the demise of the river steamboat.

Academic standards

Overarching Standards/Summative Performance Task

Staging the Question: Food is More Than Just What We Eat

Supporting Question 1: Why is Salmon Important to Native People and Nations of the Pacific Northwest?

Supporting Question 2: How Do Threats to Salmon Impact Native People and Nations of the Pacific Northwest?

Supporting Question 3: What Actions are Native Nations Taking to Restore Salmon and Strengthen Cultures?

Mapping Informed Action: Foods Still Matter: The Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project (Community Organizing)

Taking Informed Action Expository-Writing


Definitions of the Pacific Northwest region vary, and even Pacific Northwesterners do not agree on the exact boundary. [8] [9] The most common conception includes the U.S. states of Idaho, Oregon and Washington and the Canadian province of British Columbia. [6]

Broader definitions of the region have included the U.S. states of Alaska and parts of the states of California, Montana, and Wyoming, and the Canadian territory of the Yukon. [6] [10] [11]

Definitions based on the historic Oregon Country reach east to the Continental Divide, thus including all of Idaho and parts of western Montana and western Wyoming. Sometimes, the Pacific Northwest is defined as being the Northwestern United States specifically, excluding Canada.

Indigenous peoples Edit

The Pacific Northwest has been occupied by a diverse array of indigenous peoples for millennia. The Pacific Coast is seen by some scholars as a major coastal migration route in the settlement of the Americas by late Pleistocene peoples moving from northeast Asia into the Americas. [12]

The coastal migration hypothesis has been bolstered by findings such as the report that the sediments in the Port Eliza Cave [13] on Vancouver Island indicate the possibility of survivable climate as far back as 16 kya (16,000 years ago) in the area, while the continental ice sheets were nearing their maximum extent. [14] Other evidence for human occupation dating back as much as 14.5 kya (14,500 years ago) is emerging from Paisley Caves in south-central Oregon. [15] [16] However, despite such research, the coastal migration hypothesis is still subject to considerable debate. [17] [18]

Due in part to the richness of Pacific Northwest Coast and river fisheries, some of the indigenous peoples developed complex sedentary societies, while remaining hunter-gatherers. [19] The Pacific Northwest Coast is one of the few places where politically complex hunter-gatherers evolved and survived to historic contacts, and therefore has been vital for anthropologists and archaeologists seeking to understand how complex hunter and gatherer societies function. [20] When Europeans first arrived on the Northwest Coast, they found one of the world's most complex hunting and fishing societies, with large sedentary villages, large houses, systems of social rank and prestige, extensive trade networks, and many other factors more commonly associated with societies based on domesticated agriculture. [20] [21] In the interior of the Pacific Northwest, the indigenous peoples, at the time of European contact, had a diversity of cultures and societies. Some areas were home to mobile and egalitarian societies. Others, especially along major rivers such as the Columbia and Fraser, had very complex, affluent, sedentary societies rivaling those of the coast. [22]

In British Columbia and Southeast Alaska, the Tlingit and Haida erected large and elaborately carved totem poles that have become iconic of Pacific Northwest artistic traditions. Throughout the Pacific Northwest, thousands of indigenous people live, and some continue to practice their rich cultural traditions, "organizing their societies around cedar and salmon". [23]

Initial European exploration Edit

In 1579 the British captain and erstwhile privateer Francis Drake sailed up the west coast of North America perhaps as far as Oregon before returning south to land and make ship repairs. On 5 June 1579, the ship briefly made first landfall at South Cove, Cape Arago, just south of Coos Bay, Oregon, and then sailed south while searching for a suitable harbor to repair his ailing ship. [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [ excessive citations ] On June 17, Drake and his crew found a protected cove when they landed on the Pacific coast of what is now Northern California. [29] [30] While ashore, he claimed the area for Queen Elizabeth I as Nova Albion or New Albion. [31] Juan de Fuca, a Greek captain sailing for the Crown of Spain, supposedly found the Strait of Juan de Fuca around 1592. The strait was named for him, but whether he discovered it or not has long been questioned. [32] During the early 1740s, Imperial Russia sent the Dane Vitus Bering to the region. [33] By the late 18th century and into the mid-19th century, Russian settlers had established several posts and communities on the northeast Pacific coast, eventually reaching as far south as Fort Ross, California. The Russian River was named after these settlements.

In 1774, the viceroy of New Spain sent Spanish navigator Juan Pérez in the ship Santiago to the Pacific Northwest. Peréz made landfall on Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) on July 18, 1774. The northernmost latitude he reached was 54°40′ N. [34] This was followed, in 1775, by another Spanish expedition, under the command of Bruno de Heceta and including Juan Peréz and Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra as officers. On July 14, 1775, they landed on the Olympic Peninsula near the mouth of the Quinault River. On August 17, 1775, Heceta, returning south, sighted the mouth of the Columbia River and named it Bahia de la Asunción. While Heceta sailed south, Quadra continued north in the expedition's second ship, Sonora, reaching Alaska, at 59° N. [35] In 1778 English mariner Captain James Cook visited Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island and also voyaged as far as Prince William Sound.

In 1779, a third Spanish expedition, under the command of Ignacio de Artega in the ship Princesa, and with Quadra as captain of the ship Favorite, sailed from Mexico to the coast of Alaska, reaching 61° N. Two further Spanish expeditions, in 1788 and 1789, both under Esteban Jose Martínez and Gonzalo López de Haro, sailed to the Pacific Northwest. During the second expedition, they met the American captain Robert Gray near Nootka Sound. Upon entering Nootka Sound, they found William Douglas and his ship Iphigenia. Conflict led to the Nootka Crisis, which was resolved by agreements known as the Nootka Convention. In 1790, the Spanish sent three ships to Nootka Sound, under the command of Francisco de Eliza. After establishing a base at Nootka, Eliza sent out several exploration parties. Salvador Fidalgo was sent north to the Alaska coast. Manuel Quimper, with Gonzalo López de Haro as pilot, explored the Strait of Juan de Fuca, discovering the San Juan Islands and Admiralty Inlet in the process. Francisco de Eliza himself took the ship San Carlos into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. From a base at Port Discovery, his pilotos (masters) José María Narváez and Juan Carrasco explored the San Juan Islands, Haro Strait, Rosario Strait, and Bellingham Bay. In the process, they discovered the Strait of Georgia and explored it as far north as Texada Island. The expedition returned to Nootka Sound by August 1791. Alessandro Malaspina, sailing for Spain, explored and mapped the coast from Yakutat Bay to Prince William Sound in 1791, then sailed to Nootka Sound. Performing a scientific expedition in the manner of James Cook, Malaspina's scientists studied the Tlingit and Nuu-chah-nulth peoples before returning to Mexico. Another Spanish explorer, Jacinto Caamaño, sailed the ship Aranzazu to Nootka Sound in May 1792. There he met Quadra, who was in command of the Spanish settlement and Fort San Miguel. Quadra sent Caamaño north, to carefully explore the coast between Vancouver Island and Bucareli Bay, Alaska. Various Spanish maps, including Caamaño's, were given to George Vancouver in 1792, as the Spanish and British worked together to chart the complex coastline. [35]

From 1792 to 1794, George Vancouver charted the Pacific Northwest on behalf of Great Britain, including the Strait of Georgia, the bays and inlets of Puget Sound, and the Johnstone Strait–Queen Charlotte Strait and much of the rest of the British Columbia Coast and southeast Alaska shorelines. [34] For him the city of Vancouver and Vancouver Island are named, as well as Vancouver, Washington. From Mexico, Malaspina dispatched the last Spanish exploration expedition in the Pacific Northwest, under Dionisio Alcalá Galiano and Cayentano Valdes aboard the schooners Sutil and Mexicana. [36] They met Vancouver in the Strait of Georgia on June 21, 1792. Vancouver had explored Puget Sound just previously. The Spanish explorers knew of Admiralty Inlet and the unexplored region to the south, but they decided to sail north. They discovered and entered the Fraser River shortly before meeting Vancouver. After sharing maps and agreeing to cooperate, Galiano, Valdés, and Vancouver sailed north to Desolation Sound and the Discovery Islands, charting the coastline together. They passed through Johnstone Strait and Cordero Channel and returned to Nootka Sound. As a result, the Spanish explorers, who had set out from Nootka, became the first Europeans to circumnavigate Vancouver Island. Vancouver himself had entered the Strait of Juan de Fuca directly without going to Nootka first, so had not sailed completely around the island. [35]

In 1786, Jean-François de La Pérouse, representing France, sailed to Haida Gwaii after visiting Nootka Sound, but any possible French claims to this region were lost when La Pérouse and his men and journals were lost in a shipwreck near Australia. Upon encountering the Salish coastal tribes, either Pérouse or someone in his crew remarked, "What must astonish most is to see painting everywhere, everywhere sculpture, among a nation of hunters". [37] Maritime fur trader Charles William Barkley also visited the area in Imperial Eagle, a British ship falsely flying the flag of the Austrian Empire. American merchant sea-captain Robert Gray traded along the coast, and discovered the mouth of the Columbia River.

Continental crossover exploration Edit

Explorer Alexander Mackenzie completed in 1793 the first continental crossing in what is called today central British Columbia and reached the Pacific Ocean. Simon Fraser explored and mapped the Fraser River from Central British Columbia down to its mouth in 1808. And mapmaker David Thompson explored in 1811 the entire route of the Columbia River from its northern headwaters all the way to its mouth. These explorations were commissioned by the North West Company and were all undertaken with small teams of Voyageurs.

United States President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the Lewis and Clark expedition to travel through the Midwest starting from St. Louis, cross the Continental Divide and reach the Columbia River up to its mouth. The Pacific Ocean was reached "overland" in 1805. The Pacific Fur Company sent in 1811 an "over-lander" crew including a large contingent of Voyageurs to retrace most of the path of the earlier expedition up to the mouth of the Columbia and join the company ship. The Tonquin came oversea via Cape Horn to build and operate Fort Astoria.

These early land expeditions all mapped the way for subsequent land explorations and building early settlements.

Early settlements Edit

Noteworthy Russian settlements still in place include: Unalaska (1774), Kodiak 1791 and Sitka (1804) making them the oldest permanent non-Indigenous settlements in the Pacific Northwest. Temporary Spanish settlement Santa Cruz de Nuca (1789–1795) held on a few years at Nootka Sound.

Other early occupation non-Indigenous settlements of interest, either long lasting or still in place, built and operated by either the North West Company, the Pacific Fur Company or the Hudson Bay Company include: Fort Saint-James (1806) oldest in British Columbia west of the Rockies, Spokane House (1810) oldest in Washington, Fort Astoria (1811) oldest in Oregon, Fort Nez Percés (1818), Fort Alexandria (1821), Fort Vancouver (1824), Fort Langley (1827) oldest in southern British Columbia, Fort Nisqually (1833) and Fort Victoria (1843).

Also of interest are the first mixed ancestry settlements sometimes referred as Métis settlements or French Canadian settlements. Native and newly arrived "half-breeds" (born out of "Europeans" and Indigenous alliances), local and newly arrived Indigenous people as well as "French Canadians" all issued of the fur trade were all able to peacefully coexist. Small scale farming occurred. Catholic missions and churches thrived for many years. These first settlements were: French Prairie, Frenchtown near Walla Walla, Cowlitz Prairie (Washington), French Settlement (Oregon) and Frenchtown near Missoula. Most mixed ancestry people ended up resettled in or around Indigenous reserves during the subsequent period, or otherwise assimilating in the mainstream. [38]

Boundary disputes Edit

Initial formal claims to the region were asserted by Spain in 1513 with explorer Nuñez de Balboa, the first European to sight the Pacific Ocean from the Americas. Russian Maritime Fur Trade activity, through the Russian-America Company, extended from the farther side of the Pacific to Russian America. This prompted Spain to send expeditions north to assert Spanish ownership, while Captain James Cook and subsequent expeditions by George Vancouver advanced British claims. As of the Nootka Conventions, the last in 1794, Spain gave up its exclusive a priori claims and agreed to share the region with the other Powers, giving up its garrison at Nootka Sound in the process.

The United States established a claim based on the discoveries of Robert Gray, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the construction of Fort Astoria, and the acquisition of Spanish claims given to the United States in the Adams–Onís Treaty. [39] From the 1810s until the 1840s, modern-day Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and western Montana, along with most of British Columbia, were part of what the United States called the Oregon Country and Britain called the Columbia District. This region was jointly claimed by the United States and Great Britain after the Treaty of 1818, which established a co-dominion of interests in the region in lieu of a settlement. In 1840, American Charles Wilkes explored in the area. John McLoughlin, Chief Factor of the Hudson's Bay Company, headquartered at Fort Vancouver, was the de facto local political authority for most of this time.

This arrangement ended as U.S. settlement grew and President James K. Polk was elected on a platform of calling for annexation of the entire Oregon Country and of Texas. After his election, supporters coined the famous slogan "Fifty-four Forty or Fight", referring to 54°40' north latitude—the northward limit of the United States' claim. [40] After a war scare with the United Kingdom, the Oregon boundary dispute was settled in the 1846 Oregon Treaty, partitioning the region along the 49th parallel and resolving most, but not all, of the border disputes (see Pig War).

The mainland territory north of the 49th parallel remained unincorporated until 1858, when a mass influx of Americans and others during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush forced the hand of Colony of Vancouver Island's Governor James Douglas, who declared the mainland a Crown Colony. The two colonies were amalgamated in 1866 to cut costs, and joined the Dominion of Canada in 1871. The U.S. portion became the Oregon Territory in 1848. It was later subdivided into Oregon Territory and Washington Territory. These territories became the states of Oregon, Idaho, Washington and parts of other Western states.

During the American Civil War, British Columbia officials pushed for London to invade and conquer the Washington Territory in effort to take advantage of Americans being distracted in the war on the Eastern region. This was rejected, as the UK did not wish to risk war with the United States, whose forces were better prepared and trained much more than the British troops. [41]

American expansionist pressure on British Columbia persisted after the colony became a province of Canada, even though Americans living in the province did not harbor annexationist inclinations. The Fenian Brotherhood openly organized and drilled in Washington, particularly in the 1870s and the 1880s, though no cross-border attacks were experienced. During the Alaska Boundary Dispute, U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt threatened to invade and annex British Columbia if Britain would not yield on the question of the Yukon ports. In more recent times, during the so-called "Salmon War" of the 1990s, Washington Senator Slade Gorton called for the U.S. Navy to "force" the Inside Passage, even though it is not an official international waterway. Disputes between British Columbia and Alaska over the Dixon Entrance of the Hecate Strait between Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii have not been resolved. [42]

The Northwest is still highly geologically active, with both active volcanoes and geologic faults. [43]

The last known great earthquake in the northwest was the 1700 Cascadia earthquake. [44] The geological record reveals that "great earthquakes" (those with moment magnitude 8 or higher) occur in the Cascadia subduction zone about every 500 years on average, often accompanied by tsunamis. There is evidence of at least 13 events at intervals from about 300 to 900 years. [45]

The Pacific Northwest is a diverse geographic region, dominated by several mountain ranges, including the Coast Mountains, the Cascade Range, the Olympic Mountains, the Columbia Mountains, and the Rocky Mountains. The highest peak in the Pacific Northwest is Mount Rainier, in the Washington Cascades, at 14,410 feet (4,392 m). Immediately inland from the Cascade Range are broad, generally dry plateaus. In the US, this region is known as the Columbia Plateau, while in British Columbia, it is the Interior Plateau, also called the Fraser Plateau. The Columbia Plateau was the scene of massive ice-age floods, and as a consequence, there are many coulees, canyons, and the Channeled Scablands. Much of the plateau, especially in eastern Washington, is irrigated farmland. The Columbia River cuts a deep and wide gorge around the rim of the Columbia Plateau and through the Cascade Range on its way to the Pacific Ocean.

Because many areas have plentiful rainfall and mild summers, the Pacific Northwest has some of North America's most lush and extensive forests, which are extensively populated with Coast Douglas fir trees, the second tallest growing evergreen conifer on earth. The region also contains specimens of the tallest trees on earth, the coast redwoods, in southwestern Oregon, but the largest of these trees are located just south of the California border in northwestern California. Coastal forests in some areas are classified as temperate rain forest.

Coastal features are defined by the interaction with the Pacific and the North American continent. The coastline of the Pacific Northwest is dotted by numerous fjords, bays, islands, and mountains. Some of these features include the Oregon Coast, Burrard Inlet, Puget Sound, and the highly complex fjords of the British Columbia Coast and Southeast Alaska. The region has one of the world's longest fjord coastlines. [46]

The Pacific Northwest contains an uncountable number of islands, many of the smaller ones being unnamed. The vast majority of such islands are located in British Columbia and Alaska. Vancouver Island is by far the largest island in the area, but other significant land masses include the Haida Gwaii, vast and remote Princess Royal Island, Prince of Wales Island and Chichagof Island. The Salish Sea located close to major populated areas contains smaller but more frequently visited and well known islands. There include Whidbey Island, Salt Spring Island, Texada Island along with dozens of smaller islands in the San Juan and Gulf Island chains.

The major cities of Vancouver, Portland, Seattle, and Tacoma all began as seaports supporting the logging, mining, and farming industries of the region, but have developed into major technological and industrial centers (such as the Silicon Forest), which benefit from their location on the Pacific Rim.

If defined as British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, the Pacific Northwest has four US National Parks: Crater Lake in Oregon, and Olympic, Mount Rainier, and North Cascades in Washington. If a larger regional definition is used, then other US National Parks might be included, such as Redwood National and State Parks, Glacier Bay National Park, Wrangell–St. Elias National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and parts of Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park. There are several Canadian National Parks in the Pacific Northwest, including Pacific Rim National Park on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Mount Revelstoke National Park and Glacier National Park in the Selkirk Range alongside Rogers Pass, Kootenay National Park and Yoho National Park on the British Columbia flank of the Rockies, Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve in Haida Gwaii, and the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve in the Strait of Georgia. There are numerous protected areas in British Columbia and in the United States.

Other outstanding natural features include the Columbia River Gorge, Fraser Canyon, Mount St. Helens, Malaspina Glacier, and Hells Canyon. The south-central Coast Mountains in British Columbia contain the five largest mid-latitude icefields in the world.

Climate Edit

The main general climatic types of the Pacific Northwest are temperate: both moderate and four seasons, but mountainous and arid climates occupy much of the less inhabited or inland areas of the region. An oceanic climate occurs in most coastal areas, typically between the ocean and high mountain ranges. An Alpine climate dominates in the high mountains. Semi-arid and arid climates are found east of the higher mountains, especially in rainshadow areas. The Harney Basin of Oregon is an example of arid climate in the Pacific Northwest. Humid continental climates occur inland on windward sides, in places such as Revelstoke, British Columbia. A subarctic climate can be found farther north, especially in Yukon and Alaska. [47]

Under the Köppen climate classification, a warm-summer version of the dry-summer mediterranean (Csb) designation, is assigned to many areas of the Pacific Northwest as far north as central Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, including cities such as Victoria, Vancouver (coast area), Seattle and Portland. [48] These zones are not associated with a typical dry-summer climate, and would be classified as marine west coast (Cfb), except dry-summer patterns typical to the Pacific Northwest meet Köppen's minimum Cs thresholds. Other climate classification systems, such as Trewartha, place these areas firmly in the oceanic zone (Do). [49]

Because of summer air dryness and low humidity, many of the main cities of the region have Mediterranean climates. The lack of rain in the hot season is associated with high atmospheric pressure. The shadows of the mountains also greatly decrease the amount of precipitation. West of the Cascades, the marine climates have a much greater precipitation than the west coast of Europe due to orographic lift, with some regions seeing as much as 3,500 mm (138 in) of precipitation per year. Winters are very mild for the region's latitude. The growth of Arbutus, a broad-leafed tree is possible on Vancouver Island, due to the mild winters. [50] [51] [52] [53] [54] [55]

Ecoregions Edit

Much of the Pacific Northwest is forested. The Georgia Strait–Puget Sound basin is shared between British Columbia and Washington, and the Pacific temperate rain forests ecoregion, which is the largest of the world's temperate rain forest ecoregions in the system created by the World Wildlife Fund, stretches along the coast from Alaska to California. The dry land area inland from the Cascade Range and Coast Mountains is very different from the terrain and climate of the coastal area due to the rain shadow effect of the mountains, and comprises the Columbia, Fraser and Thompson Plateaus and mountain ranges contained within them. The interior regions' climates largely within eastern Washington, south central British Columbia, eastern Oregon, and southern Idaho are a northward extension of the Great Basin Desert, which spans the Great Basin farther south, although by their northern and eastern reaches, dry land and desert areas verge at the end of the Cascades' and Coast Mountains' rain shadows with the boreal forest and various alpine flora regimes characteristic of eastern British Columbia, northern Idaho and western Montana roughly along a longitudinal line defined by the Idaho border with Washington and Oregon.

Most of the population of the Pacific Northwest is concentrated in the Portland–Seattle–Vancouver corridor. As of 2016, the combined populations of the Lower Mainland region (which includes Greater Vancouver), the Seattle metropolitan area, and the Portland metropolitan area totaled around nine million people. [ citation needed ] However, beyond these three cities, the PNW region is characterized by a relatively low density population distribution. Some other regions of greater population density outside this corridor include the Greater Victoria area on southern Vancouver Island (with a population of approximately 370,000), the Okanagan Valley in the British Columbia interior (about 350,000 people centered around the city of Kelowna, which has close to 200,000 people), and the greater Spokane area (with about 550,000 residents). Large geographical areas may only have one mid-sized to small-sized city as a regional center (often a county seat), with smaller cities and towns scattered around. Vast areas of the region may have little or no population at all, largely due to the presence of extensive mountains and forests, and plateaus containing both extensive farm and range lands, much of which is protected from development in large parks and preserves, or by zoning use regulation related to traditional land use. For example, all cities within the portion of California included in the Pacific Northwest have populations less than 100,000, with that portion of the state containing millions of acres of national forests and parks.

List of largest cities by population in the Pacific Northwest Edit

City State/Province Population Metropolitan Area
Seattle Washington 704,000 [56] 3,905,026 [57]
Portland Oregon 658,347 [57] 2,753,168 [57]
Vancouver British Columbia 631,486 [58] 2,737,698 [4]
Surrey British Columbia 598,530 [58] [n 1]
Boise Idaho 226,570 [59] 691,423 [57]
Burnaby British Columbia 257,926 [58] [n 1]
Spokane Washington 222,081 [56] 573,493 [60] [61]
Tacoma Washington 198,397 [56] [n 2]
Richmond British Columbia 216,046 [58] [n 1]
Vancouver Washington 175,673 [56] [n 3]
Salem Oregon 169,798 [62] 390,738 [57]
Eugene Oregon 168,916 [62] 351,715 [57]
Bellevue Washington 148,164 [63] [n 2]
Redmond Washington 136,420 [63] [n 2]
Abbotsford British Columbia 161,581 [58] 204,265 [4]
Coquitlam British Columbia 152,734 [58] [n 1]
Kent Washington 125,560 [56] [n 2]
Kelowna British Columbia 146,127 [58] 222,748 [4]
Gresham Oregon 111,063 [62] [n 3]
Saanich British Columbia 125,107 [58] [n 4]
Hillsboro Oregon 106,894 [62] [n 3]
Meridian Idaho 106,000 [64] [n 5]
Langley (Township) British Columbia 133,302 [58] [n 1]
Everett Washington 103,019 [56] [n 2]
Delta British Columbia 111,281 [58] [n 1]
Beaverton Oregon 97,514 [62] [n 3]
Renton Washington 95,448 [56] [n 2]
Spokane Valley Washington 94,919 [56] [n 6]
Bend Oregon 94,520 [65] 170,705
Nampa Idaho 93,590 [59] [n 5]
Kirkland Washington 93,010 [63] [n 2]
Yakima Washington 91,067 [66] 243,231 [66]
Federal Way Washington 89,306 [56] [n 2]
Kamloops British Columbia 101,198 [58] 116,896 [4]
North Vancouver (District) British Columbia 89,767 [58] [n 1]
Nanaimo British Columbia 101,336 [58] 117,144 [4]
Bellingham Washington 80,885 [56] 201,140 [67]
Victoria British Columbia 94,415 [58] 408,883 [4]
Chilliwack British Columbia 95,178 [58] 116,626 [4]
Maple Ridge British Columbia 91,479 [58] [n 1]
Kennewick Washington 84,347 [63] 268,200
Medford Oregon 74,907 [65] 207,010
New Westminster British Columbia 82,590 [58] [n 1]
Prince George British Columbia 82,290 [58] 96,015 [4]

A major divide in political opinion separates the region's greatly more populated urban core and rural areas west of the mountains from its less populated rural areas to their east and (in British Columbia and Alaska) north. [68] The coastal areas—especially in the cities of Vancouver, Victoria, Bellingham, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Portland, and Eugene—are some of the most politically liberal parts of North America, regularly supporting left-wing political candidates and causes by significant majorities. The religious right has much less influence throughout the region than elsewhere in the U.S. or in Western Canada. Certain areas of the British Columbia Interior, particularly the West Kootenay, and some areas of Vancouver Island and the B.C. Coast, have long histories of labour, environmental, and social activism (see History of British Columbia#Rise of the labour movement).

The jurisdictions have relatively liberal abortion laws, gender equality laws, legal cannabis, and strong LGBT rights, especially British Columbia where these issues are of federal jurisdiction, and where same-sex marriage has been legal since 2003, Washington, where it has been legal since 2012, and Oregon, where same-sex marriage was made legal in May 2014. Oregon was the first U.S. state to legalize physician-assisted suicide, with the Death with Dignity Act of 1994. Washington State was the second when I-1000 passed in 2008. Colegio Cesar Chavez, the first fully accredited Hispanic college in the U.S., was founded in Mount Angel, Oregon, in 1973. In 1986, King County, Washington, which contains Seattle, voted to change its namesake from William R. King to Martin Luther King Jr. [69]

These areas, especially around Puget Sound, have a long history of political radicalism. The radical labor organizers called Wobblies were particularly strong there in the mines, lumber camps and shipyards. A number of anarchist communes sprang up there in the early 20th century (see Charles Pierce LeWarne's Utopias on Puget Sound, 1885–1915 for an overview of this movement). There are also pro gun socialist organizations such as Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club. Seattle is one of a handful of major cities in North America in which the populace engaged in a general strike (in 1919), and was the first major American city to elect a woman mayor, Bertha Knight Landes (in 1926). [70] Socialist beliefs were once widespread (thanks in large part to the area's large numbers of Scandinavian immigrants), and the region has had a number of Socialist elected officials. So great was its influence that the U.S. Postmaster General, James Farley, jokingly toasted the "forty-seven states of the Union, and the Soviet of Washington", at a gala dinner in 1936 (although Farley denied ever saying it). [71]

Due to the Pacific Northwest being a generally liberal region, it also has a long history of feminism and people with feminist ideologies. The journey on the Oregon Trail may have been the part of the cause of feminism in the region, many women on the trail had to break gender-normative roles on the trail. [72] Women occasionally were allowed the chance to try new things like cracking the whip for the wagon, given these opportunities women began to question their roles in society. [72] Early days in the west, no forms of government had been established and this may have been part of the cause of feminist ideologies, new laws were formed to fit the regions needs and women were granted rights to land ownership in the West much earlier than in the East because of high death rates of men in the region. [73] While this may be coincidental, this granted women power. Women’s suffrage movements were prominent in the Pacific Northwest Susan B. Anthony did a tour through the region attempting to spread her ideas and made stops in Portland, the Willamette Valley, Columbia River, and Victoria. [74] Not only were women’s suffrage movements prominent in the Pacific Northwest, but there was also a fight for women to keep their jobs after men returned from war in World War I. [75] A group titled the Washington State Women's Council (founded in 1963) fought for women's policies, this group worked towards the states' equal rights amendment, and fought for women's property rights in marriage during the 1972 legislative session. [76]

The region also has a long history of starting cooperative and communal businesses and organizations, including Group Health, [77] REI, MEC, Puget Consumers Co-op, and numerous granges and mutual aid societies. It also has a long history of publicly owned power and utilities, with many of the region's cities owning their own public utilities. In British Columbia, credit unions are common and popular cooperatively owned financial institutions.

East of the Cascades, in eastern Washington and eastern Oregon, the population is much more conservative. The eastern portions of Washington and especially Oregon, due to their low populations, do not generally have enough voting power to be competitive at the state level, and thus the governorships and U.S. Senate seats of both Oregon and Washington are usually held by the Democrats. Conservatism in the eastern part of the Pacific Northwest tends to be distrustful of federal government interference in the market.

  • Agriculture (fruit, potatoes, Tillamook cheese, dairy, wine, vegetables, wheat, Cascade hops, barley, hazelnuts)
  • Aerospace (Boeing Commercial Airplane unit, Air Canada, Alaska Air, CHC Helicopter, Esterline, Glasair Aviation, Precision Castparts Corporation)
  • Diversified (Jim Pattison Group, Finning, Washington Marine Group)
  • Entertainment industry (film and television, Lions Gate Entertainment, Lionsgate Studios, Lionsgate Television, Vancouver Film Studios, Bridge Studios)
  • Finance and banking (RBC, HSBC Bank Canada, Russell Investments, Umpqua Holdings Corporation)
  • Forestry (Weyerhaeuser, Canfor, Tolko, Boise Cascade, The Teal-Jones Group, Humboldt and Mendocino Redwood Companies, Green Diamond Resource Company)
  • Fishing and canning (salmon, halibut, herring, geoducks and other clams, crab, sea-urchin, oyster) and E-commerce (Microsoft, Intel, F5 Networks, Nintendo of America, Nintendo of Canada, Tektronix,, Expedia, Ballard Power Systems, MacDonald Dettwiler, EA Vancouver, Cymax Stores, Micron Technology, Electronic Arts)
  • Hydroelectric power (Grand Coulee Dam, Bonneville Dam, BC Hydro)
  • Mass Retail (London Drugs, Costco, Blenz, Starbucks, Tullys, Nordstrom, Zumiez, Albertsons) (BridgePort, Deschutes, Lost Coast Brewery, MacTarnahan's, Nelson, Ninkasi, Pyramid, Widmer Brothers, Yukon)
  • Mining (Goldcorp, Teck Resources)
  • Outdoor Tourism (alpine skiing, snowboarding, hiking, kayaking, rafting, fishing, mountain biking, water sports)
  • Shoes & Apparel (Nike, Adidas North America, Columbia, R.E.I., Lululemon Athletica, Eddie Bauer, Mountain Equipment Co-op)
  • Real estate marketing & realty development/construction (Zillow).

Aluminum smelting was once an important part of the region's economy due to the abundance of cheap hydroelectric power. Hydroelectric power generated by the hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River powered at least ten aluminum smelters during the mid-20th century. By the end of World War II these smelters were producing over a third of the United States' aluminum. Production rose during the 1950s and 1960s, then declined. By the first decade of the 21st century the aluminum industry in the Pacific Northwest was essentially defunct. [78] The Alcan smelter at Kitimat continues in operation and is fed by the diversion of the Nechako River (a tributary of the Fraser) to a powerhouse on the coast at Kemano, near Kitimat.

The region as a whole, but especially several specific areas, are concentrated high-tech areas: Seattle eastern suburbs, the Portland Silicon Forest area, and Vancouver, British Columbia. These areas are also leading "creative class" economic drivers, feeding thriving cultural sectors, and include many knowledge workers and numerous international advertising, media, and design firms present.

Lesson Plans & Activitiesfor Teachers Pacific Northwest Coastal Indiansin Olden Times for Kids

Northeast Woodland Tribes and Nations - The Northeast Woodlands include all five great lakes as well as the Finger Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River. Come explore the 3 sisters, longhouses, village life, the League of Nations, sacred trees, snowsnake games, wampum, the arrowmaker, dream catchers, night messages, the game of sep and more. Special Sections: Iroquois Nation, Ojibwa/Chippewa, The Lenape Indians. Read two myths: Wise Owl and The Invisible Warrior.

Southeast Woodland Tribes and Nations - The Indians of the Southeast were considered members of the Woodland Indians. The people believed in many deities, and prayed in song and dance for guidance. Explore the darkening land, battle techniques, clans and marriage, law and order, and more. Travel the Trail of Tears. Meet the Muscogee (Creek), Chickasaw, Choctaw, Mississippians, Seminole Indians and Cherokee Indians.

Plains Indians - What was life like in what is now the Great Plains region of the United States? Some tribes wandered the plains in search of foods. Others settled down and grew crops. They spoke different languages. Why was the buffalo so important? What different did horses make? What was coup counting? Who was Clever Coyote? Meet the Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Comanche, Pawnee, and Sioux Nation.

Southwest Indians - Pueblo is not the name of a tribe. It is a Spanish word for village. The Pueblo People are the decedents of the Anasazi People. The Navajo and the Apache arrived in the southwest in the 1300s. They both raided the peaceful Pueblo tribes for food and other goods. Who were the Devil Dancers? Why are blue stones important? What is a wickiup? Who was Child of Water?

Pacific Coastal Northwest Indians - What made some of the Pacific Northwest Indian tribes "rich" in ancient times? Why were woven mats so important? How did totem poles get started? What was life like in the longhouse? What were money blankets and coppers? How did the fur trade work? How did Raven Steal Crow's Potlatch?

Inland Plateau People - About 10,000 years ago, different tribes of Indians settled in the Northwest Inland Plateau region of the United States and Canada, located between two huge mountain ranges - the Rockies and the Cascades. The Plateau stretches from BC British Columbia all the way down to nearly Texas. Each village was independent, and each had a democratic system of government. They were deeply religious and believed spirits could be found everything - in both living and non-living things. Meet the Nez Perce

California Indians - The Far West was a land of great diversity. Death Valley and Mount Whitney are the highest and lowest points in the United States. They are within sight of each other. Tribes living in what would become California were as different as their landscape.

Native Americans of the Far North: What trick did the Kutchin people use to catch their enemies? How did these early people stop ghosts from entering their homes? Why was the shaman so powerful? What is a finger mask? Play games! See and hear an old Inuit myth! Enter the mystical world of the people who lived in the far north in olden times. Algonquian/Cree, Athapascan/Kutchin, Central Canada, Inuit, The Shaman

Native Americans for Kids

Native Americans in US, Canada, and the Far North

Northeast Woodland Tribes and Nations - The Northeast Woodlands include all five great lakes as well as the Finger Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River. Come explore the 3 sisters, longhouses, village life, the League of Nations, sacred trees, snowsnake games, wampum, the arrowmaker, dream catchers, night messages, the game of sep and more. Special Sections: Iroquois Nation, Ojibwa/Chippewa, The Lenape Indians. Read two myths: Wise Owl and The Invisible Warrior.

Southeast Woodland Tribes and Nations - The Indians of the Southeast were considered members of the Woodland Indians. The people believed in many deities, and prayed in song and dance for guidance. Explore the darkening land, battle techniques, clans and marriage, law and order, and more. Travel the Trail of Tears. Meet the Muscogee (Creek), Chickasaw, Choctaw, Mississippians, Seminole Indians and Cherokee Indians.

Plains Indians - What was life like in what is now the Great Plains region of the United States? Some tribes wandered the plains in search of foods. Others settled down and grew crops. They spoke different languages. Why was the buffalo so important? What different did horses make? What was coup counting? Who was Clever Coyote? Meet the Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Comanche, Pawnee, and Sioux Nation.

Southwest Indians - Pueblo is not the name of a tribe. It is a Spanish word for village. The Pueblo People are the decedents of the Anasazi People. The Navajo and the Apache arrived in the southwest in the 1300s. They both raided the peaceful Pueblo tribes for food and other goods. Who were the Devil Dancers? Why are blue stones important? What is a wickiup? Who was Child of Water?

Pacific Coastal Northwest Indians - What made some of the Pacific Northwest Indian tribes "rich" in ancient times? Why were woven mats so important? How did totem poles get started? What was life like in the longhouse? What were money blankets and coppers? How did the fur trade work? How did Raven Steal Crow's Potlatch?

Inland Plateau People - About 10,000 years ago, different tribes of Indians settled in the Northwest Inland Plateau region of the United States and Canada, located between two huge mountain ranges - the Rockies and the Cascades. The Plateau stretches from BC British Columbia all the way down to nearly Texas. Each village was independent, and each had a democratic system of government. They were deeply religious and believed spirits could be found everything - in both living and non-living things. Meet the Nez Perce

California Indians - The Far West was a land of great diversity. Death Valley and Mount Whitney are the highest and lowest points in the United States. They are within sight of each other. Tribes living in what would become California were as different as their landscape.

Native Americans of the Far North: What trick did the Kutchin people use to catch their enemies? How did these early people stop ghosts from entering their homes? Why was the shaman so powerful? What is a finger mask? Play games! See and hear an old Inuit myth! Enter the mystical world of the people who lived in the far north in olden times. Algonquian/Cree, Athapascan/Kutchin, Central Canada, Inuit, The Shaman

Watch the video: The Pacific Northwest and Arctic Native Americans (December 2021).