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Explore the history, objects, meanings and techniques behind the art of the Coast Salish people native to the Pacific Northwest at http://www.burkemuseum.org/coastsalishart

People & Languages

The term “Coast Salish” refers to a language family consisting of two dozen distinct languages and many dialects. The Coast Salish-speaking peoples have lived in what is present-day western Washington and southwestern British Columbia for more than 10,000 years. Their geographic territory includes the lands bordering the Salish Sea—Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, Gulf Islands, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Strait of Georgia—as well as the Pacific coast of Washington and northern Oregon. Learn more about the ancient Coast Salish occupation of Puget Sound.

The term “Coast Salish” refers to a language family, including two dozen distinct languages and many dialects, and is used to indicate the cultural group of indigenous peoples who speak or spoke these languages. Each tribal group has its own name for themselves. Many tribal names today, such as Tulalip and Muckleshoot, refer to reservations where peoples from many different tribal groups have come together to live. View a list of the tribal group's websites.