Northwest Coast Culture Area

Northwest Coast Discovery Boxes

Northwest Box (Grade 2 to Adult)
The rich symbolism of the totem poles of the Northwest Coast peoples characterizes their life ways and religious beliefs. The importance of family ties is emphasized in these objects. This box focuses on the tribes of the northwest coast with attention to culture, food, homes, clothing etc. The items in the box consist of a totem pole, a button blanket, a cedar basket and two banners. Northwest coast stencils are included. The information book has maps and transparencies. Books included are: Houses of Wood by B. Shemie and Looking at Totem Poles by H. Stewart. The video “Totem Poles: The Stories They Tell” completes the box.

Raven (Preschool - 2nd Grade) This box for younger children contains the picture book “Raven.” This is a trickster tale from the Northwest by Gerald McDermott. The box also includes a wonderful raven puppet.

Northwest Coast Audio/Visual Resources

Carvers of the Pacific Northwest (Grades 3-6) 20-minute video
Kwakiutl artist Richard Hunt carves a ceremonial Frog Bowl while telling students about his people’s traditions. Totem poles, clan houses, and a wide range of crafts provide a rich introduction to the creative expression of the Pacific Northwest Coast Indians. (not dated)

Chinook – Indians of North America Series (Grades 4-10) 30-minute video
This video presents the Chinook culture, their contemporary and historical struggles and their relationships with non-native society. This is a good introduction into Native American history and culture. (1994)

Keeping The Spirit Alive (Grades 6-12) 48-minute video
This film focuses on five talented Northwest Coast artists (Joe David, Robert Davidson, Isabel Rorick, Connie Sterritt, Clarrisa Hudson) who are carrying forward and developing their rich traditions and is part of the ongoing revitalization movement. (1999)

River People (Grade 7 to Adult) 50-minute video
This film presents the story of a traditional community of fishermen at odds with modern life over federal fishing laws. (1989)