Native Nations of the Pacific Northwest define themselves as Salmon People. They consider salmon to be an extremely important gift of food from the Creator, and each year they honor the salmon's sacrifice in special ceremonies. There are many geographic regions that distinguish Native Nations or language groups from one another in the Pacific Northwest; three major geographic regions are presented here: the Pacific Coast, Puget Sound, and the Columbia River/Plateau. Despite physical distance and cultural diversity, salmon is a unifying factor for Native People and Nations across the Pacific Northwest.
Ronnie Wilson's family has fished in the Pacific Ocean for generations. Salmon and other types of fishing define his identity as a Makah citizen and maintain the continuity of thousands of years of cultural traditions.