Indigenous Language Terms

The Northwest Coast is one of the most diverse linguistic regions in North America, with at least 45 languages represented. These languages reflect age-old cultural traditions that developed and were passed down through the generations. Embedded in these languages are the memories of how people lived on the land and sea and interacted with each other and other creatures. Language preservation is one of the greatest struggles facing Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast. 

Explore this page to hear the words and phrases associated with herring as they are spoken in some of the languages of the Northwest Coast peoples. 


School of herring
Herring roe on kelp is delicious
Water is bubbling with herring
You soak the dried herring roe on kelp
We dry the herring roe on kelp on the beach
We will roast herring over an open fire
We had a really good meal
We are waiting for the herring to spawn
We are going to eat herring roe on kelp
The herring is already smoked
Storage food box
Small herring used for bait
Brailing herring
Peel herring eggs off kelp
Herring roe with no kelp
I check my kelp in the water
I have dried my herring roe on kelp
Herring roe on kelp
Crackling sound of eating herring roe
We went gathering herring roe on kelp
You put the kelp in the water
Milky water caused by spawning
Spawning (of herring)
Herring rake
I like to gather herring roe on kelp
Ready to start fishing herring
The kelp is ready
Lots of herring under the boat
Big herring catch just before evening
Lots of herrring
The net is full of herring again
Keeping the floats from sinking
The captain checking the catch
They are getting ready to dump the herring
The nice big herring
We are gathering the herring roe on kelp
Thick herring roe on kelp
He is holding up the herring roe on kelp
Our best food