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
Water is bubbling with herring
We are waiting for the herring to spawn
Herring roe with no kelp
Herring roe on kelp
Milky water caused by spawning
Spawning (of herring)
Lots of herrring
The nice big herring
Thick herring roe on kelp