On the Northwest Coast, the Killer Whale also referred to as blackfish, is an important crest figure among local First Nations Groups and is one of the most commonly depicted forms. The very first Killer Whales came into being when carved in wood by a human, Raven, or a Master Carpenter and then magically infused with a life force. Killer Whales are known to capsize canoes and carry the occupants into the depths. In many of these stories, the kidnapped human is given great wealth. Killer Whales are also known to guide people to safety when caught in stormy weather.
On the wolf, from Cheryl Shearer’s Understanding Northwest Coast Art:
People respect the wolf for its strength, agility, intelligence and capacity for devotion. The wolf’s vocal range and communicative powers are impressive, and the Northwest Coast peoples traditionally believe in the potency and magic of speech and song. Wolf is sometimes an agent of transformation, and is also a popular figure in crest, story and shamanic art.