The bald eagle is common all along the Northwest Coast, while the golden eagle lives mainly in mountainous regions. Eagles are large birds of prey with impressive hunting and fishing skills.
Eagle is one of the most important beings in the art and mythology of the Northwest Coast. It is respected for its intelligence and power, as well as its extraordinary vision, in both the literal and figurative senses. Eagles in myth are, likewise, usually noble characters. Eagle spirits are associated with lofty ideals and the pursuit of freedom.
Salmon are fundamental to all coastal peoples, and are a symbol of regeneration and life. Many myths tell of people taken to the undersea world of the Salmon who return with secret knowledge and powers. According to Salish legends, the salmon were people with superhuman abilities and eternal lives. They lived in great houses under the ocean but since they knew that humans on land needed food, they offered themselves to the land-based tribes as food by turning into salmon fish. Their spirits were returned back to the ocean where they were reborn.