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.
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.