Educator Resources: Northwest Coast Hall

Part of Northwest Coast Hall.

The hall explores the living cultures of the Pacific Northwest Coast and their histories. Plan your class field trip to the hall with these free resources.

Activities and Materials

Grades K–5

Using worksheets in the hall, students observe and talk about four Indigenous treasures. They will learn to recognize the basic shapes of an Indigenous art tradition called Formline, as well as learn about the stories that cultural treasures tell about the people who made them.

Grades 6–12

Using worksheets in the hall, students explore the cultural and scientific practices and understandings that have developed in the Indigenous communities of the Pacific Northwest over thousands of years and continue today.


Living Cultures of the Pacific Northwest Coast

People of many Native Nations live along the Northwest Coast of North America, where home is the seas, the mountains, the rivers and forests, the small towns and large cities along the Pacific Coast. 


Download this map to see the locations of the 10 Native Nations featured in the hall. 

Regional Map of the Northwest Coast: PDF | PowerPoint


Click on the links below to listen to the names of the 10 Native Nations featured in the hall. These audio resources, featuring the voices of Native people of those communities, are also located in the multimedia kiosks throughout the hall. 

Coast Salish








Łingít | Tlingit



Voices of the Native Northwest Coast

Watch this 11-minute video to hear Indigenous experts discuss the histories, persistence, and present concerns of the Native peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. This video by Tahltan/Gitxsan filmmaker Michael Bourquin can also be viewed in the introductory theater in the hall. 

Updated Terminology

In consultation with Native communities, the renovated hall has corrected names and terminology, including: 

  • Indigenous or Native communities, peoples, or Nations are used to refer to the communities whose histories, cultures, and works are featured in this hall. Some communities are in the U.S. (Alaska and Washington State) and others in Canada, referred to as First Nations
  • Monumental Carvings are the name for the large wooden carvings in the hall (also known as totem poles). Cultural treasures, collections pieces, and objects are terms that can be used to describe what’s exhibited in this hall. 
  • Names and labels in the new hall text have been updated in consultation with Consulting Curators and include words in Indigenous languages as well as in English.

Additional Resources

Basketry: Woven Traditions

Museum conservators travel to the forests and marshes of Suquamish, Washington, to learn about Native Northwest Coast basket weaving from master weaver Ed Carriere.