Almost every interviewee agreed that weather patterns had changed during their lifetimes (Table 1). Most commonly, the heavy snows and cold temperatures that used to occur every year, sometimes yielding accumulations up to the eves of houses, are gone; now there is hardly any snow or frozen water. However, there were differing opinions on the intensity and duration of change, and on how much these changes affected resource distribution, harvesting, and processing. While not everyone could place a timescale on changes in weather patterns, those that did comment on shifting patterns observed that the changes had occurred either in the last 8–20 years, or about 30–40 years ago. Research participants also differed in how they characterized rates of change with some describing a pattern of gradual changes, such that they had hardly noticed it until they compared today’s climate with that of their childhood, while others suggested that changes in weather had accelerated in more recent years. Elders especially felt that in the early period of their lifetimes (50–70 years ago), weather was more predictable and stable, and this was noted throughout the whole study area. Since people scattered in various communities noted the above observations, a geographical pattern was not determined, and thus these differing perceptions may be due to the range of microclimates experienced across the Pacific Northwest region, and more how different places are exposed to different winds and temperatures depending on such local geographic factors as exposure and sheltering patterns, rather than latitude. In this overview article, we have generalized the main observations noted, which unfortunately is not able to provide an in-depth discussion of each community represented, and thus caution must be used as this is such a diverse area, however, there is still value in this overview approach. For example, there were differences between the Alaskan (Northern and Southern Southeast) and British Columbian (Haida Gwaii and Mainland British Columbia) communities with regard to observing sea-level rise vs isostatic rebound.
Other changes to observed weather patterns that participants commented on included that the timings of the seasons had shifted, and that there was less definition between the seasons. Research participants observing ‘seasonal shifts’ were referring to the fact that weather typically considered autumnal, like major rainstorms, and associated floral and faunal behaviours, were occurring earlier in the year than before. Correlatively, the lengths of each season were seen to be shifting—sometimes shorter temporally then they used to be, sometimes longer. The observed loss of definition between seasons refers to the fact that the boundaries between the four seasons are blurring. For example, AB (Old Massett) commented on the shifting of spring into summer: “it’s not so pronounced now…one kind melts into the other, without…any visible change.” Similarly, EHA (Hoonah) observed that the seasons were becoming less defined, especially with the decline of snow in winter.
“We had a lot more snow, we had our very definite 4 seasons, very defined…and our 4 seasons aren’t even defined the way they used to be, I mean, we even have…in our beadwork, my auntie Jess Grey…[did] the ‘4 season flowers’ [traditional pattern reflecting the distinct seasons]… and it [is] not as defined anymore…like one winter we had nothing but rain, it was just brown all winter; we didn’t get any snow”.
While these observations cannot be easily quantified, research participants made comments about spring weather feeling more ‘winter-like,’ the end of summer being autumnal, and autumn blending in with winter weather patterns. Since the weather patterns of each season affects how plant resources develop and ripen, and when animal species are ready to harvest, it was noted that the timing of harvesting had changed accordingly.
Shifts in global or regional climate (e.g. warmer winters in the whole bioregion) which increase local variation and unpredictability of weather may pose difficult adaptation challenges. For example, uncertainty in accurately predicting both seasonal weather patterns with regard to dangerous weather (an access issue), and the timing and stage of ripening/maturation (a harvesting issue) have led to participants describing having difficulty judging the best and safest time to harvest. Several participants mentioned that they do not always know when to harvest anymore, as the timings are different from a generation ago, so they must expend additional time, energy, and fuel checking the status of the resources for harvest. Coupled with the uncertainty of risky weather, lack of holiday time from the current work economy, and the high costs of fuel, can make harvesting less feasible. AB (Old Massett) commented that he thought people were also more influenced by other peoples’ thoughts about weather conditions, and less reliant on their observational skills and senses than in the past:
“I think it’s just more, we’re, we have radios, we got TVs, we got people, someone’s always screaming oh it’s going to blow 20, 30 miles an hour tomorrow, gusting a 100… and people hear that, before you never heard that… you know, you went by your own instincts, and you’re, uh, you could read the clouds, and you know, the sky… and listen to the birds and animals and see what kind of reaction they got, that’s you know, how they predicted weather before…now we depend on the radio, and news broadcasts, and weather things to find out what the weather is, so, you know, so, I think more, when somebody screams, you know, bad weather, I think everyone’s going to get scared and hunker down and stay there”.
Research participants reported numerous changes in landscape composition, structure, and function due to climate and weather shifts (for example, intense or increased rains or higher tidal levels, Table 2). Sea-level change, particularly rising water levels, was noted throughout the entire study area to varying degrees. However, an important change that was noted only in northern areas of the study is isostatic rebound as a result of glacial retreat. This was also connected to coastal areas getting shallower (KG and AD, Hoonah) and tides being perceived as being lower (KG, AG, LKG, Hoonah). These changes to the landscape, which can also be exacerbated by land-use changes (in varying degrees), affected how participants navigate their territories (e.g. shallower water caused by isostatic rebound made it harder to follow known boating routes) or affected the abundance and distribution of resources (e.g. erosion of slopes caused by increased storms).
Linguistic context of weather and landscape observations
In all three languages/five dialects (Tlingit, Tsimshian, and Alaskan, Old Massett, and Skidegate Haida) encompassed in this study area there are individual words and language phrases (both nouns and verbs) that relate to the weather observations noted by participants in this research, including snow, sun, rain, extreme temperatures (both cold and hot), storms, and tides, the existence of which further illustrate the knowledge of weather patterns across the region (Edwards 2009; Roberts 2009; Lachler 2010; DeVries 2014a, b; Anderson 2018). In addition to a variety of words and phrases referring to these phenomena occurring in general, some specific terms were also used, and these are detailed below. In both Tlingit and Old Massett Haida, there were phrases that related to snow being quite deep, relevant to the heavy snows and cold spells noted, and in Old Massett Haida, there was a phrase for people getting sunstroke from the heat, which could indicate that the temperatures on sunny days could get quite warm, potentially burning people, another observation noted. All five dialects detailed terms for storms, rough waters, wind/rain storms, squalls, gusty, and blowing hard. Tlingit and Tsimshian additionally had terms for snowstorms and these two languages, plus Skidegate Haida, had phrases around being unable to travel due to storms and finding shelter from storms, another noted observation. Surprisingly, erosion was the only landscape change which was not noted in all dialects/languages. There were no terms identified relating to erosion in Alaskan Haida, and a term for ‘landslide’ was the sole term found referring to erosion, in Tsimshian and Skidegate Haida. Phrases around mud, soil, and dirt were found in Tlingit, Old Massett Haida and Skidegate Haida, and Tlingit and Old Massett had specific terms for the ground being softened by rain and turning to mud, Old Massett and Skidegate Haida had terms for washouts, whether by gullies, rivers or wave action, and Tlingit also had terms for snowslides, avalanches and rockslides. Finally, while not every dialect was listed as having a term for red tide, Old Massett and Skidegate Haida did acknowledge its presence with specific phrases, and the particular reference to something being ‘poisonous from red tide’ (Old Massett) shows people’s awareness of the severity of red tide. Terms for weather were also linked to biological resources. On two occasions phrases were used to relate food processing to weather patterns. In Tlingit, Tsimshian, Old Massett Haida, and Skidegate Haida, there were phrases describing foods being dried in the sun, and in Tlingit only there was also mention of fish air-dried in freezing air. Old Massett and Skidegate Haida both link words describing rain with two birds, sandhill crane and black oyster catchers, both said to make a lot of noise when it is going to rain, showing an association between weather and an indicator species.
Human adaptation to biodiversity changes
Most critically for the natural resource economies of North Pacific coastal rainforest communities, changes in temperature and precipitation have brought changes to ecosystem composition and function, in turn affecting resource abundance, access, and use (Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center 2013). Respondents observed changes ranging from broad-scale landscape composition shifts, to finer scale changes concerning behavioural adaptation, and individual size, abundance, distribution, and quality of resources (Table 3). Non-climatic factors are also affecting resource use, including social and technological change, competition, and scarcity due to other anthropogenic causes (further elaborated in discussion). Despite these changes, important plant and animal resources remain available, although accessing them may require more energy and inputs.
Most of the impacts concerning animals emphasize changes in behaviour, abundance and movement, while for plants shifts in quality and quantity of fruits, and timing of flowering and fruiting, were linked to changing weather patterns. Plant distribution was more closely tied to land-use changes (logging, land development, and conservation areas) rather than specifically climate change.
While research participants recognize that significant weather changes are occurring, such changes are not necessarily regarded as unprecedented. Many Northwest Coast communities have experienced major environmental changes, such as glacial movements, tsunamis, and drastic sea-level rise in the past, yet still survived and recovered, resiliently. Despite being wary about the future, most respondents possess a positive outlook regarding their ability to cope and adapt. They view themselves and their culture as always having adapted to environmental change, and thus continuing to adapt to future change. Emblematic of this adaptive capacity and resilience are the many stories of the Flood in Northwest Coast oral history, in which clans or communities survived inundation from massive sea-level rise by seeking refuge on the tops of high (2000 + foot) mountains, and then re-establishing themselves on the altered land in the aftermath (de Laguna 1960, 1972; Emmons and de Laguna 1991; Hunt et al. 2016). These and other “epitomizing events” (Fogelson 1989), markers of peoples’ resilient and adaptive histories and identities, were often referenced in our interviews. Now research participants focus on how they are adapting to changing resource accessibility, availability, harvesting and processing techniques, knowledge systems, and co-management arrangements, in addition to broader climate changes (Table 4). In addition, they discussed the intricacies of passing down knowledge to future generations, which is not included in the table, but further evaluated in the discussion. Research participants also described changes to the intensity of resource use in their responses. Many respondents detailed that members of their community do not gather as much as they used to, particularly the younger generation, and that, in addition to access issues tied to weather and sea-level changes, access to resources was further limited by working hours (jobs), permit applications, harvesting regulations, and costs of fuel and boat maintenance.
Humans as a component of the ecosystem
Another common thread throughout interviews was that research participants recognized themselves as a component of climate change. Current lifestyles in remote communities are heavily dependent on high CO2-emitting fossil fuels. Several hundred years ago, Indigenous Peoples interacted with their landscapes in a more self-sufficient way. In contrast, now significant amounts of high carbon fuels are consumed even in remote communities for livelihood activities, food and other imports, transport, storage, heating, lighting, and so on. Power is typically provided by diesel-powered electrical stations. As a result, people in these remote areas also are contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change in relatively small (compared to urban areas) but often increasing amounts (Powell 2015).
KG (Hoonah) emphasized the idea of local people both being affected by and affecting “Social Climate Change”. He states that it is not just the climate that is changing, or the government, or pollution, or the ability to afford fuel, etc., but rather their entire way of life, and how they approach the landscape—“the thing that’s changing is the social change…Our people used to depend on gathering, processing fish, smoking fish, smoking deer meat, seal meat, and that, but now it’s not [the same]”. This sentiment, that climate change is not the only or even the most important impact on local peoples’ present lives, but rather one driver in a concatenation of forces reshaping Indigenous lives, is widely echoed in the literature on climate change and Indigenous Peoples (see, e.g. Crate and Nuttall 2009).
In each of the following case studies, we present why each of the CKIS suggested above qualify as both an indicator species/functional group, and a keystone species/functional group. Additionally, we examine the broad changes that were commented upon in the interviews drawn on for this article and summarize why each of these case studies fits into being a climate indicator, and a CKIS.
Pacific Salmon (Onchorynchus spp.)
In this CKIS category, we include the five species of salmon on the Pacific Coast: O. gorbuscha (Pink/Humpys), O. keta (Chum/Dog), O. kisutch (Coho/Silver), O. nerka (Sockeye/Red) and O. tshawytscha (Chinook/King/Spring).
Indicator species: Salmon migrate long distances and utilise a wide range of habitats at different parts of their lifecycle, from the open ocean up to small tributary streams. Thus, they can be used to monitor both fresh water and oceanic conditions, along with stream, riparian, watershed, and upland conditions (Bryant et al. 2008). Overall, all five species of salmon are used to indicate environmental characteristics such as changes in human and natural disturbances in watersheds (e.g. landslides and logging), the condition of the watershed (debris, sediment), stream flow, temperature (both marine and stream), salinity, and ocean currents (Hyatt and Godbout 2000; Gilkeson et al. 2006; Bryant et al. 2008; MOE 2016). While all species fulfil a similar ecological role, some species of salmon are thought to be better indicators of certain environmental conditions. For example, coho is ideal for monitoring the effects of human and natural disturbance on watersheds due to its longer life history in fresh water (Bryant et al. 2008), sockeye prefer colder water, so are ideal for monitoring temperature changes (MOE 2016), and pink salmon are known for their steady population fluctuations, and thus significant changes in population can be tracked easily (Estes 2014). Hyatt and Godbout (2000) detail why Pacific salmon should be considered indicator species, which includes: they are wide-ranging in their distribution, and occur in both marine and freshwater systems; they contain variety with regard to genetics and life histories both within and between species; they are extremely sensitive to environmental cues; there are many long-term studies of salmon populations; and finally, they are extremely relevant both socially and economically to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in this area.
Keystone species: Pacific salmon are considered to be an EKS because they are a very important food source for a host of other animals, ranging from large predators, such as bears and wolves, birds (including eagles), predatory fish, aquatic and riparian scavengers, and insects (Willson and Halupka 1995; Cederholm et al. 2000; Hyatt and Godbout 2000; Reimchen et al. 2003), in addition to humans. They are preyed upon at every stage of their life history, from eggs to carcasses (Willson and Halupka 1995). At least 138 species have some kind of relationship with salmon throughout their lifecycle (Cederholm et al. 2000). In addition to being eaten, their carcasses are often moved into terrestrial environments and broken down by detritivores to provide nutrients to the plants and enrich the soil, which provides a pathway for nutrients to connect the ocean and forest (Cederholm et al. 1999; Reimchen et al. 2003; Hocking and Reynolds 2012). The nutrient input of salmon into the coastal environment has influenced the structure and function in this ecosystem, and the yearly contribution affects entire ecosystem survival and reproductive capacity (Willson and Halupka 1995; Cederholm et al. 1999).
Changes observed from the Case Study Data: Participants in this research stated that salmon were a valuable resource to them and discussed that they had noticed changes in their timing, individual population size, population stability and distribution, and behaviour, much of which they link to the climate and weather changes that participants had noticed. In particular, fishers reported that the abiotic feature of warmer water was affecting salmon greatly, causing them to swim deeper in the nearshore, which made them harder to catch, but also causing more worms in the meat (noted in sockeyes), and scale loss (noted especially in cohos). As well, fishers have noted that there has been a general decline in salmon returns and the amount of fish they have harvested in recent years, which they attribute to the changed distribution patterns causing fish to alter where and when they are migrating (swimming deeper), and the fishers’ access to the fishing grounds (regulations/adapting to season opening times and high cost).
Collectively, these observations provide important commentaries on the social-ecological impacts of climate change. They are also emblematic of the utility of focusing on CKIS. Because the responses of salmon to different abiotic features can be measured both scientifically and through human observations in the context of livelihood practices, so too can oceanic and terrestrial watershed and riparian conditions be tracked through the salmon populations and their behaviour, providing sound indicators of climatic changes.
Deer (Odocoileus hermionus sitkensis)
Indicator species: Sitka black-tailed deer prefer to live in a mixed habitat throughout the year. Their specific use of different habitats and their general presence and movements between landscapes throughout the year, indicate the quality of old growth forests, open younger forests, and forest edges, and floral diversity, as deer have a varied herbivorous diet of herbaceous and woody plants, characterized by consistent features, such as digestibility (Hanley 1996; Lee and Rudd 2003; Schoen and Kirchhoff 2007). Biologists (cf. Hanley 1996) consider deer an indicator species on the basis of the following characteristics: they have large home ranges which they migrate throughout in a seasonal pattern; they make use of different habitat types, seasonally, including varied food sources and canopy cover options; and they are valued by local people, primarily as a food source, which makes them ‘socially relevant’ (Hanley 1996). Deer particularly indicate when undisturbed habitat is lost (Lee and Rudd 2003), as this relates to their forage and movement requirements.
Keystone species: Sitka black-tailed deer are considered a keystone species because their presence has great effect on the landscape. When they are removed from the system, the floral architecture and diversity, the processing of minerals such as nitrogen, and the local soil make-up (Cobb 2014) will often change. Their availability also affects populations of megafauna (wolves, black bear and brown bear), including humans, who rely on them as prey (Schoen and Kirchhoff 2007).
Changes observed from the Case Study Data: Participants in this research found that Sitka black-tailed deer greatly tailor their seasonal migration and habitat use to reflect changing weather patterns. The abiotic factor most closely tied to their distribution is snow. Because air temperatures overall are warming, smaller amounts of snow cover may adhere and endure, thus facilitating migrations higher into the hills and mountains. These migrations, in turn, may render deer less accessible to hunters. Alternatively, if there is a deep and heavy snowfall, as is evident with increased storms and severe weather events in the region due to the changing climate, deer will be driven closer to a human presence. The snow levels will also impact available browse, which will affect how the deer population shrinks and expands. In addition to snow levels, warming temperatures also affect the quality of the meat, such as when they put on their winter fat, and higher incidences of disease, such as ticks. Since the effect of these abiotic factors on the variation in population levels is not well understood, this is leading to issues of asynchrony between governmental regulation on hunting times, and when deer are actually available, which impacts the local people’s ability to harvest this traditional resource.
From these observations, it can be seen that deer can be used to indicate snow levels and distribution, both in the current year and following years, based on their location and population size in response to this abiotic factor. As deer are heavily impacted by quantities of snow fall, where they distribute themselves can indicate current snow depth levels. If deer are low in elevation, it typically indicates snow on the mountains, while if deer are absent from lower elevations, it indicates the availability of browse (and lack of snow) at higher altitudes. In this way deer can be tracked throughout the year to monitor snow. It is worth noting that in this study area, the evidence for the inclusion of deer as a culturally important species, and thus an example of CKIS, is not as strong in Old Massett and Skidegate, Haida Gwaii, as it is in the other communities in this research area. The main reasons why the evidence for this is weaker is because the deer are an introduced species on Haida Gwaii (Gillingham 2004), and are considered pests by many people, particularly due to their devastation of the local flora through over browsing (which was frequently mentioned in interviews from this study). Despite being an invasive species, however, some people have come to rely on deer as an important source of meat, and in interviews noted significant behavioural, phenological and population observations. As May Russ (Old Massett) commented “but, you know…on one hand people want to get rid of them, because they’re not indigenous to the island, and then there’s, on the other hand, there are people, it’s becoming a food source for them”. Thus, over time, deer may continue to rise to full CKIS status in Haida Gwaii and become highly valued, although it is not currently as strong a CKIS example as it is in the communities in Alaska and mainland British Columbia.
Blueberries (Vaccinium spp.) and Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis)
In this CKIS category, we include Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) and the blueberry species (Vaccinium spp.) that commonly occur in the study region: V. alaskense (Alaska blueberry), V. ovalifolium (ovalleaf blueberry), V. caespitosum (dwarf bilberry) and V. uliginosum (bog blueberry).
Indicator species: Plants are commonly used to indicate certain soil/moisture characteristics (Halverson et al. 1986; Klinka et al. 1989). Salmonberry and blueberry have slightly different ecological requirements, and thus their presence is used to indicate different soil regimes. Salmonberry require locations that have wet and moist conditions and are rich in nitrogen (Halverson et al. 1986; Klinka et al. 1989). Blueberries require habitats that are acidic, poor in nitrogen and wet, such as bogs (Klinka et al. 1989; Hilty 2015; USDA Forest Service 2018b). Because salmonberries like a moist environment, their presence often indicates a close source of water (Halverson et al. 1986). Blueberries hold two very different ecological roles. They frequently appear shortly after a disturbance occurs, such as clear-cutting, and there is a more open ecosystem, as they can take hold easily with more light and a lack of competition and can thus indicate land-use changes. However, they are also a common species in old growth ecosystems (due the open forest structure), thus indicating the presence of mature forest (USDA Forest Service 2018b). These two groups of plants are ideal indicators because they are closely monitored by harvesters, common enough to be seen in many places, and are affected by changing weather patterns.
Keystone species: Both salmonberry and blueberries are keystone species for the role they play as forage and habitat for various animals, including humans. Salmonberry provide cover and nesting sites for many local birds and mammals, such as red squirrels, mice, black bears and beavers (USDA Forest Service 2018a). As well, many parts of the plant are eaten and are a vital food for a large number of animals. In Cascadia, leaves and twigs are an important food source for local ungulates such as deer, mountain goats, elk, and moose, as well as smaller mammals (i.e. rabbits, porcupine, beaver) and fruits are eaten by a wide range of local species from birds (i.e. grouse, songbirds, American robins) to small and large mammals (i.e. squirrels, foxes, mice and rodents (primarily the seeds), and black and brown bears) (USDA-NRCS 2012; USDA Forest Service 2018a). Finally, the nectar is an important food source for bees, butterflies, other insects, and hummingbirds (USDA-NRCS 2012; USDA Forest Service 2018a). In addition to their food value, a salmonberries’ rapid growth and dense belowground root and stem systems bind soil well, making them important species for stabilizing eroded or disturbed sites (British Columbia Nature 2002; USDANRCS 2012; USDA Forest Service 2018a).
Blueberries play a very similar role to salmonberries. They are thought to provide cover to mainly bigger animals due to the height of the plants (USDA Forest Service 2018b), and in terms of food availability, leaves, flowers, and fruits are utilized. In this region, leaves are an important food source for both local ungulates such as deer, mountain goats, and elk (USDA Forest Service 2018b, c) and for the larval stages of Lepidoptera, several species of which feed solely on Vaccinium spp. (particularly V. uliginosum from this study area, Natural History Museum 2019). It is particularly a favourite food of black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hermionus) in Western Washington (USDA Forest Service 2018b). As well, fruit are eaten by a wide range of local species from birds (i.e. grouse, ptarmigan, pheasants, songbirds) to small and large mammals (i.e. squirrels, foxes, and black and brown bears) (USDA Forest Service 2018b, c). Finally, the nectar has been documented as an important food source for several species of both long and short tongued bees (Hilty 2015). In addition to its food value to animals and humans, blueberries are very economically relevant to local people, both commercially and with wild harvesting (https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sb/CSIS/). Blueberries can grow from seed, cuttings, or damaged parent plants quickly, and thus can spread (or be planted) to cover cleared areas rapidly, providing stabilization and a food source in disturbed sites (USDA Forest Service 2018b, c).
Changes observed from the Case Study Data: Participants interviewed reported that both salmonberries and blueberries were very important to them for food and, particularly with regard to blueberry, an economically viable wild harvest, especially noted in Hoonah and Kake. Both berries are significantly influenced by changes in weather at critical growth stages. First, Indigenous observers suggest that earlier and warmer springs are causing plants to bud earlier than normal. This pattern of earlier flowering often leads to a disconnection with pollinators which either have not arrived (e.g. hummingbirds), or have not become active (e.g. bees), in turn decreasing the amount of fruit forming. Further damaging to fruit formation is the increasingly common pattern of a warm start to the spring that encourages early bud growth that is subsequently killed by a later frost. Even if fruits do set under these variable conditions, the quality and quantity can vary greatly depending on the summer and autumn weather conditions. If the conditions are too wet, the berries either become saturated with water and don’t produce the necessary sugars to fully ripen, or they rot before ripening. In addition, increased rainfall can cause immature forms of insects and worms (species not specifically identified by the interviewees) to reproduce more frequently in the berries, which renders them less favourable for consumption. Alternatively if the conditions are too dry, as evident with hotter, drier weather spells in early summer, the berries will desiccate and dry out before they ripen.
From these observations, it can be seen that changing late winter, spring, and summer weather conditions can be tracked by the quality of these CKIS fruits. Furthermore, observing the phenology of salmonberries and blueberries can indicate critical changes in climatic conditions during the growing season.
To link the above three CKIS examples to the linguistic literature, in Table 5 we illustrate the Indigenous names for all the CKIS examples in this article. Additionally, the language references (Edwards 2009; Roberts 2009; Lachler 2010; Anderson 2018; DeVries 2014a; b) were searched for additional terms relating to the CKIS examples. All three languages had various terms relating to salmon in general. These included terms around seasons and locations of fishing, spawning, fishing tools, life stages, anatomy, processing, and mythology. There were also terms that related specifically to each of the five species. The three Haida dialects had the most number of terms: solely naming 10 terms specific to coho, 15 terms specific to chum, and six terms specific to sockeye. Both Tsimshian and Haida had a total of 6 specific terms for pink, and all three languages, Tlingit, Tsimshian and Haida, had a total of eight specific terms for king. Deer had terms in all three languages that related to hunting and movement, life stages, anatomy, processing and preparing skin and meat, and diseases. While generic terms for berries were found in Tlingit and Haida, relating to flowering, size and stage of ripeness of berry, and food use, specific terms for blueberries were only found in the three Haida dialects, covering anatomy, location, and the action of gathering, whereas specific terms for salmonberries were found in all three languages, relating to season and location, anatomy, colour and size of berry, medicinal usage, and mythology.