The Native Americans of the Northwest Coast lived in one of the most comfortable environments in North America.
The winters were never very cold, and the summers were never hot. Although it rained many months of the year, the damp weather allowed plants and great forests to flourish.
From cedar trees, Native Americans could make almost everything they needed to live. The cedar gave them the wood they used to build their houses, but even more important was the tree’s bark. Cedar bark, cut into thin, flexible strips, could be woven into baskets, fishing nets, mats, and even clothing.
On stormy nights, Coast Salish parents sometimes woke up their children, gave them an icy bath, and sent them outside to run through the rain. The Native Americans believed this practice made girls and boys grow up strong and healthy.