Hunting and Gathering

basketsOur elders would often tell us when we were growing up that, “When the tide was out that our table was set for dinner.” For the most part everything that we needed to survive was right in front of us living on the beaches or in the waters close to shore. When you wanted to use one of these gifts you should always use a prayer or a song to thank them for the gift that was left for us by the ancestors to survive such as the clam, the oyster, the salmon, the waters, the air, the roots, and everything else in nature.

The Samish people have access to a wide variety of food sources. Vegetable foods included sprouts, bulbs, and roots from a dozen or so species, and the berries and fruits of about two dozen species. Shellfish included ten different mollusks, sea urchins, and crab. More than 20 species of fish were eaten: all 5 species of Pacific Salmon, steelhead trout, halibut, herring, sucker, chub and occasionally sturgeon. Three species of upland bird were eaten and more than forty species of waterfowl and shore birds. Some land mammals such as deer, elk, and seal were also taken.