The term salish refers, linguistically, culturally or ethnographically, to Native American populations originating from southern British Columbia in Canada and northern Washington, Idaho and Montana in the United States, including the languages of origin have common characteristics.
The term Salish brings together many distinct tribes more or less close to each other according to their language, their culture or their ancestral way of life. Classification is therefore not easy. We can however distinguish three main ethnic families:
- The Bella Coola (or Nuxálk) who live on the north coast of British Columbia
- The Coast Salish who live around the straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca
- The Interior Salish people who live inland on both sides of the BC-Washington border.