Cutthroat Trout (Salmo clarki)
These fish grow up to 30 inches and to a weight of 41 lbs. They live in both salt water and freshwater. Cutthroats are very popular as a sport fish, small ones caught in saltwater are nicknamed “sea-trout. They range along the Pacific coast from southern Alaska to northern California, and inland from southern British Columbia and Alberta south to New Mexico and from eastern California to central Colorado. Spawning from February to May (as early as December in the Cowichan River on Vancouver Island) in fresh water the young go to sea in their second and third year. There are ten sub species of this trout, some of which are extinct. They were an important food source to the indigenous peoples along the coasts represented by my totem designs inside one of the fish
The Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)
This is the little rusty red squirrel you see all over here in the Pacific Northwest. They live in coniferous forest and you’ll see their piles of cone cuttings on rocks and logs. Their noisy scolding chatter accompanied by the flicking of their tail and the twitching of their body is probably how they came down in Nu-chah-nulth lore as shamans’ helpers. Shaman believed if you came across one in the forest performing in this manner over dead infested logs was an opportunity to gather strong medicine power.