Pacific Northwest
Overview
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, bounded by the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

 on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the Pacific Northwest includes the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

s of Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

, Washington and Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

, as well as the Canadian province
Provinces and territories of Canada
The provinces and territories of Canada combine to make up the world's second-largest country by area. There are ten provinces and three territories...

 of British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

 and territory of the Yukon
Yukon
Yukon is the westernmost and smallest of Canada's three federal territories. It was named after the Yukon River. The word Yukon means "Great River" in Gwich’in....

. This definition is often restricted further to include only the coastal areas west of the crest of the Cascade Mountains and Canadian Coast Mountains.
Encyclopedia
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, bounded by the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

 on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the Pacific Northwest includes the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

s of Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

, Washington and Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

, as well as the Canadian province
Provinces and territories of Canada
The provinces and territories of Canada combine to make up the world's second-largest country by area. There are ten provinces and three territories...

 of British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

 and territory of the Yukon
Yukon
Yukon is the westernmost and smallest of Canada's three federal territories. It was named after the Yukon River. The word Yukon means "Great River" in Gwich’in....

. This definition is often restricted further to include only the coastal areas west of the crest of the Cascade Mountains and Canadian Coast Mountains. Broader definitions of the region may even include the state of Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

. and may reach east to the Rocky Mountains. Definitions based on the historic Oregon Country
Oregon Country
The Oregon Country was a predominantly American term referring to a disputed ownership region of the Pacific Northwest of North America. The region was occupied by British and French Canadian fur traders from before 1810, and American settlers from the mid-1830s, with its coastal areas north from...

 reach east to the Continental Divide, thus including nearly all of Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

 and parts of western Montana
Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

 and western Wyoming
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

. Sometimes the Pacific Northwest is defined as being the Northwestern United States
Northwestern United States
The Northwestern United States comprise the northwestern states up to the western Great Plains regions of the United States, and consistently include the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, to which part of southeast Alaska is also sometimes included...

, wholly in the United States. Often these definitions are made by government agencies whose scope is limited to the United States. Some definitions include, in addition to Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia, Southeast Alaska, western Montana, the coast of northern California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 and a small part of northwestern Wyoming
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

. The term "Pacific Northwest" should not be confused with the Northwest Territory
Northwest Territory
The Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, more commonly known as the Northwest Territory, was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 13, 1787, until March 1, 1803, when the southeastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Ohio...

 (also known as the Great Northwest, a historic term in the United States) or the Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories
The Northwest Territories is a federal territory of Canada.Located in northern Canada, the territory borders Canada's two other territories, Yukon to the west and Nunavut to the east, and three provinces: British Columbia to the southwest, and Alberta and Saskatchewan to the south...

 of Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

.

The term Northwest Coast is often used when referring only to the coastal regions. The term Northwest Plateau has been used to describe the inland regions, although they are commonly referred to as "the Interior
British Columbia Interior
The British Columbia Interior or BC Interior or Interior of British Columbia, usually referred to only as the Interior, is one of the three main regions of the Canadian province of British Columbia, the other two being the Lower Mainland, which comprises the overlapping areas of Greater Vancouver...

" in British Columbia and the Inland Empire
Inland Empire (Pacific Northwest)
thumb|The Inland Empire regionThe Inland Northwest, or Inland Empire, is a region in the Pacific Northwest centered on Spokane, Washington, including the surrounding Columbia River basin and all of North Idaho....

 in the United States.

The region's largest metropolitan areas are Seattle/Tacoma, Washington, with 3.3 million people; Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

, British Columbia, with 2.3 million people; and the Portland metropolitan area
Portland metropolitan area
The Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA Metropolitan Statistical Area , also known as the Portland metropolitan area or Greater Portland, is an urban area in the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington centered around the city of Portland, Oregon. The U.S...

, with 2.2 million people.

A key aspect of the Pacific Northwest is the US–Canada international border, which was established when the region was largely unsettled by non-indigenous peoples. The border along the 49th parallel and the Alaska Panhandle has had a powerful effect on the region. According to Canadian historian Ken Coates
Ken Coates (historian)
Dr. Ken Coates is a Canadian historian focused on the history of the Canadian North and Aboriginal rights and indigenous claims. Other areas of specialization include Arctic sovereignty; science, technology and society, with an emphasis on Japan; world and comparative history; and post-secondary...

, the border has not merely influenced the Pacific Northwest—rather, "the region's history and character have been determined by the boundary".

Indigenous peoples

The Pacific Northwest has been occupied by a diverse array of Indigenous American
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 peoples for millennia, beginning with Paleo-Native Americans who explored and colonized the area roughly 15,000 years before Europeans arrived. The Pacific Coast is seen by a growing number of scholars as a major migration route for late Pleistocene peoples moving from northeast Asia into the Americas. Archaeological evidence for these earliest Native Americans is sketchy—in part because heavy glaciation, flooding, and post-glacial sea level rise have radically changed the landscape—but fluted Clovis-like points found in the region were probably left by Paleoindians at least 13,000 years ago. Even earlier evidence for human occupation dating back as much as 14,500 years ago is emerging from Paisley Caves
Paisley Caves
The Paisley Caves complex is a system of four caves in an arid, desolate region of south-central Oregon, United States. One of the caves may contain archaeological evidence of the oldest definitively-dated human presence in North America. The site was first studied by archeologists in the 1930s...

 in central Oregon.

With a history of human occupation spanning many millennia, and the incredible richness of Pacific Northwest fisheries (salmon
Salmon
Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family Salmonidae. Several other fish in the same family are called trout; the difference is often said to be that salmon migrate and trout are resident, but this distinction does not strictly hold true...

, etc.), it is not surprising that the tribes who occupied the area historically were some of the most complex hunter-gatherer-fishers in history. They lived in large villages or towns, built plank houses and large canoes, and had sophisticated artistic and technological traditions. In British Columbia and Southeast Alaska, for instance, maritime tribes like the Tlingit and Haida erected the large and elaborately carved totem pole
Totem pole
Totem poles are monumental sculptures carved from large trees, mostly Western Red Cedar, by cultures of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America...

s that are iconic of Pacific Northwest artistic traditions. Throughout the area, thousands of descendants of these proud Pacific Northwest tribes still live and many of their cultural traditions continue to be practiced.

Initial European exploration

In 1579 the British captain and erstwhile privateer
Privateer
A privateer is a private person or ship authorized by a government by letters of marque to attack foreign shipping during wartime. Privateering was a way of mobilizing armed ships and sailors without having to spend public money or commit naval officers...

 Francis Drake
Francis Drake
Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral was an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, and politician of the Elizabethan era. Elizabeth I of England awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581. He was second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588. He also carried out the...

 sailed up the west coast of North America perhaps as far as Oregon or even British Columbia before returning south to land and make ship repairs. At this landing site, probably near present-day San Francisco, Drake claimed the region for England, naming it New Albion
New Albion
New Albion, also known as Nova Albion, was the name of the region of the Pacific coast of North America explored by Sir Francis Drake and claimed by him for England in 1579...

. Juan de Fuca
Juan de Fuca
Ioánnis Fokás , better known by the Spanish transcription of his name, Juan de Fuca , was a Greek-born maritime pilot in the service of the king of Spain, Philip II...

, a Greek
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 captain in the employ of Spain, might have found the Strait of Juan de Fuca
Strait of Juan de Fuca
The Strait of Juan de Fuca is a large body of water about long that is the Salish Sea outlet to the Pacific Ocean...

 around 1592. The strait was named for him, but whether he discovered it or not has long been questioned. During the early 1740s, Imperial Russia sent the Dane
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 Vitus Bering
Vitus Bering
Vitus Jonassen Bering Vitus Jonassen Bering Vitus Jonassen Bering (also, less correNavy]], a captain-komandor known among the Russian sailors as Ivan Ivanovich. He is noted for being the first European to discover Alaska and its Aleutian Islands...

 to the region. By the late 18th century and into the mid-19th century, Russian settlers had established several posts and communities on the northeast Pacific coast, eventually reaching as far south as Fort Ross, California
Fort Ross, California
Fort Ross is a former Russian establishment on the Pacific Coast in what is now Sonoma County, California, in the United States. It was the hub of the southernmost Russian settlements in North America in between 1812 to 1841...

. The Russian River
Russian River (California)
The Russian River, a southward-flowing river, drains of Sonoma and Mendocino counties in Northern California. With an annual average discharge of approximately , it is the second largest river flowing through the nine county Greater San Francisco Bay Area with a mainstem 110 miles ...

 was named after these settlements.

In 1774 the viceroy of New Spain
New Spain
New Spain, formally called the Viceroyalty of New Spain , was a viceroyalty of the Spanish colonial empire, comprising primarily territories in what was known then as 'América Septentrional' or North America. Its capital was Mexico City, formerly Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire...

 sent Juan Pérez
Juan José Pérez Hernández
Juan José Pérez Hernández , often simply Juan Pérez, was an 18th century Spanish explorer. He was the first European to sight, examine, name, and record the islands near present-day British Columbia, Canada...

 in the ship Santiago to the Pacific Northwest. Peréz made landfall on the Queen Charlotte Islands
Queen Charlotte Islands
Haida Gwaii , formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands, is an archipelago on the North Coast of British Columbia, Canada. Haida Gwaii consists of two main islands: Graham Island in the north, and Moresby Island in the south, along with approximately 150 smaller islands with a total landmass of...

 on July 18, 1774. The northernmost latitude he reached was 54°40′ N. This was followed, in 1775, by another Spanish expedition, under the command of Bruno de Heceta
Bruno de Heceta
Bruno de Heceta y Dudagoitia was a Spanish Basque explorer of the Pacific Northwest. Born in Bilbao of an old Basque family, he was sent by the Viceroy of New Spain, Antonio María Bucareli y Ursúa, to explore the area north of Alta California in response to information that there were colonial...

 and including Juan Peréz and Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra
Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra
Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra was a Spanish naval officer born in Lima, Peru. Assigned to the Pacific coast Spanish Naval Department base at San Blas, in the Viceroyalty of New Spain , this navigator explored the Northwest Coast of North America as far north as present day Alaska.Juan...

 as officers. On July 14, 1775 they landed on the Olympic Peninsula
Olympic Peninsula
The Olympic Peninsula is the large arm of land in western Washington state of the USA, that lies across Puget Sound from Seattle. It is bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean, the north by the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the east by Puget Sound. Cape Alava, the westernmost point in the contiguous...

 near the mouth of the Quinault River
Quinault River
The Quinault River is a long river located on the Olympic Peninsula in the U.S. state of Washington. It originates deep in the Olympic Mountains in the Olympic National Park. It flows southwest through the "Enchanted Valley". Several miles above Lake Quinault the river is joined by its main...

. Due to an outbreak of scurvy, Heceta returned to Mexico. On August 17, 1775 he sighted the mouth of the Columbia River
Columbia River
The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, flows northwest and then south into the U.S. state of Washington, then turns west to form most of the border between Washington and the state...

 but could not tell if it was a river or a major strait. His attempt to sail in failed due to overly strong currents. He named it Bahia de la Asúnciõn. While Heceta sailed south, Quadra continued north in the expedition's second ship, the Sonora. He reached 59° N
59th parallel north
The 59th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 59 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

, before turning back.

In 1778 English mariner Captain James Cook visited Nootka Sound
Nootka Sound
Nootka Sound is a complex inlet or sound of the Pacific Ocean on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Historically also known as King George's Sound, as a strait it separates Vancouver Island and Nootka Island.-History:The inlet is part of the...

 on Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island is a large island in British Columbia, Canada. It is one of several North American locations named after George Vancouver, the British Royal Navy officer who explored the Pacific Northwest coast of North America between 1791 and 1794...

 and also voyaged as far as Prince William Sound
Prince William Sound
Prince William Sound is a sound off the Gulf of Alaska on the south coast of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is located on the east side of the Kenai Peninsula. Its largest port is Valdez, at the southern terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System...

. In 1779 a third Spanish expedition, under the command of Ignacio de Artega in the ship Princesa, and with Quadra as captain of the ship Favorite, sailed from Mexico to the coast of Alaska, reaching 61° N
61st parallel north
The 61st parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 61 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Europe, Asia and North America....

. Two further Spanish expeditions, in 1788 and 1789, both under Esteban Jose Martínez and Gonzalo López de Haro
Gonzalo López de Haro
Gonzalo López de Haro was a Spanish explorer, notable for his expeditions in the Pacific Northwest in the late 18th century....

, sailed to the Pacific Northwest. During the second expedition they met the American captain Robert Gray near Nootka Sound
Nootka Sound
Nootka Sound is a complex inlet or sound of the Pacific Ocean on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Historically also known as King George's Sound, as a strait it separates Vancouver Island and Nootka Island.-History:The inlet is part of the...

. Upon entering Nootka Sound, they found William Douglas and his ship the Iphigenia. There followed the Nootka Crisis
Nootka Crisis
The Nootka Crisis was an international incident and political dispute between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Spain, triggered by a series of events that took place during the summer of 1789 at Nootka Sound...

, which was resolved by agreements known as the Nootka Convention
Nootka Convention
The Nootka Conventions were a series of three agreements between the Kingdom of Spain and the Kingdom of Great Britain, signed in the 1790s which averted a war between the two empires over overlapping claims to portions of the Pacific Northwest coast of North America.The claims of Spain dated back...

. In 1790 the Spanish sent three ships to Nootka Sound, under the command of Francisco de Eliza
Francisco de Eliza
Francisco de Eliza y Reventa was a Spanish naval officer, navigator, and explorer. He is remembered mainly for his work in the Pacific Northwest...

. After establishing a base at Nootka, Eliza sent out several exploration parties. Salvador Fidalgo
Salvador Fidalgo
Salvador Fidalgo y Lopegarcía was a Spanish explorer who commanded an exploring expedition for Spain to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest during the late 18th century.-Early career:...

 was sent north to the Alaska coast. Manuel Quimper
Manuel Quimper
Manuel Quimper Benítez del Pino was a Spanish Peruvian explorer, cartographer, naval officer, and colonial official. He participated in charting the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Sandwich Islands in the late 18th century. He was later appointed a colonial governor in his native Peru at the...

, with Gonzalo López de Haro as pilot, explored the Strait of Juan de Fuca, discovering the San Juan Islands
San Juan Islands
The San Juan Islands are an archipelago in the northwest corner of the contiguous United States between the US mainland and Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. The San Juan Islands are part of the U.S...

 and Admiralty Inlet
Admiralty Inlet
Admiralty Inlet is a strait in the U.S. state of Washington connecting the eastern end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Puget Sound. It lies between Whidbey Island and the northeastern part of the Olympic Peninsula....

 in the process. Francisco de Eliza himself took the ship San Carlos into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. From a base at Port Discovery
Port Discovery, Washington
Port Discovery, Washington is the historical name of what is now called Discovery Bay, a bay in the U.S. state of Washington on the south side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, on Washington's Olympic Peninsula. It was also called Port Discovery Bay for some time, a name that can be found on maps from...

, his pilotos (masters
Master (naval)
The master, or sailing master, was a historic term for a naval officer trained in and responsible for the navigation of a sailing vessel...

) José María Narváez
José María Narváez
José María Narváez was a Spanish naval officer, explorer, and navigator notable for his work in the Pacific Northwest of present-day Canada. In 1791, as commander of the schooner Santa Saturnina, he led the first European exploration of the Strait of Georgia, including a landing on present-day...

 and Juan Carrasco
Juan Carrasco (explorer)
Juan Carrasco was a Spanish naval officer, explorer, and navigator. He is remembered mainly for his work in the Pacific Northwest during the late 18th century. He was second in command of the 1791 voyage of José María Narváez, the first European exploration of the Strait of Georgia.Many details...

 explored the San Juan Islands
San Juan Islands
The San Juan Islands are an archipelago in the northwest corner of the contiguous United States between the US mainland and Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. The San Juan Islands are part of the U.S...

, Haro Strait
Haro Strait
Haro Strait, often referred to as the Haro Straits because it is really a series of straits, is one of the main channels connecting the Strait of Georgia to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, separating Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands in British Columbia, Canada from the San Juan Islands of...

, Rosario Strait
Rosario Strait
Rosario Strait is a strait in northern Washington state, separating Island and San Juan Counties. It extends from the Strait of Juan de Fuca about north to the Strait of Georgia...

, and Bellingham Bay
Bellingham Bay
Bellingham Bay is a bay located on the northern Pacific coast of Washington state in the United States. It is separated from the Strait of Georgia on the west by the Lummi Peninsula, Portage Island, and Lummi Island. It is bordered on the east by Bellingham, Washington, to the south-east by the...

. In the process they discovered the Strait of Georgia
Strait of Georgia
The Strait of Georgia or the Georgia Strait is a strait between Vancouver Island and the mainland coast of British Columbia, Canada. It is approximately long and varies in width from...

 and explored it as far north as Texada Island
Texada Island
Texada Island is the largest island in the Strait of Georgia of British Columbia, Canada. Its northern tip is located about southwest of the city of Powell River and west of the Sechelt Peninsula on the Sunshine Coast. A former mining and logging area, the island still has a few quarries and old...

. The expedition returned to Nootka Sound by August 1791. Alessandro Malaspina
Alessandro Malaspina
Alessandro Malaspina was an Italian nobleman who spent most of his life as a Spanish naval officer and explorer...

, sailing for Spain, explored and mapped the coast from Yakutat Bay
Yakutat Bay
Yakutat Bay is a 29-km-wide bay in the U.S. state of Alaska, extending southwest from Disenchantment Bay to the Gulf of Alaska. "Yakutat" is a Tlingit name reported as "Jacootat" and "Yacootat" by Yuri Lisianski in 1805....

 to Prince William Sound in 1791, then sailed to Nootka Sound. A scientific expedition in the manner of James Cook, Malaspina's scientists studied the Tlingit and Nuu-chah-nulth peoples before returning to Mexico. Another Spanish explorer, Jacinto Caamaño
Jacinto Caamaño
Jacinto Caamaño Moraleja was the leader of the last great Spanish exploration of Alaska and the Coast of British Columbia. He was a Knight of the Military Order of Calatrava. Born in Madrid, he came from an aristocratic Galician family, whose homestead was near Santiago de Compostela...

, sailed the ship Aranzazu to Nootka Sound in May 1792. There he met Quadra, who was in command of the Spanish settlement and Fort San Miguel
Fort San Miguel
For Angola fort, see Fortaleza de São MiguelFort San Miguel was a Spanish fortification at Friendly Cove in Nootka Sound , Vancouver Island....

. Quadra sent Caamaño north, to carefully explore the coast between Vancouver Island and Bucareli Bay
Bucareli Bay
Bucareli Bay is a bay in the Alexander Archipelago, in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is located off the western coast of Prince of Wales Island, between Baker Island and Suemez Island. To the east it connects to various waterways, such as San Alberto Bay. To the west it...

, Alaska. Various Spanish maps, including Caamaño's, were given to George Vancouver in 1792, as the Spanish and British worked together to chart the complex coastline.

From 1792 to 1794, George Vancouver
George Vancouver
Captain George Vancouver RN was an English officer of the British Royal Navy, best known for his 1791-95 expedition, which explored and charted North America's northwestern Pacific Coast regions, including the coasts of contemporary Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon...

 charted the Pacific Northwest on behalf of Great Britain, including the Strait of Georgia, the bays and inlets of Puget Sound
Puget Sound
Puget Sound is a sound in the U.S. state of Washington. It is a complex estuarine system of interconnected marine waterways and basins, with one major and one minor connection to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean — Admiralty Inlet being the major connection and...

, and the Johnstone Strait
Johnstone Strait
Johnstone Strait is a channel along the north east coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Opposite the Vancouver Island coast, running north to south, are Hanson Island, West Cracroft Island, the mainland British Columbia Coast, Hardwick Island, West Thurlow Island and East...

Queen Charlotte Strait
Queen Charlotte Strait
Queen Charlotte Strait is a strait between Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It connects Queen Charlotte Sound with Johnstone Strait, Discovery Passage and then to the Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound...

 and much of the rest of the British Columbia Coast
British Columbia Coast
The British Columbia Coast or BC Coast is Canada's western continental coastline on the Pacific Ocean. The usage is synonymous with the term West Coast of Canada....

 and southeast Alaska shorelines. For him the city of Vancouver and Vancouver Island are named, as well as Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver is a city on the north bank of the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington. Incorporated in 1857, it is the fourth largest city in the state with a 2010 census population of 161,791 as of April 1, 2010...

. From Mexico, Malaspina dispatched last Spanish exploration expedition in the Pacific Northwest, under Dionisio Alcalá Galiano
Dionisio Alcalá Galiano
Dionisio Alcalá Galiano was a Spanish naval officer, cartographer, and explorer. He mapped various coastlines in Europe and the Americas with unprecedented accuracy, using new technology such as chronometers...

 and Cayentano Valdes
Cayetano Valdés y Flores
Cayetano Valdés y Flores Bazán was a commander of the Spanish Navy, explorer, and captain general who served in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, fighting for both sides at different times due to the changing fortunes of Spain in the conflict...

 aboard the schooners Sutil
Sutil (ship)
The Sutil was a brig-rigged schooner built in 1791 by the Spanish Navy at San Blas, New Spain. It was nearly identical to the Mexicana, also built at San Blas in 1791...

and Mexicana
Mexicana (ship)
The Mexicana was a topsail schooner built in 1791 by the Spanish Navy at San Blas, New Spain. It was nearly identical to the Sutil, also built at San Blas later in 1791...

. They met Vancouver in the Strait of Georgia on June 21, 1792. Vancouver had explored Puget Sound just previously. The Spanish explorers knew of Admiralty Inlet and the unexplored region to the south, but decided to sail north. They discovered and entered the Fraser River
Fraser River
The Fraser River is the longest river within British Columbia, Canada, rising at Fraser Pass near Mount Robson in the Rocky Mountains and flowing for , into the Strait of Georgia at the city of Vancouver. It is the tenth longest river in Canada...

 shortly before meeting Vancouver. After sharing maps and agreeing to cooperate, Galiano, Valdés, and Vancouver sailed north to Desolation Sound
Desolation Sound
Desolation Sound is a deep water sound in British Columbia, Canada.It is a favourite destination for boaters because of its spectacular fjords, mountains, and wildlife. It is part of the Sunshine Coast....

 and the Discovery Islands
Discovery Islands
The Discovery Islands are the islands in the Discovery Passage between Vancouver Island and the mainland in British Columbia. These islands are sometimes considered to be part of the Northern Gulf Islands....

, charting the coastline together. They passed through Johnstone Strait and returned to Nootka Sound. As a result, the Spanish explorers, who had set out from Nootka, became the first Europeans to circumnavigate Vancouver Island. Vancouver himself had entered the Strait of Juan de Fuca directly without going to Nootka first, so had not sailed completely around the island.

In 1786 Jean-François de La Pérouse
Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse
Jean François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse was a French Navy officer and explorer whose expedition vanished in Oceania.-Early career:...

, representing France, sailed to the Queen Charlotte Islands after visiting Nootka Sound but any possible French claims to this region were lost when La Pérouse and his men and journals were lost in a shipwreck near Australia. Maritime fur trade
Maritime Fur Trade
The Maritime Fur Trade was a ship-based fur trade system that focused on acquiring furs of sea otters and other animals from the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast and natives of Alaska. The furs were mostly sold in China in exchange for tea, silks, porcelain, and other Chinese...

r Charles William Barkley
Charles William Barkley
Charles William Barkley was a ship captain and maritime fur trader. He was born in Hertford, England, son of Charles Barkley....

 also visited the area in the Imperial Eagle
Imperial Eagle (ship)
The Imperial Eagle was a 400 ton burthen British merchant ship that sailed on maritime fur trading ventures in the late 1780s. It was under the command of Captain Charles William Barkley until confiscated in India. The ship, Loudoun, was a decommissioned East Indiaman...

, a British ship falsely flying the flag of the Austrian Empire
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

. American merchant sea-captain Robert Gray traded along the coast and discovered the mouth of the Columbia River
Columbia River
The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, flows northwest and then south into the U.S. state of Washington, then turns west to form most of the border between Washington and the state...

.

Boundary disputes

Initial formal claims to the region were asserted by Spain, based on the Treaty of Tordesillas
Treaty of Tordesillas
The Treaty of Tordesillas , signed at Tordesillas , , divided the newly discovered lands outside Europe between Spain and Portugal along a meridian 370 leagueswest of the Cape Verde islands...

 which, in the Spanish Empire's interpretation, endowed that empire with the Pacific Ocean as a "Spanish lake". Russian Maritime Fur Trade
Maritime Fur Trade
The Maritime Fur Trade was a ship-based fur trade system that focused on acquiring furs of sea otters and other animals from the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast and natives of Alaska. The furs were mostly sold in China in exchange for tea, silks, porcelain, and other Chinese...

 activity, through the Russian-America Company, extending from the farther side of the Pacific to 'Russian America' prompted Spain to send expeditions north to assert Spanish ownership, while at the same time British claims were made and advanced by Captain James Cook and subsequent expeditions by George Vancouver. Potential French, Austrian and Portuguese claims were never advanced. As of the Nootka Convention
Nootka Convention
The Nootka Conventions were a series of three agreements between the Kingdom of Spain and the Kingdom of Great Britain, signed in the 1790s which averted a war between the two empires over overlapping claims to portions of the Pacific Northwest coast of North America.The claims of Spain dated back...

s, the last in 1794, Spain gave up its exclusive a priori claims and agreed to share the region with the other Powers
Historical powers
Historical powers include great powers, nations, or empires in history.The term "Great power" represent the most important world powers. In a modern context, recognised great powers came about first in Europe during the post-Napoleonic era. The formalization of the division between small powers and...

, giving up its garrison at Nootka Sound
Nootka Sound
Nootka Sound is a complex inlet or sound of the Pacific Ocean on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Historically also known as King George's Sound, as a strait it separates Vancouver Island and Nootka Island.-History:The inlet is part of the...

 in the process.

The United States later established a claim following the exploration of the region by the Lewis and Clark Expedition
Lewis and Clark Expedition
The Lewis and Clark Expedition, or ″Corps of Discovery Expedition" was the first transcontinental expedition to the Pacific Coast by the United States. Commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson and led by two Virginia-born veterans of Indian wars in the Ohio Valley, Meriwether Lewis and William...

, partly through the negotiation of former Spanish claims north of the Oregon-California boundary. From the 1810s until the 1840s, modern-day Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and western Montana, along with most of British Columbia, were part of what the United States called the Oregon Country
Oregon Country
The Oregon Country was a predominantly American term referring to a disputed ownership region of the Pacific Northwest of North America. The region was occupied by British and French Canadian fur traders from before 1810, and American settlers from the mid-1830s, with its coastal areas north from...

 and Britain called the Columbia District
Columbia District
The Columbia District was a fur trading district in the Pacific Northwest region of British North America in the 19th century. It was explored by the North West Company between 1793 and 1811, and established as an operating fur district around 1810...

. This region was jointly claimed by the United States and Great Britain after the Treaty of 1818
Treaty of 1818
The Convention respecting fisheries, boundary and the restoration of slaves between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, also known as the London Convention, Anglo-American Convention of 1818, Convention of 1818, or simply the Treaty of 1818, was a...

, which established a condominium of interests in the region in lieu of a settlement. In 1840 American Charles Wilkes
Charles Wilkes
Charles Wilkes was an American naval officer and explorer. He led the United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842 and commanded the ship in the Trent Affair during the American Civil War...

 explored in the area. John McLoughlin
John McLoughlin
Dr. John McLoughlin, baptized Jean-Baptiste McLoughlin, was the Chief Factor of the Columbia Fur District of the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Vancouver. He was later known as the "Father of Oregon" for his role in assisting the American cause in the Oregon Country in the Pacific Northwest...

, Chief Factor of the Hudson's Bay Company
Hudson's Bay Company
The Hudson's Bay Company , abbreviated HBC, or "The Bay" is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and one of the oldest in the world. A fur trading business for much of its existence, today Hudson's Bay Company owns and operates retail stores throughout Canada...

, headquartered at Fort Vancouver
Fort Vancouver
Fort Vancouver was a 19th century fur trading outpost along the Columbia River that served as the headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company in the company's Columbia District...

, was the de facto local political authority for most of this time.

This arrangement ended as U.S. settlement grew and President James K. Polk
James K. Polk
James Knox Polk was the 11th President of the United States . Polk was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He later lived in and represented Tennessee. A Democrat, Polk served as the 17th Speaker of the House of Representatives and the 12th Governor of Tennessee...

 was elected on a platform of calling for annexation of the entire Oregon Country and of Texas. After his election, supporters coined the famous slogan "Fifty-four Forty or Fight", referring to 54°40' north latitude—the northward limit of the region. After a war scare with the United Kingdom, the Oregon boundary dispute
Oregon boundary dispute
The Oregon boundary dispute, or the Oregon Question, arose as a result of competing British and American claims to the Pacific Northwest of North America in the first half of the 19th century. Both the United Kingdom and the United States had territorial and commercial aspirations in the region...

 was settled in the 1846 Oregon Treaty
Oregon Treaty
The Oregon Treaty is a treaty between the United Kingdom and the United States that was signed on June 15, 1846, in Washington, D.C. The treaty brought an end to the Oregon boundary dispute by settling competing American and British claims to the Oregon Country, which had been jointly occupied by...

, partitioning the region along the 49th parallel
49th parallel north
The 49th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 49 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and resolving most but not all of the border disputes (see Pig War
Pig War
The Pig War was a confrontation in 1859 between the United States and the British Empire over the boundary between the US and British North America. The territory in dispute was the San Juan Islands, which lie between Vancouver Island and the North American mainland...

).

The mainland territory north of the 49th parallel
49th parallel north
The 49th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 49 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

 remained unincorporated until 1858, when a mass influx of Americans and others during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush
Fraser Canyon Gold Rush
The Fraser Canyon Gold Rush, began in 1858 after gold was discovered on the Thompson River in British Columbia at its confluence with the Nicoamen River. This was a few miles upstream from the Thompson's confluence with the Fraser River at present-day Lytton...

 forced the hand of Colony of Vancouver Island
Colony of Vancouver Island
The Colony of Vancouver Island , was a crown colony of British North America from 1849 to 1866, after which it was united with British Columbia. The united colony joined the Dominion of Canada through Confederation in 1871...

's Governor James Douglas
James Douglas (Governor)
Sir James Douglas KCB was a company fur-trader and a British colonial governor on Vancouver Island in northwestern North America, particularly in what is now British Columbia. Douglas worked for the North West Company, and later for the Hudson's Bay Company becoming a high-ranking company officer...

, who declared the mainland a Crown Colony
Crown colony
A Crown colony, also known in the 17th century as royal colony, was a type of colonial administration of the English and later British Empire....

, although official ratification of his unilateral action was several months in coming. The two colonies were amalgamated in 1866 to cut costs, and joined the Dominion of Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 in 1871. The U.S. portion became the Oregon Territory
Oregon Territory
The Territory of Oregon was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from August 14, 1848, until February 14, 1859, when the southwestern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Oregon. Originally claimed by several countries , the region was...

 in 1848; it was later subdivided into territories that were eventually admitted as states, the first of these being Oregon itself in 1859. See Washington Territory
Washington Territory
The Territory of Washington was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from February 8, 1853, until November 11, 1889, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Washington....

.

American expansionist pressure on British Columbia persisted after the colony became a province of Canada, even though Americans living in the province did not harbor annexationist
Annexationist movements of Canada
From the Independence of the United States of America until today, various annexationist movements in Canada have campaigned in favour of U.S. annexation of parts or all of Canada...

 inclinations. The Fenian Brotherhood
Fenian Brotherhood
The Fenian Brotherhood was an Irish republican organization founded in the United States in 1858 by John O'Mahony and Michael Doheny. It was a precursor to Clan na Gael, a sister organization to the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Members were commonly known as "Fenians"...

 openly organized and drilled in Washington, particularly in the 1870s and the 1880s, though no cross-border attacks were experienced. During the Alaska Boundary Dispute
Alaska Boundary Dispute
The Alaska boundary dispute was a territorial dispute between the United States and Canada . It was resolved by arbitration in 1903. The dispute had been going on between the Russian and British Empires since 1821, and was inherited by the United States as a consequence of the Alaska Purchase in...

, U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt threatened to invade and annex British Columbia if Britain would not yield on the question of the Yukon
Yukon
Yukon is the westernmost and smallest of Canada's three federal territories. It was named after the Yukon River. The word Yukon means "Great River" in Gwich’in....

 ports. In more recent times, during the so-called "Salmon War" of the 1990s, Washington Senator Slade Gorton
Slade Gorton
Thomas Slade Gorton III is an American politician. A Republican, he was a U.S. senator from Washington state from 1981 to 1987, and from 1989 to 2001. He held both of the state's Senate seats in his career and was narrowly defeated for reelection twice as an incumbent: in 1986 by Brock Adams, and...

 called for the U.S. Navy to "force" the Inside Passage
Inside Passage
The Inside Passage is a coastal route for oceangoing vessels along a network of passages which weave through the islands on the Pacific coast of North America. The route extends from southeastern Alaska, in the United States, through western British Columbia, in Canada, to northwestern Washington...

, even though it is not an official international waterway. Disputes between British Columbia and Alaska over the Dixon Entrance
Dixon Entrance
The Dixon Entrance is a strait about long and wide in the Pacific Ocean at the International Boundary between the U.S. state of Alaska and the province of British Columbia in Canada. It was named by Joseph Banks for Captain George Dixon, a Royal Navy officer, fur trader, and explorer, who...

 of the Hecate Strait
Hecate Strait
Hecate Strait is a wide but shallow strait between the Haida Gwaii and the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It merges with Queen Charlotte Sound to the south and Dixon Entrance to the north...

 between Prince Rupert
Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Prince Rupert is a port city in the province of British Columbia, Canada. It is the land, air, and water transportation hub of British Columbia's North Coast, and home to some 12,815 people .-History:...

 and the Queen Charlotte Islands
Queen Charlotte Islands
Haida Gwaii , formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands, is an archipelago on the North Coast of British Columbia, Canada. Haida Gwaii consists of two main islands: Graham Island in the north, and Moresby Island in the south, along with approximately 150 smaller islands with a total landmass of...

 have not been resolved.

Geology

The Northwest is still highly geologically active, with both active volcano
Volcano
2. Bedrock3. Conduit 4. Base5. Sill6. Dike7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano8. Flank| 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano10. Throat11. Parasitic cone12. Lava flow13. Vent14. Crater15...

es and geologic faults.

Active volcanoes in the region include Mount Garibaldi
Mount Garibaldi
Mount Garibaldi is a potentially active stratovolcano in the Sea to Sky Country of British Columbia, north of Vancouver, Canada. Located in the southernmost Coast Mountains, it is one of the most recognized peaks in the South Coast region, as well as British Columbia's best known volcano...

, Mount Baker
Mount Baker
Mount Baker , also known as Koma Kulshan or simply Kulshan, is an active glaciated andesitic stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc and the North Cascades of Washington State in the United States. It is the second-most active volcano in the range after Mount Saint Helens...

, Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier is a massive stratovolcano located southeast of Seattle in the state of Washington, United States. It is the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States and the Cascade Volcanic Arc, with a summit elevation of . Mt. Rainier is considered one of the most...

, Mount Saint Helens, which erupted in 1980, Mount Hood
Mount Hood
Mount Hood, called Wy'east by the Multnomah tribe, is a stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc of northern Oregon. It was formed by a subduction zone and rests in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States...

, Mount Jefferson
Mount Jefferson (Oregon)
Mount Jefferson is a stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc, part of the Cascade Range, and is the second highest mountain in Oregon. Situated in the far northeastern corner of Linn County on the Jefferson County line, about east of Corvallis, Mount Jefferson is in a rugged wilderness and is...

, and Mount Shasta
Mount Shasta
Mount Shasta is located at the southern end of the Cascade Range in Siskiyou County, California and at is the second highest peak in the Cascades and the fifth highest in California...

.

Geography

The Pacific Northwest is a diverse geographic region, dominated by several mountain ranges, including the Coast Mountains
Coast Mountains
The Coast Mountains are a major mountain range, in the Pacific Coast Ranges, of western North America, extending from southwestern Yukon through the Alaska Panhandle and virtually all of the Coast of British Columbia. They are so-named because of their proximity to the sea coast, and are often...

, the Cascade Range
Cascade Range
The Cascade Range is a major mountain range of western North America, extending from southern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to Northern California. It includes both non-volcanic mountains, such as the North Cascades, and the notable volcanoes known as the High Cascades...

, the Olympic Mountains
Olympic Mountains
The Olympic Mountains is a mountain range on the Olympic Peninsula of western Washington in the United States. The mountains, part of the Pacific Coast Ranges, are not especially high - Mount Olympus is the highest at - but the western slopes of the Olympics rise directly out of the Pacific...

, the Columbia Mountains
Columbia Mountains
The Columbia Mountains are a group of mountain ranges located in southeastern British Columbia, and partially in Montana, Idaho and Washington. The mountain range covers 135,952 km² . The range is bounded by the Rocky Mountain Trench on the east, and the Kootenay River on the south; their...

, and the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

. The highest peak in the Pacific Northwest is Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier is a massive stratovolcano located southeast of Seattle in the state of Washington, United States. It is the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States and the Cascade Volcanic Arc, with a summit elevation of . Mt. Rainier is considered one of the most...

, in the Washington Cascades, at 14410 feet (4,392 m). Immediately inland from the Cascade Range there is a broad plateau, narrowing progressively northwards, only a few miles wide in Canada, and also getting higher. In the US this region, semi-arid and often completely arid, is known as the Columbia Plateau
Columbia Plateau
The Columbia Plateau is a geologic and geographic region that lies across parts of the U.S. states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. It is a wide flood basalt plateau between the Cascade Range and the Rocky Mountains, cut through by the Columbia River...

, while in British Columbia it is the Interior Plateau
Interior Plateau
The Interior Plateau comprises a large region of central British Columbia, and lies between the Cariboo and Monashee Mountains on the east, and the Hazelton Mountains, Coast Mountains and Cascade Range on the west. The continuation of the plateau into the United States is known there as the...

, also called the Fraser Plateau. The Columbia Plateau was the scene of massive ice-age floods, as a consequence there are many coulees, canyons, and plateaus. Much of the plateau, especially in eastern Washington, is irrigated farmland
Arable land
In geography and agriculture, arable land is land that can be used for growing crops. It includes all land under temporary crops , temporary meadows for mowing or pasture, land under market and kitchen gardens and land temporarily fallow...

. The Columbia River
Columbia River
The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, flows northwest and then south into the U.S. state of Washington, then turns west to form most of the border between Washington and the state...

 cuts a deep and wide gorge around the rim of the Columbia Plateau, and through the Cascade Range on its way to the Pacific Ocean. After the Mississippi, more water flows through the Columbia than any other river in the lower 48 states.

Because many areas have plentiful rainfall, the Pacific Northwest has some of North America's most lush and extensive forests, and at one time, the largest trees in the world. Coastal forests in some areas are classified as temperate rain forest
Temperate rain forest
Temperate rainforests are coniferous or broadleaf forests that occur in the temperate zone and receive high rainfall.-Definition:For temperate rain forests of North America, Alaback's definition is widely recognized:-Global distribution:...

.

The major cities of Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

, Portland
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

, Seattle, and Tacoma
Tacoma, Washington
Tacoma is a mid-sized urban port city and the county seat of Pierce County, Washington, United States. The city is on Washington's Puget Sound, southwest of Seattle, northeast of the state capital, Olympia, and northwest of Mount Rainier National Park. The population was 198,397, according to...

 all began as seaports supporting the logging, mining, and farming industries of the region, but have developed into major technological and industrial centers (such as the Silicon Forest
Silicon Forest
Silicon Forest is a nickname for the cluster of high-tech companies located in the Portland metropolitan area in the U.S. states of Oregon and Southwest Washington, and most frequently refers to the industrial corridor between Beaverton and Hillsboro in northwest Oregon.The name is similar to...

), which benefit from their location on the Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim
The Pacific Rim refers to places around the edge of the Pacific Ocean. The term "Pacific Basin" includes the Pacific Rim and islands in the Pacific Ocean...

.

If defined as Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, the Pacific Northwest has four US National Parks: Crater Lake
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park is a United States National Park located in southern Oregon. Established in 1902, Crater Lake National Park is the sixth oldest national park in the United States and the only one in the state of Oregon...

 in Oregon, and Olympic
Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park is located in the U.S. state of Washington, in the Olympic Peninsula. The park can be divided into four basic regions: the Pacific coastline, alpine areas, the west side temperate rainforest and the forests of the drier east side. U.S...

, Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park is a United States National Park located in southeast Pierce County and northeast Lewis County in Washington state. It was one of the US's earliest National Parks, having been established on March 2, 1899 as the fifth national park in the United States. The park contains...

, and North Cascades
North Cascades National Park
North Cascades National Park is a U.S. National Park located in the state of Washington. The park is the largest of the three National Park Service units that comprise the North Cascades National Park Service Complex. Several national wilderness areas and British Columbia parkland adjoin the...

 in Washington. The Redwood National and State Parks
Redwood National and State Parks
The Redwood National and State Parks are located in the United States, along the coast of northern California. Comprising Redwood National Park and California's Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks , the combined RNSP contain...

 are in California, just south of the Oregon border. Glacier Bay National Park
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
Glacier Bay National Park is a national park in Alaska. The area around Glacier Bay in southeastern Alaska was first proclaimed a U.S. National Monument on February 25, 1925. It was changed to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve on Dec. 2, 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation...

 is located in southeast Alaska, as is Wrangell–St. Elias National Park. Other outstanding natural features include the Oregon Coast, the Columbia River Gorge
Columbia River Gorge
The Columbia River Gorge is a canyon of the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Up to deep, the canyon stretches for over as the river winds westward through the Cascade Range forming the boundary between the State of Washington to the north and Oregon to the south...

, the Columbia River
Columbia River
The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, flows northwest and then south into the U.S. state of Washington, then turns west to form most of the border between Washington and the state...

, Mount St. Helens
Mount St. Helens
Mount St. Helens is an active stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is south of Seattle, Washington and northeast of Portland, Oregon. Mount St. Helens takes its English name from the British diplomat Lord St Helens, a...

, and Hells Canyon
Hells Canyon
Hells Canyon is a wide canyon located along the border of eastern Oregon and western Idaho in the United States. It is North America's deepest river gorge at and part of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area....

. There are several Canadian National Parks in the Pacific Northwest, including Pacific Rim National Park on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Mount Revelstoke National Park
Mount Revelstoke National Park
Mount Revelstoke National Park is located adjacent to the city of Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada. The park is relatively small for a national park, covering 260 square kilometres. It is located in the Selkirk Mountains and was founded in 1914...

 and Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park (Canada)
Glacier National Park is one of seven national parks in British Columbia, and is part of a system of 43 parks and park reserves across Canada. It protects a portion of the Columbia Mountains. It also contains the Rogers Pass National Historic Site, designated for its importance in the construction...

 in the Selkirk Range alongside Rogers Pass
Rogers Pass
Rogers Pass is a high mountain pass through the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia used by the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Trans-Canada Highway. The pass is a shortcut across the "Big Bend" of the Columbia River from Revelstoke on the west to Donald, near Golden, on the east...

, Kootenay National Park
Kootenay National Park
Kootenay National Park is located in southeastern British Columbia Canada covering in the Canadian Rockies and forms part of a World Heritage Site. The park ranges in elevation from at the south-west park entrance to at Deltaform Mountain...

 and Yoho National Park
Yoho National Park
Yoho National Park is located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains along the western slope of the Continental Divide in southeastern British Columbia. Yoho NP is bordered by Kootenay National Park on the southern side and Banff National Park on the eastern side...

 on the British Columbia flank of the Rockies, Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve
Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site
Ninstints or SGang Gwaay Llnaagay on Anthony Island, in located in the southernmost part of Gwaii Haanas, just west of Kunghit Island, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981...

 in the Queen Charlotte Islands, and the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve
Gulf Islands National Park Reserve
Gulf Islands National Park Reserve is the 40th National Park in a system of 43 parks and park reserves across Canada. Located in British Columbia's Gulf Islands, it covers 33 square kilometers over 16 islands. It also includes numerous islets and reef areas....

 in the Strait of Georgia. Although unprotected by national parks and only a handful of provincial parks, the south-central Coast Mountains in British Columbia contain the five largest mid-latitude icefields in the world.

Climate

The Pacific Northwest experiences a wide variety of climates. An Oceanic climate
Oceanic climate
An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...

 ("marine west coast climate") occurs in most coastal areas, typically between the ocean and high mountain ranges. An Alpine climate
Alpine climate
Alpine climate is the average weather for a region above the tree line. This climate is also referred to as mountain climate or highland climate....

 dominates in the high mountains. Semi-arid
Semi-arid
A semi-arid climate or steppe climate describes climatic regions that receive precipitation below potential evapotranspiration, but not extremely...

 and Arid
Arid
A region is said to be arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or even preventing the growth and development of plant and animal life...

 climates are found east of the higher mountains, especially in rainshadow areas. The Harney Basin
Harney Basin
The Harney Basin is a structural basin in southeastern Oregon in the United States at the northwestern corner of the Great Basin. One of the least populated areas of the contiguous United States, it is located largely in northern Harney County, bounded on the north and east by the Columbia Plateau,...

 of Oregon is an example of arid climate in the Pacific Northwest. Humid continental climates occur inland on windward sides, in places such as Revelstoke, British Columbia
Revelstoke, British Columbia
Revelstoke is a city in southeastern British Columbia, Canada. It is located east of Vancouver, and west of Calgary, Alberta. The city is situated on the banks of the Columbia River just south of the Revelstoke Dam and near its confluence with the Illecillewaet River...

. A Subarctic climate
Subarctic climate
The subarctic climate is a climate characterized by long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool to mild summers. It is found on large landmasses, away from the moderating effects of an ocean, generally at latitudes from 50° to 70°N poleward of the humid continental climates...

 can be found farther north, especially in Yukon and Alaska.

Under the Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

, a cool summer version of the dry-summer subtropical (Csb) designation, typically referred to as "Mediterranean", is assigned to many areas of the Pacific Northwest as far north as southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands
Gulf Islands
The Gulf Islands are the islands in the Strait of Georgia , between Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia, Canada....

, including cities such as Victoria, British Columbia
Victoria, British Columbia
Victoria is the capital city of British Columbia, Canada and is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off Canada's Pacific coast. The city has a population of about 78,000 within the metropolitan area of Greater Victoria, which has a population of 360,063, the 15th most populous Canadian...

, Seattle, and Portland. These zones are not associated with a typical Mediterranean climate, and would be classified as Temperate Oceanic (Cfb), except dry-summer patterns typical to the Pacific Northwest meet Koeppen's minimum Cs thresholds. Other climate classification systems, such as Trewartha, place these areas firmly in the Oceanic zone (Do).

Ecoregions

Much of the Pacific Northwest is forest. The Georgia Strait–Puget Sound
Puget Sound
Puget Sound is a sound in the U.S. state of Washington. It is a complex estuarine system of interconnected marine waterways and basins, with one major and one minor connection to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean — Admiralty Inlet being the major connection and...

 basin is shared between British Columbia and Washington, and the Pacific temperate rain forests
Pacific temperate rain forests
The Pacific temperate rain forests ecoregion of North America is the largest temperate rain forest ecoregion on the planet as defined by the World Wildlife Fund...

 ecoregion, which is the largest of the world's temperate rain forest
Temperate rain forest
Temperate rainforests are coniferous or broadleaf forests that occur in the temperate zone and receive high rainfall.-Definition:For temperate rain forests of North America, Alaback's definition is widely recognized:-Global distribution:...

 ecozone
Ecozone
An ecozone is the broadest biogeographic division of the Earth's land surface, based on distributional patterns of terrestrial organisms.Ecozones delineate large areas of the Earth's surface within which organisms have been evolving in relative isolation over long periods of time, separated from...

s in the system created by the World Wildlife Fund, stretches along the coast from Alaska to California. The dryland area inland from the Cascade Range
Cascade Range
The Cascade Range is a major mountain range of western North America, extending from southern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to Northern California. It includes both non-volcanic mountains, such as the North Cascades, and the notable volcanoes known as the High Cascades...

 and Coast Mountains
Coast Mountains
The Coast Mountains are a major mountain range, in the Pacific Coast Ranges, of western North America, extending from southwestern Yukon through the Alaska Panhandle and virtually all of the Coast of British Columbia. They are so-named because of their proximity to the sea coast, and are often...

 is very different from the terrain and climate of the Coast, and comprises the Columbia, Fraser and Thompson Plateaus and mountain ranges contained within them. The interior regions' climates are a northward extension of the Great Basin Desert
Great Basin Desert
The Great Basin Desert is an area of nearctic high deserts across parts of Nevada, California, and Utah that extends into the Colorado River watershed , but which is mostly a portion of the central Nevada desert basins of the Great Basin.It along with the Escalante Desert, Mohave Desert, the...

 which spans the Great Basin farther south, although by their northern reaches dryland and desert areas verge with boreal forest and various alpine flora regimes
Alpine tundra
Alpine tundra is a natural region that does not contain trees because it is at high altitude. Alpine tundra is distinguished from arctic tundra, because alpine soils are generally better drained than arctic soils...

.

Population

Most of the population of the Pacific Northwest is concentrated in the Vancouver–Seattle–Portland corridor. This area is sometimes seen as a megacity
Megacity
A megacity is usually defined as a metropolitan area with a total population in excess of 10 million people. Some definitions also set a minimum level for population density . A megacity can be a single metropolitan area or two or more metropolitan areas that converge. The terms conurbation,...

 (also known as a conurbation
Conurbation
A conurbation is a region comprising a number of cities, large towns, and other urban areas that, through population growth and physical expansion, have merged to form one continuous urban and industrially developed area...

, an agglomeration
Agglomeration
In the study of human settlements, an urban agglomeration is an extended city or town area comprising the built-up area of a central place and any suburbs linked by continuous urban area. In France, INSEE the French Statistical Institute, translate it as "Unité urbaine" which means continuous...

, or a megalopolis
Megalopolis (term)
A megalopolis is typically defined as a chain of roughly adjacent metropolitan areas. The term was used by Oswald Spengler in his 1918 book, The Decline of the West, and Lewis Mumford in his 1938 book, The Culture of Cities, which described it as the first stage in urban overdevelopment and...

). This "megacity" stretches along Interstate 5
Interstate 5
Interstate 5 is the main Interstate Highway on the West Coast of the United States, running largely parallel to the Pacific Ocean coastline from Canada to Mexico . It serves some of the largest cities on the U.S...

 in the states of Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

 and Washington and Hwy 99 in the province of British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

. As of 2004, the combined populations of the Greater Vancouver
Greater Vancouver
Greater Vancouver is the metropolitan area centred on the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, roughly coterminous with the Greater Vancouver Regional District, which is governed by a body known as Metro Vancouver...

/Lower Mainland
Lower Mainland
The Lower Mainland is a name commonly applied to the region surrounding and including Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. As of 2007, 2,524,113 people live in the region; sixteen of the province's thirty most populous municipalities are located there.While the term Lower Mainland has been...

 area, the Seattle metropolitan area
Seattle metropolitan area
The Seattle metropolitan area in the US state of Washington includes the city of Seattle, King County, Snohomish County, and Pierce County within the Puget Sound region. The U.S...

 and the Portland metropolitan area
Portland metropolitan area
The Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA Metropolitan Statistical Area , also known as the Portland metropolitan area or Greater Portland, is an urban area in the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington centered around the city of Portland, Oregon. The U.S...

 totaled almost nine million people.

Largest cities by population in the Pacific Northwest

City State/Province Population Metropolitan Area
Seattle  Washington  608,660 3,439,809
Portland
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

 
Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

 
583,776 2,226,009
Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

 
British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

 
578,041 2,116,581
Surrey
Surrey, British Columbia
Surrey is a city in the province of British Columbia, Canada. It is a member municipality of Metro Vancouver, the governing body of the Greater Vancouver Regional District...

 
British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

 
394,976
Spokane
Spokane, Washington
Spokane is a city located in the Northwestern United States in the state of Washington. It is the largest city of Spokane County of which it is also the county seat, and the metropolitan center of the Inland Northwest region...

 
Washington  208,916 471,221
Boise
Boise, Idaho
Boise is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Idaho, as well as the county seat of Ada County. Located on the Boise River, it anchors the Boise City-Nampa metropolitan area and is the largest city between Salt Lake City, Utah and Portland, Oregon.As of the 2010 Census Bureau,...

 
Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

 
205,671 616,561
Tacoma
Tacoma, Washington
Tacoma is a mid-sized urban port city and the county seat of Pierce County, Washington, United States. The city is on Washington's Puget Sound, southwest of Seattle, northeast of the state capital, Olympia, and northwest of Mount Rainier National Park. The population was 198,397, according to...

 
Washington  198,397
Tri-Cities
Tri-Cities, Washington
The Tri-Cities is a mid-sized metropolitan area in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Washington, consisting of three neighboring cities: Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland. The cities are located at the confluence of the Yakima, Snake, and Columbia rivers in the semi-arid region of...

 
Washington  181,756 253,340
Vancouver
Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver is a city on the north bank of the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington. Incorporated in 1857, it is the fourth largest city in the state with a 2010 census population of 161,791 as of April 1, 2010...

 
Washington  161,791
Eugene
Eugene, Oregon
Eugene is the second largest city in the U.S. state of Oregon and the seat of Lane County. It is located at the south end of the Willamette Valley, at the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette rivers, about east of the Oregon Coast.As of the 2010 U.S...

 
Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

 
156,185 351,715
Salem
Salem, Oregon
Salem is the capital of the U.S. state of Oregon, and the county seat of Marion County. It is located in the center of the Willamette Valley alongside the Willamette River, which runs north through the city. The river forms the boundary between Marion and Polk counties, and the city neighborhood...

 
Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

 
154,637 390,738
Abbotsford
Abbotsford, British Columbia
Abbotsford is a Canadian city located in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, adjacent to Greater Vancouver. It is the fifth largest municipality in British Columbia, home to 123,864 people . Its Census Metropolitan Area, which includes the District of Mission, is the 23rd largest in Canada,...

 
British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

 
123,864 159,020
Kelowna
Kelowna
Kelowna is a city on Okanagan Lake in the Okanagan Valley, in the southern interior of British Columbia, Canada. Its name derives from a Okanagan language term for "grizzly bear"...

 
British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

 
106,707 162,276
Gresham
Gresham, Oregon
- Demographics :As of the census of 2000, there were 90,205 people, 33,327 households, and 22,695 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,071.6 people per square mile . There were 35,309 housing units at an average density of 1,593.8 per square mile...

 
Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

 
105,594
Hillsboro
Hillsboro, Oregon
Hillsboro is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. state of Oregon and is the county seat of Washington County. Lying in the Tualatin Valley on the west side of the Portland metropolitan area, the city is home to many high-technology companies, such as Intel, that compose what has become known as the...

 
Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

 
91,611
Yakima
Yakima, Washington
Yakima is an American city southeast of Mount Rainier National Park and the county seat of Yakima County, Washington, United States, and the eighth largest city by population in the state itself. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 91,196 and a metropolitan population of...

 
Washington  91,067 243,231
Beaverton
Beaverton, Oregon
Beaverton is a city in Washington County, Oregon, United States, seven miles west of Portland in the Tualatin River Valley.As of the 2010 census, the population is 90,267. This makes it the second-largest city in the county and Oregon's sixth-largest city...

 
Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

 
89,803
Bellingham
Bellingham, Washington
Bellingham is the largest city in, and the county seat of, Whatcom County in the U.S. state of Washington. It is the twelfth-largest city in the state. Situated on Bellingham Bay, Bellingham is protected by Lummi Island, Portage Island, and the Lummi Peninsula, and opens onto the Strait of Georgia...

 
Washington  80,885
Nanaimo  British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

 
76,690
Victoria
Victoria, British Columbia
Victoria is the capital city of British Columbia, Canada and is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off Canada's Pacific coast. The city has a population of about 78,000 within the metropolitan area of Greater Victoria, which has a population of 360,063, the 15th most populous Canadian...

 
British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

 
78,057 330,088
Olympia
Olympia, Washington
Olympia is the capital city of the U.S. state of Washington and the county seat of Thurston County. It was incorporated on January 28, 1859. The population was 46,478 at the 2010 census...

 
Washington  46,478 252,264

Politics

A major divide in political opinion separates the region's greatly more populated urban core and rural areas west of the mountains from its less populated rural areas to their east and (in B.C.) north. The coastal areas—especially in the cities of Vancouver, Victoria, Bellingham, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Portland, Corvallis, Eugene, and Ashland—are some of the most politically liberal parts of North America, consistently supporting left-wing political candidates and causes by significant majorities, while the Interior and North tend to be more conservative and consistently support right-wing candidates and causes. It should be noted that the religious right
Christian right
Christian right is a term used predominantly in the United States to describe "right-wing" Christian political groups that are characterized by their strong support of socially conservative policies...

 has far less influence throughout the region than elsewhere in the U.S., although it is very strong in the Fraser Valley
Fraser Valley
The Fraser Valley is the section of the Fraser River basin in southwestern British Columbia downstream of the Fraser Canyon. The term is sometimes used to refer to the Fraser Canyon and stretches upstream from there, but in general British Columbian usage of the term refers to the stretch of the...

, and also that certain areas of the BC Interior, particularly the West Kootenay
West Kootenay
West Kootenay was a provincial electoral district in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It was formed along with East Kootenay from a redistribution of the old Kootenay riding, which was one of the province's original twelve.- Demographics :...

 and some areas of Vancouver Island and the BC Coast, have long histories of labour, environmental and social activism.

The urban core in addition to certain rural districts is known for supporting liberal political views, perceived as controversial in much of the rest of North America. Many jurisdictions have relatively liberal abortion laws, gender equality laws, legalized medical marijuana, and are supportive of LGBT rights, especially British Columbia, where gay marriage is legal, and Washington and Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

, where same-sex civil unions are legal. Due to the urban core's size and voting impact, their counties and states as a whole have generally followed their leads, often to the disgruntlement of the more conservative rural areas. Oregon was the first U.S. state to legalize physician-assisted suicide, with the Death with Dignity Act of 1994. Washington State was the second when I-1000 passed in 2008. Colegio Cesar Chavez
Colegio César Chávez
Colegio Cesar Chavez was a U.S. college-without-walls in Mount Angel, Oregon. The college was named after Mexican American civil rights activist César Chávez. Colegio was established in 1973 and closed its doors in 1983. Colegio was the first accredited, independent four-year Chicano college in...

, the first fully accredited Hispanic college in the U.S., was founded in Mount Angel, Oregon
Mount Angel, Oregon
Mt. Angel is a city in Marion County, Oregon, United States. It is northeast of Salem, Oregon on Oregon Route 214. The population was 3,121 at the 2000 census. Mt. Angel is part of the Salem Metropolitan Statistical Area. Portland State University Population Research Center estimate from 2008...

 in 1973. In 1986 King County, Washington
King County, Washington
King County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. The population in the 2010 census was 1,931,249. King is the most populous county in Washington, and the 14th most populous in the United States....

, of which Seattle is a part, rebranded itself in honor of Martin Luther King.

These areas, especially around Puget Sound, have a long history of political radicalism. The radical labor organizers called Wobblies were particularly strong there in the mines, lumber camps and shipyards. A number of anarchist communes sprung up there in the early 20th century (see Charles Pierce LeWarne's Utopias on Puget Sound, 1885-1915 for an excellent overview of this popular yet forgotten movement). Seattle is one of a handful of major cities in North America in which the populace engaged in a general strike (in 1919) and was the first major American city to elect a woman mayor, Bertha Knight Landes
Bertha Knight Landes
Bertha Knight Landes was the first female mayor of a major American city. Landes served as mayor of Seattle, Washington from 1926 to 1928. She was born in Ware, Massachusetts to Charles Sanford Knight and Cordelia Cutter. Her father, a veteran of the Union Army, moved the family to Worchester in...

 (in 1926). Socialist beliefs were once widespread (thanks in large part to the area's large numbers of Scandinavian immigrants) and the region has had a number of Socialist elected officials. So great was its influence that the U.S. Postmaster General, James Farley, jokingly toasted the "forty-seven states of the Union, and the Soviet of Washington", at a gala dinner in 1936 (although Farley denied ever saying it).

The region also has a long history of starting cooperative and communal businesses and organizations, including Group Health, REI
Rei
-People:*Rei, the Biblical term for those who retained their allegiance to King David when Adonijah rebelled, as mentioned in 1 Kings 1:8*Rei Hiroe*Rei Igarashi*Rei Kawakubo*Rei Kikukawa*Rei Mikamoto*Rei Munakata*Rei Okamoto*Rei Omishi...

, Puget Consumer's Co-ops and numerous granges and mutual aid societies. It also has a long history of publicly owned power and utilities, with many of the region's cities owning their own public utilities
Public utility
A public utility is an organization that maintains the infrastructure for a public service . Public utilities are subject to forms of public control and regulation ranging from local community-based groups to state-wide government monopolies...

. In part as a result, the region enjoys the lowest electrical power rates on the continent. In British Columbia, credit union
Credit union
A credit union is a cooperative financial institution that is owned and controlled by its members and operated for the purpose of promoting thrift, providing credit at competitive rates, and providing other financial services to its members...

s are common and popular cooperatively owned financial institutions.

Economy

  • Agriculture (fruit, potatoes, Tillamook cheese, dairy, wine
    Wine
    Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

    , vegetables, wheat
    Wheat
    Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

    , Cascade hops, barley
    Barley
    Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

    , hazelnut
    Hazelnut
    A hazelnut is the nut of the hazel and is also known as a cob nut or filbert nut according to species. A cob is roughly spherical to oval, about 15–25 mm long and 10–15 mm in diameter, with an outer fibrous husk surrounding a smooth shell. A filbert is more elongated, being about twice...

    s)
  • Aerospace (Boeing Commercial Airplane
    Boeing
    The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

     unit, Air Canada
    Air Canada
    Air Canada is the flag carrier and largest airline of Canada. The airline, founded in 1936, provides scheduled and charter air transport for passengers and cargo to 178 destinations worldwide. It is the world's tenth largest passenger airline by number of destinations, and the airline is a...

    , Alaska Air, CHC Helicopter
    CHC Helicopter
    CHC Helicopter is one of the world’s largest helicopter services company specializing in: Transportation to offshore oil and gas platforms; Civilian search and rescue services; Helicopter maintenance repair and overhaul...

    , Esterline)
  • Diversified (Jim Pattison Group
    Jim Pattison Group
    The Jim Pattison Group is Canada’s third largest privately held company and, in a recent survey by the Financial Post, The Jim Pattison Group was ranked as Canada’s 62nd largest company. Jim Pattison, a Vancouver-based entrepreneur is the Chairman, President, CEO, and sole owner of the Jim Pattison...

    , Finning
    Finning
    Finning International Inc. , headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, is the world's largest distributor of Caterpillar products and support services.-Profile:Finning International is Caterpillar's largest dealer and global business partner...

    , Washington Marine Group
    Washington Marine Group
    Seaspan Marine Corporation provides marine-related services to the Pacific Northwest. Within the Group are three shipyards, an intermodal ferry business, and a tug and barge transportation company that serves both domestic and international markets. Seaspan Marine Corporation is part of the...

    )
  • Entertainment industry (film and television, Lions Gate Entertainment
    Lions Gate Entertainment
    Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation is a North American entertainment company. The company was formed in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1997, and is headquartered in Santa Monica, California...

    , Lionsgate Studios
    Lionsgate Studios
    Lionsgate Studios was formerly a film studio. Acquired by Bosa Developments in 2006, the Studio is now named North Shore Studios. It is located in North Vancouver.- Some North Shore Studios' film and television productions :* Psych...

    , Lionsgate Television
    Lionsgate Television
    Lionsgate Television is the television division of Lions Gate Entertainment, an entertainment company. It is located in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.- Productions :The following is a partial list of the division's productions:...

    , Vancouver Film Studios
    Vancouver Film Studios
    Vancouver Film Studios is a film production centre located in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is the largest production facility outside of Los Angeles in North America and is operated by the McLean Group of Companies...

    , Bridge Studios)
  • Finance and Banking (RBC
    Royal Bank of Canada
    The Royal Bank of Canada or RBC Financial Group is the largest financial institution in Canada, as measured by deposits, revenues, and market capitalization. The bank serves seventeen million clients and has 80,100 employees worldwide. The company corporate headquarters are located in Toronto,...

    , HSBC Bank Canada
    HSBC Bank Canada
    HSBC Bank Canada, formerly the Hongkong Bank of Canada , is a bank in Canada that is part of British banking giant HSBC - one of the largest banking groups in the world. HSBC Canada is the seventh largest bank in Canada, with offices in every province except Prince Edward Island, and is the...

    , Russell Investments, Umpqua Holdings Corporation
    Umpqua Holdings Corporation
    Umpqua Holdings Corporation is a financial holding company based in downtown Portland, Oregon, United States. Headquarters are in the Umpqua Bank Plaza, formerly the headquarters of the Benj. Franklin Savings and Loan...

    )
  • Forestry (Weyerhaeuser
    Weyerhaeuser
    Weyerhaeuser is one of the largest pulp and paper companies in the world. It is the world's largest private sector owner of softwood timberland; and the second largest owner of United States timberland, behind Plum Creek Timber...

    , Canfor
    Canfor
    Canfor Corporation is a Canadian integrated forest products company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company traces its roots to the late 1930s, when brothers-in-law John G. Prentice and L.L.G. "Poldi" Bentley and their families left their native Austria just before the outbreak of World...

    , Tolko
    Tolko
    Tolko Industries Ltd. is a privately owned forest products company based in Vernon, British Columbia. It manufactures and markets specialty forest products to world markets. Tolko's products include lumber, plywood, veneer, oriented strand board, and kraft papers...

    , Boise Cascade
    Boise Cascade
    Boise Cascade Holdings, LLC, which uses the trade name Boise, is an American pulp and paper company, ranked as the thirteenth largest forest products company in the world....

    )
  • Fishing and canning (salmon, halibut, herring, geoducks and other clams, crab, sea-urchin)
  • High Technology and E-commerce (Microsoft
    Microsoft
    Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

    , Microsoft Canada
    Microsoft
    Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

    , Intel, F5 Networks
    F5 Networks
    F5 Networks, Inc. is a networking appliances company. It is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and has development and marketing offices worldwide. It originally manufactured and sold some of the very first load balancing products...

    , Nintendo of America
    Nintendo
    is a multinational corporation located in Kyoto, Japan. Founded on September 23, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it produced handmade hanafuda cards. By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as a cab company and a love hotel....

    , Nintendo of Canada
    Nintendo
    is a multinational corporation located in Kyoto, Japan. Founded on September 23, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it produced handmade hanafuda cards. By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as a cab company and a love hotel....

    , Tektronix
    Tektronix
    Tektronix, Inc. is an American company best known for its test and measurement equipment such as oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, and video and mobile test protocol equipment. In November 2007, Tektronix became a subsidiary of Danaher Corporation....

    , Amazon.com
    Amazon.com
    Amazon.com, Inc. is a multinational electronic commerce company headquartered in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is the world's largest online retailer. Amazon has separate websites for the following countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, and...

    , Expedia
    Expedia
    Expedia is an Internet-based travel website based in the US with localised sites for 21 countries...

    , Ballard Power Systems
    Ballard Power Systems
    Ballard Power Systems , located in Burnaby, British Columbia -- a suburb of Vancouver -- is a company that designs, develops, and manufactures zero emission proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells. This company has made a bus that uses only hydrogen fuel cells. These fuel cells combine hydrogen and...

    , MacDonald Dettwiler
    MacDonald Dettwiler
    MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. is a Richmond, British Columbia-based Canadian aerospace, information services and products company, employing over 3000 people throughout Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, under the MDA brand name....

    , EA Canada
    EA Canada
    EA Canada is a video game developer located in Burnaby, British Columbia. The development studio opened in January 1983 and is EA's largest and oldest studio...

    , Cymax Stores
    Cymax Stores
    Cymax Stores Inc. is a privately held Canadian online retailer headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia that primarily services the United States...

    , Micron Technology
    Micron Technology
    Micron Technology, Inc. is an American multinational corporation based in Boise, Idaho, USA, best known for producing many forms of semiconductor devices. This includes DRAM, SDRAM, flash memory, SSD and CMOS image sensing chips. Consumers may be more familiar with its consumer brand Crucial...

    )
  • Higher Education. There are several well-known colleges and universities in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Hydroelectric power (Grand Coulee Dam
    Grand Coulee Dam
    Grand Coulee Dam is a gravity dam on the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington built to produce hydroelectric power and provide irrigation. It was constructed between 1933 and 1942, originally with two power plants. A third power station was completed in 1974 to increase its energy...

    , Bonneville Dam
    Bonneville Dam
    Bonneville Lock and Dam consists of several run-of-the-river dam structures that together complete a span of the Columbia River between the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington at River Mile 146.1. The dam is located east of Portland, Oregon, in the Columbia River Gorge. The primary functions of...

    , Bridge River Power Project
    Bridge River Power Project
    The Bridge River Power Project is a hydroelectric power development in the Canadian province of British Columbia, located in the Lillooet Country between Whistler and Lillooet...

    )
  • Mass Retail (London Drugs
    London Drugs
    London Drugs is a chain of Canadian retail stores with headquarters in Richmond, British Columbia. Its primary focus is on pharmaceuticals, electronics, housewares and cosmetics, with a limited selection of grocery items...

    , Costco
    Costco
    Costco Wholesale Corporation is the largest membership warehouse club chain in the United States. it is the third largest retailer in the United States, where it originated, and the ninth largest in the world...

    , Blenz, Starbucks
    Starbucks
    Starbucks Corporation is an international coffee and coffeehouse chain based in Seattle, Washington. Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with 17,009 stores in 55 countries, including over 11,000 in the United States, over 1,000 in Canada, over 700 in the United Kingdom, and...

    , Tullys, Nordstrom
    Nordstrom
    Nordstrom, Inc. is an upscale department store chain in the United States, founded by John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin. Initially a shoe retailer, the company today also sells clothing, accessories, handbags, jewelry, cosmetics, fragrances, and in some locations, home furnishings...

    , Zumiez
    Zumiez
    Zumiez is a mall-based, specialty apparel store founded by Tom Campion and Gary Haakenson in 1978, and publicly traded since 2005. "Offering gear and clothing for the skater, snowboarder, and surfer," Zumiez sells action-sports related clothing and has created an image based around action sports...

    , Albertsons)
  • Microbrewing (BridgePort
    BridgePort Brewing Company
    BridgePort Brewing Company is an American brewery located in Portland, Oregon.-History:BridgePort was founded in 1984 by local winemakers Richard and Nancy Ponzi, and the brewery claims in their trademark to be "Oregon's Oldest Craft Brewery". The initial brewing facility, the Columbia River...

    , Deschutes
    Deschutes Brewery
    Deschutes is a craft brewery founded in 1988 in Bend, Oregon, USA. The company produces a range of beers which it currently distributes to eighteen states...

    , MacTarnahan's
    MacTarnahan's Brewing Company
    MacTarnahan's Brewing Company is an American craft brewery located in Portland, Oregon. Formerly called Portland Brewing Company, it was bought by Pyramid Brewery in 2004. Pyramid itself was bought by Magic Hat Brewing Company in 2008...

    , Nelson
    Nelson Brewing Company
    The Nelson Brewing Company is a brewery located in Nelson, British Columbia, not to be confused with The Nelson Brewing Company in Chatham, Kent, England. The original Nelson Brewing and Ice Company was founded in 1897 by Robert Reisterer. The brewery fell on hard times in the 1960s, but in 1992 a...

    , Ninkasi
    Ninkasi Brewing Company
    Ninkasi Brewing Company is a microbrewery based in Eugene, Oregon, United States. Named after the Sumerian goddess of beer, Ninkasi was founded in 2006 by Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge. The first beer they produced was Total Domination IPA. Other beer varieties include Tricerahops Double IPA,...

    , Pyramid, Widmer Brothers
    Widmer Brothers Brewery
    Widmer Brothers is an American brewery founded in 1984 in Portland, Oregon by brothers Kurt and Robert H. Widmer. It is the 9th largest brewing company in the US as part of the Craft Brewers Alliance, Inc.-Details:...

    , Yukon
    Yukon Brewing Company
    Yukon Brewing Company is a trademark owned by the Chilkoot Brewing Co. Ltd microbrewery located in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada. It makes eleven brews, seven of which are available outside the Yukon....

    )
  • Mining (Goldcorp
    Goldcorp
    Goldcorp Inc. is a gold producer headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Goldcorp has 16 operations and development projects in 6 countries across the Americas....

    , Cominco)
  • Outdoor Tourism (Alpine Skiing
    Alpine skiing
    Alpine skiing is the sport of sliding down snow-covered hills on skis with fixed-heel bindings. Alpine skiing can be contrasted with skiing using free-heel bindings: Ski mountaineering and nordic skiing – such as cross-country; ski jumping; and Telemark. In competitive alpine skiing races four...

    , Snowboarding
    Snowboarding
    Snowboarding is a sport that involves descending a slope that is covered with snow on a snowboard attached to a rider's feet using a special boot set onto mounted binding. The development of snowboarding was inspired by skateboarding, sledding, surfing and skiing. It was developed in the U.S.A...

    , Hiking
    Hiking
    Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain. People often hike on hiking trails. It is such a popular activity that there are numerous hiking organizations worldwide. The health benefits of different types of hiking...

    , Kayaking
    Kayaking
    Kayaking is the use of a kayak for moving across water. Kayaking and canoeing are also known as paddling. Kayaking is distinguished from canoeing by the sitting position of the paddler and the number of blades on the paddle...

    , Rafting, Fishing, Mountain Biking
    Mountain biking
    Mountain biking is a sport which consists of riding bicycles off-road, often over rough terrain, using specially adapted mountain bikes. Mountain bikes share similarities with other bikes, but incorporate features designed to enhance durability and performance in rough terrain.Mountain biking can...

    , Water sports)
  • Shoes & Apparel (Nike
    Nike, Inc.
    Nike, Inc. is a major publicly traded sportswear and equipment supplier based in the United States. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, which is part of the Portland metropolitan area...

    , Adidas North America
    Adidas
    Adidas AG is a German sports apparel manufacturer and parent company of the Adidas Group, which consists of the Reebok sportswear company, TaylorMade-Adidas golf company , and Rockport...

    , Columbia
    Columbia Sportswear
    Columbia Sportswear Company is a United States company that manufactures and distributes outerwear and sportswear. It was founded in 1938 by the late Paul Lamfrom, father of present chairperson Gert Boyle. The company is headquartered in Washington County, Oregon, in an unincorporated part of the...

    , R.E.I.
    R.E.I.
    REI is a privately held American retail corporation organized as a consumers' cooperative, selling outdoor recreation gear, sporting goods, and clothes via some 110 retail stores in about 30 states, catalogs, and the Internet. The company opens four to six new stores each year...

    , Lululemon
    Lululemon Athletica
    Lululemon Athletica Inc. , styled as lululemon athletica, is a self-described yoga-inspired athletic apparel company, produces a clothing line and runs international clothing stores from its company base in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada....

    )
  • Real estate marketing & realty development/construction.


Aluminum smelting was once an important part of the region's economy due to the abundance of once-cheap hydroelectric power and despite any bauxite
Bauxite
Bauxite is an aluminium ore and is the main source of aluminium. This form of rock consists mostly of the minerals gibbsite Al3, boehmite γ-AlO, and diaspore α-AlO, in a mixture with the two iron oxides goethite and hematite, the clay mineral kaolinite, and small amounts of anatase TiO2...

 reserves in the region. Hydroelectric power
Hydroelectricity
Hydroelectricity is the term referring to electricity generated by hydropower; the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. It is the most widely used form of renewable energy...

 generated by the hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River
Hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River
Hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River and its tributaries in North America.- Mainstem Columbia dams :-Snake River:-Pend Oreille-Clark Fork–Flathead:-Kootenai River:-See also:...

 powered at least ten aluminum smelters during the mid-20th century. By the end of World War II these smelters were producing over a third of the United States' aluminum. Production rose during the 1950s and 1960s, then declined. By the first decade of the 21st century the aluminum industry in the Pacific Northwest was essentially defunct. The Alcan
Alcan
Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. is a Canadian company based in Montreal. It was created on November 15, 2007 as the result of the merger between Rio Tinto PLC's Canadian subsidiary, Rio Tinto Canada Holding Inc., and Canadian company Alcan Inc. On the same date, Alcan Inc. was renamed Rio Tinto Alcan Inc..Rio...

 smelter at Kitimat
Kitimat, British Columbia
Kitimat is a coastal city in northwestern British Columbia, in the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine. The Kitimat Valley, which includes the adjacent community of Terrace, is the most populous urban district in Northwest British Columbia...

 continues in operation and is fed by the diversion of the Nechako River
Nechako River
The Nechako River arises on the Nechako Plateau east of the Kitimat Ranges of the Coast Mountains of British Columbia and flows north toward Fort Fraser, then east to Prince George where it enters the Fraser River...

 (a tributary of the Fraser) to a powerhouse on the coast at Kemano, near Kitimat.

The region as a whole, but especially the Seattle eastern suburbs along with Vancouver, is a hot-bed of high-tech business. It is also a leading "creative class
Creative class
The Creative Class is a socioeconomic class that economist and social scientist Richard Florida, a professor and head of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, identifies as a key driving force for economic development of post-industrial...

" economic driver, with a thriving cultural sector, many knowledge workers and numerous international advertising, media and design firms.

B.C., Washington and Oregon together generate more than $450 billion worth of goods and services annually. If the three were a separate country, their GDP would be in the top 30 economies of the world.

Culture

While the dominant culture in the Pacific Northwest today is Anglo-American
European American
A European American is a citizen or resident of the United States who has origins in any of the original peoples of Europe...

 and Anglo-Canadian
English Canadian
An English Canadian is a Canadian of English ancestry; it is used primarily in contrast with French Canadian. Canada is an officially bilingual state, with English and French official language communities. Immigrant cultural groups ostensibly integrate into one or both of these communities, but...

, there is significant Mexican
Mexican people
Mexican people refers to all persons from Mexico, a multiethnic country in North America, and/or who identify with the Mexican cultural and/or national identity....

 and Chinese
Chinese people
The term Chinese people may refer to any of the following:*People with Han Chinese ethnicity ....

 influence. 23% of Vancouver, B.C. is Chinese, and 50% does not speak English as a first language. Parts of Oregon and Washington are bilingual in both English and Spanish, and Native American culture is strong throughout the Pacific Northwest. The hippie movement also began in California and the Pacific Northwest. There have been proposals for certain parts of the Pacific Northwest becoming its own country because of the shared ecoregion
Ecoregion
An ecoregion , sometimes called a bioregion, is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than an ecozone and larger than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural...

 and culture. The most well known proposals are Ecotopia
Ecotopia
Ecotopia: The Notebooks and Reports of William Weston is the seminal utopian novel by Ernest Callenbach, published in 1975. The society described in the book is one of the first ecological utopias and was influential on the counterculture, and the green movement in the 1970s and thereafter.-The...

 from the Nine Nations of North America
Nine Nations of North America
The Nine Nations of North America is a book written in 1981 by Joel Garreau. In it, Garreau suggests that North America can be divided into nine regions, or "nations", which have distinctive economic and cultural features...

 and Cascadia
Cascadia (independence movement)
Cascadia is the proposed name for a bioregional political entity and/or an independent nation located within the Cascadian bioregion of the Pacific Northwest of North America...

. However, the region is strongly divided by the international border, and this division has grown more rather than less powerful over the 20th century. In addition, although the metropolitan centers of Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland are bound into a kind of urbanized region, they originated and continue to thrive as east-west gateways, competing with each other, rather than north-south connectors.

Environmentalism

Environmentalism
Environmentalism
Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements...

 is prominent throughout the region, especially west of the Cascades. Environmentally conscious services such as recycling
Recycling
Recycling is processing used materials into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution and water pollution by reducing the need for "conventional" waste disposal, and lower greenhouse...

 and public transportation are widespread, most notably in the more populous areas. A recent statistical analysis ranked the 50 Greenest Cities in the United States, placing Portland, Oregon first, Eugene, Oregon fifth, and Seattle, Washington eighth. The region as a whole is also known for its bicycle culture as an alternative form of transportation; Portland is considered the second most bicycle-friendly
Bicycle-friendly
The term bicycle-friendly describes policies and practices which may help some people feel more comfortable about traveling by bicycle with other traffic...

 city in the world. Portland is also the hub of American bicycle manufacturing; as a whole it generated over $68 million in revenue in 2007 alone. Politically, the Pacific Northwest is actively involved in environmental efforts. The international organization Greenpeace
Greenpeace
Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over forty countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, The Netherlands...

 was born in Vancouver in 1970 as part of a large public opposition movement in British Columbia to US nuclear weapons testing on Amchitka Island in the Aleutians. Liberal and Conservative Northwesterners, such as former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton
Slade Gorton
Thomas Slade Gorton III is an American politician. A Republican, he was a U.S. senator from Washington state from 1981 to 1987, and from 1989 to 2001. He held both of the state's Senate seats in his career and was narrowly defeated for reelection twice as an incumbent: in 1986 by Brock Adams, and...

 (R-WA) and moderate Democrats like former Speaker of the House Tom Foley
Tom Foley
Thomas Stephen Foley was the 57th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1989 to 1995. He represented Washington's 5th congressional district for 30 years as a Democratic member from 1965 to 1995....

 (D-WA), have been prominent in the development of conservative approaches to environmental protection. Seattle in particular is also home to a large number of publications and institutions concerned with the environment and sustainability, including both Worldchanging
Worldchanging
Worldchanging is an American non-profit online magazine and blog about sustainability and social innovation. At 19/09/2011, it was taken over by Architecture for Humanity....

and Grist.org, the U.S.'s two largest online green magazines. The Pacific Northwest is also noted for a large number of gardening clubs, with Victoria having an annual flower count in February.

Music

The modern-era Pacific Northwest is known for indie music
Indie (music)
In music, independent music, often shortened to indie music or "indie" is a term used to describe independence from major commercial record labels or their subsidiaries, and an autonomous, Do-It-Yourself approach to recording and publishing....

, especially grunge
Grunge
Grunge is a subgenre of alternative rock that emerged during the mid-1980s in the American state of Washington, particularly in the Seattle area. Inspired by hardcore punk, heavy metal, and indie rock, grunge is generally characterized by heavily distorted electric guitars, contrasting song...

 and alternative rock
Alternative rock
Alternative rock is a genre of rock music and a term used to describe a diverse musical movement that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular by the 1990s...

, as well as historically-strong folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 and world music
World music
World music is a term with widely varying definitions, often encompassing music which is primarily identified as another genre. This is evidenced by world music definitions such as "all of the music in the world" or "somebody else's local music"...

 traditions. Many are associated with the famous independent label Sub Pop
Sub Pop
Sub Pop is a record label founded in 1986 by Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman in Seattle, Washington. Sub Pop achieved fame in the late 1980s for first signing Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney and many other bands from the Seattle music scene...

. KEXP
KEXP
KEXP-FM is a public radio station based in Seattle, Washington, that specializes in alternative and indie rock programmed by its disc jockeys. Its broadcasting license is owned by the University of Washington, which operates the station in a partnership with Paul Allen's Experience Music Project...

.org is a popular and nationally-noted Seattle-based public indie music radio station. Among the area's largest music festivals are the Merritt Mountain Music Festival
Merritt Mountain Music Festival
Merritt Mountain Music Festival is an outdoor music festival in Merritt, British Columbia, Canada. In 2005 the festival hosted a record breaking attendance of approximately 148,000 people throughout the 6 day event....

, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival
Vancouver Folk Music Festival
The Vancouver Folk Music Festival is an outdoor multistage music festival. It takes place annually, on the third weekend of July. Founded in 1978, this annual festival uses eight outdoor stages, located at Jericho Beach Park on the west side of Vancouver, British Columbia.In the past it has...

, the Sasquatch! Music Festival
Sasquatch! Music Festival
Sasquatch! Music Festival is a music festival held annually at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington. It is presented by the House of Blues. There is an emphasis on indie rock bands and singer-songwriters, although there are also alternative rock, hip hop and comedy acts...

 in George, Washington, Seattle's Bumbershoot
Bumbershoot
Bumbershoot is an annual international music and arts festival held in Seattle, Washington. One of North America's largest such festivals, it takes place every Labor Day weekend at the 74-acre Seattle Center, which was built for the 1962 World's Fair. Seattle Center includes indoor theaters,...

, and Portland's Musicfest NW. Portland's Waterfront Blues Festival is the largest festival west of the Mississippi.

Local artists who became ground-breaking rock bands of their times include:
  • Jimi Hendrix
    Jimi Hendrix
    James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter...

  • The Kingsmen
    The Kingsmen
    The Kingsmen is a 1960s garage rock band from Portland, Oregon, United States. They are best known for their 1963 recording of Richard Berry's "Louie Louie", which held the #2 spot on the Billboard charts for six weeks...

  • Nirvana
    Nirvana (band)
    Nirvana was an American rock band that was formed by singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987...

  • Soundgarden
    Soundgarden
    Soundgarden is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington in 1984 by singer Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto...

  • Presidents of The United States of America
    Presidents of the United States of America
    The Presidents of the United States of America may refer to:* President of the United States, the head of state of the United States of America** List of Presidents of the United States...

  • Heart
    Heart (band)
    Heart is an American rock band who first found success in Canada. Throughout several lineup changes, the only two members remaining constant are sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson. The group rose to fame in the 1970s with their music being influenced by hard rock as well as folk music...

  • Queensrÿche
    Queensrÿche
    thumb|250px|right|Queensrÿche's classic line-up performing at the [[Sauna Open Air Metal Festival]] 2011 in [[Tampere]], [[Finland]]. Left to right: bass Eddie Jackson, lead vocals Geoff Tate, drums Scott Rockenfield and guitars Michael Wilton....

  • Built to Spill
    Built to Spill
    Built to Spill is an American indie rock band based in Boise, Idaho. The band has released seven full-length albums. Their most recent album, There Is No Enemy, was released on October 6, 2009.-History:...

  • Death Cab for Cutie
    Death Cab for Cutie
    Death Cab for Cutie is an American alternative rock band formed in Bellingham, Washington in 1997. The band consists of Ben Gibbard , Chris Walla , Nick Harmer and Jason McGerr ....

  • DOA
  • Foo Fighters
    Foo Fighters
    Foo Fighters is an American alternative rock band originally formed in 1994 by Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl as a one-man project following the dissolution of his previous band. The band got its name from the UFOs and various aerial phenomena that were reported by Allied aircraft pilots in World War...

  • Agalloch
    Agalloch
    Agalloch is an American metal band formed in 1995 in Portland, Oregon. The band is led by vocalist and guitarist John Haughm and so far have released four limited EPs, four full-length albums, two demos, one split album, one compilation album and one live DVD....

  • Elliott Smith
    Elliott Smith
    Steven Paul "Elliott" Smith was an American singer-songwriter and musician. Smith was born in Omaha, Nebraska, raised primarily in Texas, and resided for a significant portion of his life in Portland, Oregon, where he first gained popularity...

  • The Decemberists
    The Decemberists
    The Decemberists are an indie folk rock band from Portland, Oregon, United States, fronted by singer/songwriter Colin Meloy. The other members of the band are Chris Funk , Jenny Conlee , Nate Query , and John Moen .The band's...

  • The Dandy Warhols
    The Dandy Warhols
    The Dandy Warhols are an American alternative rock band formed in Portland, Oregon in 1994. The band was founded by singer-guitarist Courtney Taylor-Taylor and guitarist Peter Holmström, with keyboardist Zia McCabe and drummer Eric Hedford later joining. Hedford left in 1998 and was replaced by...

  • Sleater-Kinney
    Sleater-Kinney
    Sleater-Kinney was an alternative rock band from Portland, Oregon that formed in 1994. Originally formed in Olympia, Washington, the group's name is derived from Sleater-Kinney Road, Interstate 5 off ramp #108 in Lacey, Washington, the location of one of their early practice spaces. They were a...

  • Modest Mouse
    Modest Mouse
    Modest Mouse is an American indie rock band formed in 1993 in Issaquah, Washington, by singer/lyricist/guitarist Isaac Brock, drummer Jeremiah Green, and bassist Eric Judy. They are based in Portland, Oregon. Since their 1996 debut album, This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think...

  • Cherry Poppin Daddies
  • Everclear
    Everclear (band)
    Everclear is a rock band formed in Portland, Oregon in 1992 best known for their radio hits spanning more than a decade. For most of its existence, Everclear has consisted of Art Alexakis , Craig Montoya , and Greg Eklund . Eklund replaced original drummer Scott Cuthbert in 1994...

  • Macklemore
    Macklemore
    Ben Haggerty, known by his stage name Macklemore, is a hip hop artist based in Seattle, Washington. Macklemore works with Ryan Lewis Andrew Joslyn , Owour Arunga , Zach Fleury , and Noah Goldberg...

  • Pedro the Lion
    Pedro the Lion
    Pedro the Lion was an indie rock band from Seattle, Washington. Singer-songwriter David Bazan formed the band in 1995 and represented its main creative force, backed by a varying rotation of collaborating musicians. T. W. Walsh is considered to be the sole official band member besides Bazan. In...

  • Alice in Chains
    Alice in Chains
    Alice in Chains is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987 by guitarist and songwriter Jerry Cantrell and original lead vocalist Layne Staley. The initial lineup was rounded out by drummer Sean Kinney, and bassist Mike Starr...

  • the Subhumans
    Subhumans (Canadian band)
    The Subhumans are a punk band from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada that formed in 1978.Known by pejorative, punk rock nicknames, original members were known simply as "Useless" , "Dimwit" , "Wimpy" and "Normal" .-History:Dimwit quit the band shortly after their first 7" was released to join...

  • Skinny Puppy
    Skinny Puppy
    Skinny Puppy is a Canadian industrial musical group, formed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1982. The group is widely considered to be the founders of the electro-industrial genre....

  • Front Line Assembly
    Front Line Assembly
    Front Line Assembly is a Canadian electro-industrial band formed by Bill Leeb in 1986 after leaving Skinny Puppy. Influenced by early Industrial acts such as Cabaret Voltaire, Portion Control, D.A.F., Test Dept, SPK, and Severed Heads, FLA has developed its own unique sound while combining...

  • Blitzen Trapper
    Blitzen Trapper
    Blitzen Trapper is a Portland, Oregon-based experimental alternative country/folk band signed to Sub Pop Records. Formed in 2000, the band currently operates as a sextet, with Eric Earley , Erik Menteer , Brian Adrian Koch , Michael VanPelt , and Marty Marquis...

  • Pink Martini
    Pink Martini
    Pink Martini is a 13-member "little orchestra" from Portland, Oregon, formed in 1994 by pianist Thomas M. Lauderdale. They draw inspiration from music from all over the world – crossing genres of classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop.-History:...

  • Postal Service
  • Pearl Jam

Other artists worthy of note who hail from the Pacific Northwest are Bryan Adams
Bryan Adams
Bryan Adams, is a Canadian rock singer-songwriter, guitarist, bassist, producer, actor and photographer. Adams has won dozens of awards and nominations, including 20 Juno Awards among 56 nominations. He has also received 15 Grammy Award nominations including a win for Best Song Written...

, Nelly Furtado
Nelly Furtado
Nelly Kim Furtado is a Canadian singer-songwriter, record producer and actress. Furtado grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.Furtado first gained fame with her debut album, Whoa, Nelly!, and its single "I'm Like a Bird", which won a 2001 Juno Award for Single of the Year and a 2002 Grammy...

, Swollen Members
Swollen Members
Swollen Members is a Canadian hip hop group from Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada consisting mainly of the duo Mad Child, and Prevail. Frequent collaborators include vocalist Moka Only and producer Rob the Viking, an official group member since 2002...

, Neko Case
Neko Case
Neko Case is an American singer-songwriter, best known for her solo career and her contributions as a member of the Canadian indie rock group The New Pornographers....

, Sarah MacLachlan, Michael Bublé
Michael Bublé
Michael Steven Bublé is a Canadian singer. He has won several awards, including three Grammy Awards and multiple Juno Awards. His first album reached the top ten in Canada and the UK. He found worldwide commercial success with his 2005 album It's Time, and his 2007 album Call Me Irresponsible was...

, Blue Scholars
Blue Scholars
Blue Scholars is a hip hop duo based in Seattle, Washington, created in 2002 while the members, DJ Sabzi and MC Geologic, were students at the University of Washington....

, Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes are a folk rock band which formed in Seattle, Washington. They are signed to the Sub Pop and Bella Union record labels. The band came to prominence in 2008 with the release of their second EP, Sun Giant, and their debut full length album Fleet Foxes...

, and Meredith Brooks
Meredith Brooks
Meredith Ann Brooks is an American singer/songwriter and guitarist. She is best known for her 1997 hit song "Bitch", for which she was nominated for a Grammy Award.- Early life :...

.

Cuisine

Cuisine of the area include wild salmon
Salmon
Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family Salmonidae. Several other fish in the same family are called trout; the difference is often said to be that salmon migrate and trout are resident, but this distinction does not strictly hold true...

, huckleberries
Huckleberry
Huckleberry is a common name used in North America for several species of plants in two closely related genera in the family Ericaceae:* Vaccinium* GaylussaciaHuckleberry may also refer to:-Plants:...

, a wide variety of Asian cuisine
Asian cuisine
Asian cuisine styles can be broken down into several tiny regional styles that have roots in the peoples and cultures of those regions. The major types can be roughly defined as East Asian with its origins in Imperial China and now encompassing modern Japan and the Korean peninsula; Southeast Asian...

s, and locally-produced fruits, vegetables, and cheeses. Chinese
Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine is any of several styles originating in the regions of China, some of which have become highly popular in other parts of the world – from Asia to the Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa...

, Japanese
Japanese cuisine
Japanese cuisine has developed over the centuries as a result of many political and social changes throughout Japan. The cuisine eventually changed with the advent of the Medieval age which ushered in a shedding of elitism with the age of shogun rule...

, Korean, Italian
Italian cuisine
Italian cuisine has developed through centuries of social and political changes, with roots as far back as the 4th century BCE. Italian cuisine in itself takes heavy influences, including Etruscan, ancient Greek, ancient Roman, Byzantine, Jewish and Arab cuisines...

 and Greek cuisines are prevalent throughout the Northwest (most especially in Vancouver), and reflect the historically strong presence of those communities in the restaurant industry there. Similarly eateries featuring Persian, Asian Fusion
Asian cuisine
Asian cuisine styles can be broken down into several tiny regional styles that have roots in the peoples and cultures of those regions. The major types can be roughly defined as East Asian with its origins in Imperial China and now encompassing modern Japan and the Korean peninsula; Southeast Asian...

, and Indo-Canadian cuisines are common throughout in Greater Vancouver, as are ethnic specialty restaurants of all kinds. Ethnic staples ranging from frozen perogies
Pierogi
Pierogi are dumplings of unleavened dough - first boiled, then they are baked or fried usually in butter with onions - traditionally stuffed with potato filling, sauerkraut, ground meat, cheese, or fruit...

 to frozen dim sum
Dim sum
Dim sum refers to a style of Chinese food prepared as small bite-sized or individual portions of food traditionally served in small steamer baskets or on small plates...

 are common in most supermarkets in these communities.

Locally-made craft beers and premium wines from various wine-growing area within the region are popular with drinkers and diners. Northern latitude and coastal breezes create a climate that attracts international recognition for its mostly family-owned and operated vineyards and wineries.

Portland is considered to be the microbrew capital of America, and is home to the Widmer Brothers Brewery
Widmer Brothers Brewery
Widmer Brothers is an American brewery founded in 1984 in Portland, Oregon by brothers Kurt and Robert H. Widmer. It is the 9th largest brewing company in the US as part of the Craft Brewers Alliance, Inc.-Details:...

.

Cannabis
Cannabis (drug)
Cannabis, also known as marijuana among many other names, refers to any number of preparations of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug or for medicinal purposes. The English term marijuana comes from the Mexican Spanish word marihuana...

 use is relatively popular, especially around Vancouver BC, Bellingham, Seattle, Olympia, Spokane, Portland and Eugene. Several of these jurisdictions have made arrests for cannabis a low enforcement priority. Medical marijuana is legal in British Columbia, Washington and Oregon.

Sports

Skiing
Skiing
Skiing is a recreational activity using skis as equipment for traveling over snow. Skis are used in conjunction with boots that connect to the ski with use of a binding....

, snowboarding
Snowboarding
Snowboarding is a sport that involves descending a slope that is covered with snow on a snowboard attached to a rider's feet using a special boot set onto mounted binding. The development of snowboarding was inspired by skateboarding, sledding, surfing and skiing. It was developed in the U.S.A...

, cycling
Cycling
Cycling, also called bicycling or biking, is the use of bicycles for transport, recreation, or for sport. Persons engaged in cycling are cyclists or bicyclists...

, mountaineering
Mountaineering
Mountaineering or mountain climbing is the sport, hobby or profession of hiking, skiing, and climbing mountains. While mountaineering began as attempts to reach the highest point of unclimbed mountains it has branched into specialisations that address different aspects of the mountain and consists...

, hiking
Hiking
Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain. People often hike on hiking trails. It is such a popular activity that there are numerous hiking organizations worldwide. The health benefits of different types of hiking...

, camping
Camping
Camping is an outdoor recreational activity. The participants leave urban areas, their home region, or civilization and enjoy nature while spending one or several nights outdoors, usually at a campsite. Camping may involve the use of a tent, caravan, motorhome, cabin, a primitive structure, or no...

, hunting
Hunting
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

, fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

, boating
Boating
Boating is the leisurely activity of travelling by boat, or the recreational use of a boat whether powerboats, sailboats, or man-powered vessels , focused on the travel itself, as well as sports activities, such as fishing or water skiing...

, and water sports are popular outdoor activities. Vancouver, Seattle, Tacoma, Portland and Spokane are home to numerous professional sports teams, including the BC Lions
BC Lions
The BC Lions are a professional Canadian football team competing in the West Division of Canadian Football League . Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, the Lions play their home games at BC Place Stadium in Downtown Vancouver, having previously played at Empire Stadium in East Vancouver from 1954...

, Vancouver Canucks
Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks are a professional ice hockey team based in Vancouver, :British Columbia, Canada. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . The Canucks play their home games at Rogers Arena, formerly known as General Motors Place,...

, Vancouver Canadians
Vancouver Canadians
The Vancouver Canadians are a minor league baseball team located in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Canadians are the Northwest League affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. The C's have previously affiliated with the Oakland Athletics between 2000-2010. They are the only Canadian team in the...

, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Seattle Mariners
Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Mariners are a professional baseball team based in Seattle, Washington. Enfranchised in , the Mariners are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Safeco Field has been the Mariners' home ballpark since July...

, Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football team based in Seattle, Washington. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team joined the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team...

, Seattle Sounders FC
Seattle Sounders FC
Seattle Sounders FC is an American professional soccer club based in Seattle, Washington. The club competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. Sounders FC was established in November 2007 as a MLS expansion team, making it the 15th team in...

, Seattle Storm
Seattle Storm
The Seattle Storm is a professional basketball team based in Seattle, Washington, playing in the Western Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association . The team was founded before the 2000 season began...

, Washington Stealth
Washington Stealth
The Washington Stealth are a member of the National Lacrosse League, the professional box lacrosse league of North America. Based in Everett , the Stealth began play in the 2010 NLL season, with home games played at the 8,513-seat Comcast Arena at Everett.The team was previously known as the...

, Everett Aquasox
Everett AquaSox
The Everett AquaSox are a minor league baseball team in Everett, Washington, USA. They are a Short-Season A classification team in the Northwest League, of which they are the current defending champions...

, Tacoma Rainiers
Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers are a minor league baseball team that plays in the Pacific Coast League , and are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners...

, Portland Trail Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers, commonly known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . The Trail Blazers originally played their home games in the...

, Portland Timbers
Portland Timbers (MLS)
The Portland Timbers are an American professional soccer club based in Portland, Oregon that competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada....

, Spokane Shock
Spokane Shock
The Spokane Shock is a professional arena football team of the Arena Football League from Spokane, Washington, USA. They play their home games at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena...

 and Spokane Indians
Spokane Indians
The Spokane Indians are a minor league baseball team located in Spokane, Washington, United States. They are a Short-Season A classification team in the Northwest League and have been a farm team of the Texas Rangers since 2003. The Indians play home games at Avista Stadium...

. The Whitecaps, Sounders, and Timbers compete annually for the Cascadia Cup
Cascadia Cup
The Cascadia Cup is the name of the trophy created in 2004 by supporters of the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders, and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, which is awarded each season to the best soccer team in the Pacific Northwest. The Timbers, Sounders, and Whitecaps have roots dating to the days of the...

 in Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation . The league is composed of 19 teams — 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada...

.

Sports fans in Oregon are particularly passionate; followers of the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team refer to themselves as the Sixth Man and "Blazermania" is a term used to describe the extraordinary dedication fans have shown the team. In Seattle many fans are still upset over the move of the Seattle Sonics while supporters of the Seattle Seahawks football team are known officially as the 12th Man. And the supporter groups, (namely the Emerald City Supporters
Emerald City Supporters
Emerald City Supporters is an independent supporters' group for Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders FC.-History and name:Emerald City Supporters was founded in 2005 by the supporters of the now defunct Seattle Sounders soccer team that played in the United Soccer Leagues First Division...

, Timbers Army
Timbers Army
The Timbers Army is an independent supporters group of Portland Timbers, a football club in Major League Soccer—the top tier of the United States soccer pyramid. Its members are known for their loud, enthusiastic support and the raucous atmosphere they create at Timbers games...

, and Southsiders) of the three MLS
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation . The league is composed of 19 teams — 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada...

 teams of the region are renowned for their passion and dedication to their teams.

In Washington and Oregon, many residents passionately follow college athletics
College athletics
College athletics refers primarily to sports and athletic competition organized and funded by institutions of tertiary education . In the United States, college athletics is a two-tiered system. The first tier includes the sports that are sanctioned by one of the collegiate sport governing bodies...

. In Washington, the major NCAA Division I college athletic programs are the University of Washington Huskies and the Washington State Cougars
Washington State Cougars
The Washington State Cougars are the athletic teams at Washington State University; the term applies to any of the school's varsity teams. Washington State University is a member of the Pacific-12 Conference, which participates in the NCAA Division I...

. In Oregon the major programs are the University of Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers
Oregon State Beavers
The Oregon State Beavers is a name shared by all sports teams at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. The Beavers are part of the Pacific-12 Conference . Oregon State's mascot is Benny the Beaver...

. All four of these programs are members of the Pacific-12 Conference and compete with each other in a variety of sports. These universities are all considered to be rivals of one another, particularly in college football
College football
College football refers to American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities...

. The most significant of these rivalries are the Oregon – Washington game, the Washington-Washington State game, a.k.a the Apple Cup
Apple Cup
The Apple Cup is the trophy awarded to the winner of an American college football rivalry game played annually by the teams of the two largest universities in the U.S. state of Washington: the University of Washington Huskies and the Washington State University Cougars...

 (named so because of Washington's notoriety for apple production) and the Oregon-Oregon State game a.k.a the Civil War
Civil War (college football game)
The Civil War is the colloquial name for an American college football rivalry game played annually by the Oregon Ducks football team of the University of Oregon and the Oregon State Beavers football team of the Oregon State University...

. As in professional sports, college fans in the Pacific Northwest are known for being particularly passionate about their teams. Both Husky Stadium
Husky Stadium
Husky Stadium is an outdoor athletic stadium on the campus of the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is the home of the Washington Huskies...

 (where the Washington Huskies play football) and Autzen Stadium
Autzen Stadium
Autzen Stadium is an outdoor football stadium in Eugene, Oregon, United States. Located north of the University of Oregon campus, it is the home field of the Oregon Ducks of the Pacific-12 Conference. Opened in 1967, the stadium has undergone several expansions...

 (where the Oregon Ducks play football) have gained reputations for deafening noise, despite not being the largest of college football venues. Husky Stadium currently holds the record for the loudest crowd noise in NCAA history at 130 decibels, while Autzen Stadium currently holds the record for the 4th at 127 decibels.

Video games

Seattle is considered by Digital Trends magazine to be the top gaming city in America, a possible indicator of markedly higher rates of video game usage throughout the Pacific Northwest in general. Major companies headquartered in the region include Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

 (Seattle Metropolitan Area), Microsoft Canada
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

 (Vancouver), Nintendo of America (Seattle Metropolitan Area), Nintendo of Canada (Vancouver), and video games maker Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts, Inc. is a major American developer, marketer, publisher and distributor of video games. Founded and incorporated on May 28, 1982 by Trip Hawkins, the company was a pioneer of the early home computer games industry and was notable for promoting the designers and programmers...

 (Vancouver), as well as VALVe
Valve
A valve is a device that regulates, directs or controls the flow of a fluid by opening, closing, or partially obstructing various passageways. Valves are technically pipe fittings, but are usually discussed as a separate category...

 (Seattle Metropolitan Area).

Demographics

In the US side of the region, Latinos
Hispanic and Latino Americans
Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

 make up a large portion of the agricultural labor force east of the Cascade Range, and are an increasing presence in the general labor force west of the Cascades. African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

s are less numerous in the Pacific Northwest, however the overall African American population has been growing in other smaller urban areas throughout the region, such as Spokane and Eugene. African Americans tend to be concentrated in western urban areas such as Tacoma, south Seattle, and Portland. Nonetheless, blacks have a very large presence in Tacoma's Hilltop and South Tacoma neighborhoods, Seattle's Central District and Rainier Valley neighborhoods and in Portland's Northeast Quadrant. There are growing numbers of Africans in Vancouver BC as well as Jamaicans and blacks from the US. As of the first decade of the 21st century, many Asians were moving out and into middle class suburbs, though some would voice concern about preserving historical communities particularly in Vancouver. British Columbia has the largest Asian presence per-capita in North America, with 10% of the population being of Chinese
Chinese people
The term Chinese people may refer to any of the following:*People with Han Chinese ethnicity ....

 ancestry and also large numbers of South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

ns, Filipino
Overseas Filipino
An Overseas Filipino is a person of Philippine origin who lives outside of the Philippines. This term applies both to people of Filipino ancestry who are citizens or residents of a different country and to those Filipino citizens abroad on a more temporary status.Most overseas Filipinos migrate to...

s, and others. The Asian presence in the U.S. section of the Pacific Northwest is comparably smaller, with all Asian groups together comprising about 8% of Washington state's population, and smaller figures in Oregon and Idaho.

African-Americans have held the positions of Mayor in Seattle and Spokane; King County executive, while the state of Washington elected a Chinese American
Chinese American
Chinese Americans represent Americans of Chinese descent. Chinese Americans constitute one group of overseas Chinese and also a subgroup of East Asian Americans, which is further a subgroup of Asian Americans...

 Governor during the 1990s, Gary Locke.

British Columbians of many ethnicities are prominent in all levels of politics and government, and the province has a number of "firsts" in Canadian political history, including the first non-white Premier
Premier of British Columbia
The Premier of British Columbia is the first minister, head of government, and de facto chief executive for the Canadian province of British Columbia. Until the early 1970s the title Prime Minister of British Columbia was often used...

, Ujjal Dosanjh
Ujjal Dosanjh
Ujjal Dev Singh Dosanjh, PC, QC, is a Sikh Canadian lawyer and politician. He served as 33rd Premier of British Columbia from 2000 to 2001 and as a Liberal Party of Canada Member of Parliament from 2004 to 2011 including a stint as Minister of Health from 2004 until 2006 when the party lost...

 (who is Indo-Canadian) and the first Asian Lieutenant-Governor, the Hon. David Lam
David Lam
- External links :**...

. The current Lieutenant-Governor, Steven Point
Steven Point
Steven Lewis Point, is the 28th and current Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.From 1975 to 1999, Steven Point served as Chief of the Skowkale First Nation...

, is of aboriginal origin, being Stó:lō
Stó:lo
The Sto:lo , alternately written as Stó:lō, Stó:lô or Stó:lõ and historically as Staulo or Stahlo, and historically known and commonly referred to in ethnographic literature as the Fraser River Indians or Lower Fraser Salish, are a group of First Nations peoples inhabiting the Fraser Valley of...

 (the dominant type of Coast Salish
Coast Salish
Coast Salish languages are a subgroup of the Salishan language family. These languages are spoken by First Nations or Native American peoples inhabiting the territory that is now the southwest coast of British Columbia around the Strait of Georgia and Washington state around Puget Sound...

 in BC's Lower Mainland) from the Chilliwack
Chilliwack, British Columbia
Chilliwack is a Canadian city in the Province of British Columbia. It is a predominantly agricultural community with an estimated population of 80,000 people. Chilliwack is the second largest city in the Fraser Valley Regional District after Abbotsford. The city is surrounded by mountains and...

 area. The former leader of the opposition party, the NDP
New Democratic Party of British Columbia
The New Democratic Party of British Columbia is a social-democratic political party in British Columbia, Canada. The party currently forms the official opposition to the governing British Columbia Liberal Party following the 2009 provincial election in British Columbia.The BC NDP is the provincial...

, is Carole James
Carole James
Carole Alison James, MLA is a Canadian politician and former public administrator. She is the former Leader of the Opposition in British Columbia and former leader of the British Columbia New Democratic Party , a social democratic political party...

, who is of partial Métis
Métis people (Canada)
The Métis are one of the Aboriginal peoples in Canada who trace their descent to mixed First Nations parentage. The term was historically a catch-all describing the offspring of any such union, but within generations the culture syncretised into what is today a distinct aboriginal group, with...

 origin. Colonial governor James Douglas
James Douglas (Governor)
Sir James Douglas KCB was a company fur-trader and a British colonial governor on Vancouver Island in northwestern North America, particularly in what is now British Columbia. Douglas worked for the North West Company, and later for the Hudson's Bay Company becoming a high-ranking company officer...

 was himself mulatto
Mulatto
Mulatto denotes a person with one white parent and one black parent, or more broadly, a person of mixed black and white ancestry. Contemporary usage of the term varies greatly, and the broader sense of the term makes its application rather subjective, as not all people of mixed white and black...

 of Guyanese extraction and his wife was of Cree
Cree
The Cree are one of the largest groups of First Nations / Native Americans in North America, with 200,000 members living in Canada. In Canada, the major proportion of Cree live north and west of Lake Superior, in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories, although...

 origin.

On LGBT
LGBT
LGBT is an initialism that collectively refers to "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender" people. In use since the 1990s, the term "LGBT" is an adaptation of the initialism "LGB", which itself started replacing the phrase "gay community" beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s, which many within the...

 representation in government, Oregon has been a national leader. At the time of his election to the office of Portland mayor in 2008, Sam Adams was the first openly gay individual to represent a city of Portland's size in the United States. In Silverton, Oregon
Silverton, Oregon
Silverton is a city in Marion County, Oregon, United States, along the 45th parallel. The population was 7,414 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Salem Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

, the same year, Stu Rasmussen
Stu Rasmussen
Stu Rasmussen is an American politician. He was reported to be the nation's first openly transgender mayor when he was elected as the mayor of Silverton, Oregon in November 2008. He had previously been elected twice in the 1990s as mayor of this Willamette Valley community, before coming out as...

 was elected the first transgender
Transgender
Transgender is a general term applied to a variety of individuals, behaviors, and groups involving tendencies to vary from culturally conventional gender roles....

ed mayor in U.S. history. The first two LGBT state supreme court justices in the country both sit on the Oregon Supreme Court
Oregon Supreme Court
The Oregon Supreme Court is the highest state court in the U.S. state of Oregon. The only court that may reverse or modify a decision of the Oregon Supreme Court is the Supreme Court of the United States. The OSC holds court at the Oregon Supreme Court Building in Salem, Oregon, near the capitol...

. Oregon Secretary of State
Oregon Secretary of State
The Secretary of State of Oregon, an elected constitutional officer within the executive branch of government of the U.S. state of Oregon, is first in line of succession to the Governor. The duties of office are: auditor of public accounts, chief elections officer, and administrator of public...

 Kate Brown
Kate Brown (politician)
Kate Brown is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party, She is the current Oregon Secretary of State and was elected to that office in the 2008 elections. Prior to becoming Secretary of State, Brown served in the Oregon State Senate representing Oregon's 21st senate district,...

, who is first in line to the governorship, is the highest-ranking openly bisexual politician in the U.S.

Language

The Pacific Northwest English
Pacific Northwest English
Pacific Northwest English is a dialect of the English language spoken in the Pacific Northwest. The Pacific Northwest is defined as an area that includes the American states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, western Montana, southeastern Alaska, northern California, the Canadian provinces of British...

 accent is considered to be "very neutral" to most Americans. It does, however, possess the low back vowel merger, or the cot–caught merger. Pacific Northwest English is one of the closest living accents to conservative General American
General American
General American , also known as Standard American English , is a major accent of American English. The accent is not restricted to the United States...

 English. It lacks the Northern Cities Vowel Shift
Northern cities vowel shift
The Northern cities vowel shift is a chain shift in the sounds of some vowels in the dialect region of American English known as the Inland North.-Geography:...

, and does not participate as strongly in the California Vowel Shift
California English
California English is a dialect of the English language spoken in California. California is home to a highly diverse population, which is reflected in the historical and continuing development of California English.-History:English was first spoken on a wide scale in the area now known as...

 or the Canadian raising
Canadian raising
Canadian raising is a phonetic phenomenon that occurs in varieties of the English language, especially Canadian English, in which certain diphthongs are "raised" before voiceless consonants...

 as do other regional accents. Because of its lack of any distinguishing vowel shift, the accent is very similar to and hard to distinguish from conservative speakers in other dialect regions especially the Northern Midlands, California, and the prairies.

Chinook Jargon
Chinook Jargon
Chinook Jargon originated as a pidgin trade language of the Pacific Northwest, and spread during the 19th century from the lower Columbia River, first to other areas in modern Oregon and Washington, then British Columbia and as far as Alaska, sometimes taking on characteristics of a creole language...

 was a pidgin
Pidgin
A pidgin , or pidgin language, is a simplified language that develops as a means of communication between two or more groups that do not have a language in common. It is most commonly employed in situations such as trade, or where both groups speak languages different from the language of the...

 or trade language established among the indigenous inhabitants of the region
Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast
The Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest Coast, their descendants, and many ethnic groups who identify with those historical peoples. They are now situated within the Canadian Province of British Columbia and the U.S...

. After contact with Europeans, French, English and Cree
Cree language
Cree is an Algonquian language spoken by approximately 117,000 people across Canada, from the Northwest Territories and Alberta to Labrador, making it the aboriginal language with the highest number of speakers in Canada. It is also spoken in the U.S. state of Montana...

 words entered the language, and "eventually Chinook became the lingua franca for as many as 250,000 people along the Pacific Slope from Alaska to Oregon". Chinook Jargon reached its height of usage in the 19th century though remained common in resource and wilderness areas, particularly but not exclusively by Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 and Canadian First Nations
First Nations
First Nations is a term that collectively refers to various Aboriginal peoples in Canada who are neither Inuit nor Métis. There are currently over 630 recognised First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada, roughly half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. The...

 people, well into the 20th century. Today its influence is felt mostly in place names and a handful of localized slang
Slang
Slang is the use of informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker's language or dialect but are considered more acceptable when used socially. Slang is often to be found in areas of the lexicon that refer to things considered taboo...

 terms, particularly the word skookum
Skookum
Skookum is a Chinook jargon word that has come into general use in the Pacific Northwest region of North America.The word skookum has three meanings:# a word in regional English that has a variety of positive connotations;...

, which remains hallmark of people raised in the region.

Besides English and indigenous languages, Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

 has been common since the gold rush
Gold rush
A gold rush is a period of feverish migration of workers to an area that has had a dramatic discovery of gold. Major gold rushes took place in the 19th century in Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, and the United States, while smaller gold rushes took place elsewhere.In the 19th and early...

es of the mid-19th century, most particularly in British Columbia. Since the 1980s the Toishan
Taishan
Taishan is a coastal county-level city in Guangdong Province, China. The city is part of the Greater Taishan Region....

, a Cantonese-based dialect which was predominant in the area, has been replaced by mainstream Cantonese and by Mandarin because of large-scale immigration from Asia. Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

 is also common in Vancouver, which has very large Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

 communities.

Spirituality and religion

The Pacific Northwest has the lowest rate of church attendance in the United States and consistently reports the highest percentage of atheism; this is most pronounced on the part of the region west of the Cascades. A recent study indicates that one quarter of those in Washington and Oregon believe in no religion.

Religion plays a smaller part in Pacific Northwest politics than in the rest of the United States. The religious right
Christian right
Christian right is a term used predominantly in the United States to describe "right-wing" Christian political groups that are characterized by their strong support of socially conservative policies...

 has considerably less political influence than in other regions. Political conservatives in the Pacific Northwest tend to identify more strongly with free-market libertarian
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 values than they do with more religious social conservatives.

That said, three of the four major international charities in the region are religious in nature: Northwest Medical Teams International, World Concern
World Concern
World Concern is a Christian humanitarian organization that operates relief and development programsin 13 countries, and funds partnership programs in nine other countries. The organization’s mission...

, World Vision International
World Vision International
World Vision International, founded in the USA in 1977, is an evangelical relief and development umbrella organization whose stated goal is "to follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the good...

, and Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a global aid agency engaged in transitional environments that have experienced some sort of shock: natural disaster, economic collapse, or conflict. People working for it move as quickly as possible from bringing in food and supplies to enabling people to rebuild their economy with...

. This is part of a long tradition of activist religion. The Skid Road group, a shelter offering soup and sermons to the unemployed
Unemployment
Unemployment , as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work within the past four weeks...

 and recovering alcoholics, was launched in Vancouver, with the Salvation Army
Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian church known for its thrift stores and charity work. It is an international movement that currently works in over a hundred countries....

 having deep roots in the Gastown
Gastown
Gastown is a national historic site in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the northeast end of Downtown adjacent to the Downtown Eastside. Its historical boundaries were the waterfront , Columbia Street, Hastings Street, and Cambie Street, which were the borders of the 1870 townsite survey, the proper...

 district, dating back to the era of the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway
Canadian Pacific Railway
The Canadian Pacific Railway , formerly also known as CP Rail between 1968 and 1996, is a historic Canadian Class I railway founded in 1881 and now operated by Canadian Pacific Railway Limited, which began operations as legal owner in a corporate restructuring in 2001...

 (1880s) and attained prominence in the same centers during the Klondike Gold Rush
Klondike Gold Rush
The Klondike Gold Rush, also called the Yukon Gold Rush, the Alaska Gold Rush and the Last Great Gold Rush, was an attempt by an estimated 100,000 people to travel to the Klondike region the Yukon in north-western Canada between 1897 and 1899 in the hope of successfully prospecting for gold...

.

The region is also known as a magnet for a wide range of philosophical and spiritual belief systems. Eastern spiritual beliefs have been adopted by an unusually large number of people (by North American standards), and Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism is the body of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet and certain regions of the Himalayas, including northern Nepal, Bhutan, and India . It is the state religion of Bhutan...

 in particular has a strong local following. The Northwest Tibetan Cultural Association, claimed to be the largest organization of its kind in the world, was founded in Portland in 1993.

The region is home to many unique Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 communities, ranging from the Doukhobors to the Mennonites. The Mennonite Central Committee Supportive Care Services is based in Abbotsford, BC. Mennonite Central Committee
Mennonite Central Committee
The Mennonite Central Committee is a relief, service, and peace agency representing 15 Mennonite, Brethren in Christ and Amish bodies in North America. The U.S. headquarters are in Akron, Pennsylvania, the Canadian in Winnipeg, Manitoba.-History:...

 and Mennonite Disaster Service
Mennonite Disaster Service
The Mennonite Disaster Service is a volunteer network through which various groups within the Anabaptist tradition assist people affected by disasters in North America...

 enjoy a heavy rate of enlistment and donations from the strong Mennonite community in British Columbia's Fraser Valley
Fraser Valley
The Fraser Valley is the section of the Fraser River basin in southwestern British Columbia downstream of the Fraser Canyon. The term is sometimes used to refer to the Fraser Canyon and stretches upstream from there, but in general British Columbian usage of the term refers to the stretch of the...

. Also within the region there is a fairly strong representation of Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 churches (Greek, Russian, Serbian and others), as well as the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church , Ukrainska Hreko-Katolytska Tserkva), is the largest Eastern Rite Catholic sui juris particular church in full communion with the Holy See, and is directly subject to the Pope...

. Religious sees that are based in the Pacific Northwest include the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical province
Ecclesiastical Province
An ecclesiastical province is a large jurisdiction of religious government, so named by analogy with a secular province, existing in certain hierarchical Christian churches, especially in the Catholic Church and Orthodox Churches and in the Anglican Communion...

s of Portland, Seattle
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle
The Archdiocese of Seattle is an archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the U.S. state of Washington. Headquartered in Seattle, the archdiocese encompasses all counties in the state west of the Cascade Range. Its cathedral is St. James Cathedral, and its present archbishop is J...

, and Vancouver
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver is a Roman Catholic archdiocese that includes part of the Province of British Columbia. It is the metropolitan see of the ecclesiastical province which includes the suffragan dioceses of Kamloops, Nelson, Prince George, and Victoria...

, Province 8 of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America
Province 8 of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America
Province 8 is one of nine ecclesiastical provinces making up the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. It is composed of sixteen dioceses in the nine states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington...

, the Anglican Ecclesiastical Province of British Columbia and the Yukon
Ecclesiastical Province of British Columbia and the Yukon
The Ecclesiastical Province of British Columbia and the Yukon is one of four ecclesiastical provinces in the Anglican Church of Canada. It was founded in 1914 as the Ecclesiastical Province of British Columbia, but changed its name in 1943 when the Diocese of Yukon was incorporated from the...

, and the suffragan dioceses that make up those provinces.

Yogic teachings, Sufism, tribal and ancient beliefs and other philosophies are widely studied and appreciated in the region. The Lower Mainland
Lower Mainland
The Lower Mainland is a name commonly applied to the region surrounding and including Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. As of 2007, 2,524,113 people live in the region; sixteen of the province's thirty most populous municipalities are located there.While the term Lower Mainland has been...

 of British Columbia has a very large Sikh
Sikhism
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus . It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world and one of the fastest-growing...

 community. There has been major growth in Chinese Buddhist temples since the increase in immigration from East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

 in the 1980s, especially in Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

.

Also in Vancouver, there is a small Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 population, a number of Parsee (Zoroastrians), and an emerging Muslim
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 population from South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

, the Middle East, Africa, the Balkans, Southeast Asia and elsewhere.

Some people in the area also embrace alternative religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

, such as New Age
New Age
The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and then infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational...

 spirituality and Neo-Paganism.
  • Before its closure in 2004, Mary Manin Morrissey
    Mary Manin Morrissey
    Mary Manin Morrissey is a New Thought minister from Oregon, U.S.A. She was a founding minister of Living Enrichment Center in the 1970s. By the mid-1990s, the church's congregation was variously estimated at numbering between 2,000 and 5,000, making it the biggest New Thought church in the state...

    's "megachurch" called Living Enrichment Center
    Living Enrichment Center
    Living Enrichment Center, often referred to as LEC, was a New Thought megachurch and retreat center in the U.S. state of Oregon. Originally founded in the Scholls, Oregon farmhouse of senior minister Mary Manin Morrissey in the mid-1970s, the church grew so exponentially that it moved to a 94,500...

    , located in Wilsonville, Oregon
    Wilsonville, Oregon
    Wilsonville is a city primarily in Clackamas County, Oregon, United States. A portion of the northern section of the city is in Washington County. Originally founded as Boones Landing due to the Boones Ferry which crossed the Willamette River at the location, the community became Wilsonville in...

    , was one of the biggest New Thought
    New Thought
    New Thought promotes the ideas that "Infinite Intelligence" or "God" is ubiquitous, spirit is the totality of real things, true human selfhood is divine, divine thought is a force for good, sickness originates in the mind, and "right thinking" has a healing effect.Although New Thought is neither...

     churches in the entire world, with a congregation estimated at between two thousand and five thousand members. Morrissey's "Life Keys" religious program was broadcast to several major networks around the U.S. West Coast.
  • Neale Donald Walsch
    Neale Donald Walsch
    Neale Donald Walsch , is an American author of the series Conversations with God. The nine books in the complete series are Conversations With God , Friendship with God, Communion with God, Conversations With God for Teens, The New Revelations, Tomorrow's God, and Home with God: In a Life That Never...

    , author of Conversations with God
    Conversations with God
    Conversations with God is a sequence of books written by Neale Donald Walsch, written as a dialogue in which Walsch asks questions and God answers...

    , lives in Ashland, Oregon
    Ashland, Oregon
    Ashland is a city in Jackson County, Oregon, United States, near Interstate 5 and the California border, and located in the south end of the Rogue Valley. It was named after Ashland County, Ohio, point of origin of Abel Helman and other founders, and secondarily for Ashland, Kentucky, where other...

    , where he runs a retreat center.
  • Gangaji
    Gangaji
    Gangaji is an American born spiritual teacher and author. She currently lives in Ashland, Oregon with her husband, fellow spiritual teacher Eli Jaxon-Bear.-Early life:...

    , an internationally recognized spiritual teacher and disciple of Poonjaji
    H. W. L. Poonja
    Sri H. W. L. Poonja, b. Hariwansh Lal Poonja, also known as "Poonjaji" or "Papaji"...

    , lives in Ashland, Oregon.
  • Established in more recent times, the training school of the immortal (according to the organization) being Ramtha is headquartered in Yelm, Washington
    Yelm, Washington
    Yelm is a city in Thurston County, Washington, United States. The population was 6,848 at the 2010 census. Yelm ranked 10th of 279 eligible incorporated communities in the state of Washington for population growth between 2000 and 2010.-History:...

    .
  • The followers of the Guru Rajneesh
    Rajneesh
    Osho , born Chandra Mohan Jain , and also known as Acharya Rajneesh from the 1960s onwards, as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh during the 1970s and 1980s and as Osho from 1989, was an Indian mystic, guru, and spiritual teacher who garnered an international following.A professor of philosophy, he travelled...

    , the sannyasins, established a center for their beliefs and lifestyle near Antelope, Oregon
    Antelope, Oregon
    Antelope is a city in Wasco County, Oregon, United States. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 46.-History:The Antelope Valley was probably named by members of Joseph Sherar's party who were packing supplies to mines in the John Day area. Sherar became known as the operator of a toll bridge...

    , which included an ashram
    Ashram
    Traditionally, an ashram is a spiritual hermitage. Additionally, today the term ashram often denotes a locus of Indian cultural activity such as yoga, music study or religious instruction, the moral equivalent of a studio or dojo....

     complex as well as, for a while, an attempted takeover of the local economy.
  • The Emissaries of Divine Light are a notable presence in the region of 100 Mile House, British Columbia.
  • More controversially, the commune run by Brother Twelve in the Gulf Islands
    Gulf Islands
    The Gulf Islands are the islands in the Strait of Georgia , between Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia, Canada....

     of British Columbia early in the 20th century. Oregon's Willamette Valley
    Willamette Valley
    The Willamette Valley is the most populated region in the state of Oregon of the United States. Located in the state's northwest, the region is surrounded by tall mountain ranges to the east, west and south and the valley's floor is broad, flat and fertile because of Ice Age conditions...

     has a large population of Russian Old Believers
    Old Believers
    In the context of Russian Orthodox church history, the Old Believers separated after 1666 from the official Russian Orthodox Church as a protest against church reforms introduced by Patriarch Nikon between 1652–66...

    .

See also

  • Atlantic Northeast
    Atlantic Northeast
    The Atlantic Northeast, or Arcadia, is a region of North America, comprising New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and the Canadian Maritimes. Definitions of the region vary; it may extend to upstate New York and/or all of Atlantic Canada....

    , another region shared between Canada and the US
  • Cascadia (disambiguation)
  • Climate change in Washington
    Climate change in Washington
    Climate change in the American state of Washington is a subject of study and projection today.-Expected outcomes:Economic Impacts of Climate Change in Washington State summarized impacts on forest fires, public health, agriculture, municipal water supply, sea level rise and fisheries...

  • Megaregions of the United States
    Megaregions of the United States
    A Megaregion, also known as a Megalopolis or Megapolitan Area, refers to a clustered network of American cities whose population ranges or is projected to range from about 7 to 63 million by the year 2025. America 2050, an organization sponsored by the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, lists 11...

  • Northwest Coast art
    Northwest Coast art
    Northwest Coast art is the term commonly applied to a style of art created primarily by artists from Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, Kwakwaka'wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth and other First Nations and Native American tribes of the Northwest Coast of North America, from pre-European-contact times up to the...

  • Cascadia (independence movement)
    Cascadia (independence movement)
    Cascadia is the proposed name for a bioregional political entity and/or an independent nation located within the Cascadian bioregion of the Pacific Northwest of North America...


Further reading

  • Gastil, Raymond D., and Barnett Singer. The Pacific Northwest: Growth of a Regional Identity (McFarland, 2010) 221 pp. isbn 978-0-7864-4540-0
  • Inglis, Robin. Historical Dictionary of the Discovery and Exploration of the Northwest Coast of America (Scarecrow, 2008) lxxvi+429 pp. isbn 978-0-8108-5551-9
  • Schwantes, Carlos A. The Pacific Northwest: An Interpretive History (2nd ed. 2000)

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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