Masters of the Pacific Coast: The Tribes of The American Northwest


Series 1 - Episode 1 Arrival



For more than 10,000 years, the 1,400 miles of rocky coast stretching from the Alaskan panhandle to Washington State has been home to hundreds of tribes. Not only did they adapt to the arrival of the Europeans in 1492, but their history also confounds the Western belief that all civilised societies are founded on agriculture.

In part one, archaeologist Jago Cooper meets proud descendants preserving their heritage and explains how some tribes built underwater clam gardens, while the Haida people smoked salmon so they didn’t go hungry during winter. Fascinatingly, the tribes operated a sort of coalition government: there were several chiefs, who could be male or female.


Part one of two. Archaeologist Dr Jago Cooper explores the American Northwest, revealing how culture was established on the coast that has lasted for over 10,000 years. He travels to southeast Alaska, British Columbia and Washington State to see how a complex society developed without agriculture, and discloses the hidden significance in totem poles, canoes and intricate textiles.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Dr Jago Cooper
Executive Producer Aisling O'Connor
Executive Producer Tom Stubberfield
Series Director Tom Stubberfield
Series Producer Tom Stubberfield
Writer Dr Jago Cooper
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