I first came across this term as I started writing this journal and puzzled I made a note to explore it further to understand what it is and where the term comes from.
Wikipedia gives us our first clues. An ancient name for the area stretching from the south of Puget Sound WA to the top of Johnstone Straits in BC, this is a geographic watershed name. A large estuarial sea vastly changed each day by the tremendous volumes of water that flow through the region each day.
Exploring the origin of the name is fascinating to say the least. This account will almost certainly be corrected as I spend more time in the area. But this is what I know now. The term comes from an aboriginal language family originally identified in Montana. The term is commonly applied to a group of languages (about 12) referred to as Coast Salish. These are the original inhabitants of the area. In digging around I found an excellent map of Indian villages that reflects many of the “best” places to live today.
Amazing how a little question can lead to all sorts of interesting information and history.