Table of contents



SGaana sGaanagwa ? Diane Brown with Severn Cullis-Suzuki

We Need Orcas More Than They Need Us ? David Suzuki

A Bond Through Salmon, Language and Grandmothers ? Misty MacDuffee

The Peace Treaty ? Rande Cook with Charlie Matilpi

The Ocean People ? Martha Black

The Two Brothers at Tiiaan ? Adam Bell with Marianne Ignace and Lawrence Bell

Killer Whales of the Southern Hemisphere ? Jared Towers and Rebecca Wellard

Killer Whales ? Ken Balcomb


Killer Whale ?
bill bisset

Killer Whales I?ve Known ?
Steve Huxter

Learning to Love the Sea Wolves ?
Jason M. Colby

Swimming into Popular Culture ?
Lorne Hammond

Collecting Culture ?
Gavin Hanke

Beginnings ?
Paul Spong

Killer Whales Who Changed the World ?
Mark Leiren-Young


Orcie the Orca
? Oak and Orca School

Learning to Live with Whales
? Alex Morton

J-35 ?
Gary Geddes

Luna the Lonely Political Whale ?
Briony Penn

Kinship ?
Jess Housty

Kakaw ìn ?
Valeen Jules with
Patti Frank and
Julia Lucas
Orcinus orca SKAAnaa ? Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Artists' Statements




An insightful collection exploring the plight, past and promise of the Orca, powerful symbol of British Columbia’s wild coast and apex predator of all oceans.

Spirits of the Coast brings together the work of marine biologists, Indigenous knowledge keepers, poets, artists and storytellers, united by their enchantment with the Orca. A literary and visual journey through past and possibility, Spirits of the Coast illustrates how these enigmatic animals have shaped us as much as our actions have impacted them, and provokes the reader to imagine the shape of our shared future.


"Its luminous, large-format pages offer everything from Haida storytelling to marine biology, all to show our too-often-ignored kinship with this astonishing animal. "?Brian Lynch, The Georgia Straight

"The authors take you on a magnificent journey alongside orcas, bringing these beautiful creatures to life. Numerous perspectives that intertwine science, traditional knowledge and personal experiences reveal how strongly we're interconnected with these majestic, intelligent neighbours that live in the Salish Sea. The emerging picture shows how orcas are an integral part of human existence and fuels my personal and professional passion to do everything possible to help them thrive. These stories seamlessly make the reader a part of the orcas' history and fate. "?Jay Ritchlin, Director General, BC and Western Canada, David Suzuki Foundation

"In Spirits of the Coast. ..orca experts, artists, storytellers, and Indigenous wisdom keepers issue an invitation to understand, celebrate, and come together to protect these marvelous marine mammals. "?Kristine Morris, Foreword Reviews

Anyone looking for an introduction to the history, science and cultural significance of the orca could do no better than to start here. ?Daniel Francis, Ormsby Review

"This book is the perfect blend of science, history, art, folklore and culture. Orcas are a huge part of life on the west coast of Canada and Vancouver Island. The image of the Orca is ever-present. This book is a wonderful trip into the world of these magnificent creatures and what they have meant to us over time. "?Charlotte Kinzie, Kinzie Things

?This ?literary and visual journey through past and possibility? is probably the best literary bargain you'll find this year. . . . It juxtaposes gorgeous photos with sketches, poetry, Indigenous stories and first-hand experiences and observations of experts. ? ?Cherie Thiessen, Pacific Yachting