Prior to the European invasion, the people of the Northwest Coast lived in large, multi-family houses built with planks on a post and beam frame which were usually arranged in a single row facing the water.
The Northwest Coast culture area stretches along the Pacific coast between the Cascade Mountains and the ocean. It extends north of California to Alaska. This is an area which is the home to many Indian nations who traditionally based their economy on the use of sea coast and river ecological resources. The Northwest Coast culture area stretches from the Tlingit homelands in Alaska to the Tolowa homelands in northern California.