Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Social Science Native American Studies

The Nature of Borders

Salmon, Boundaries, and Bandits on the Salish Sea

by (author) Lissa K. Wadewitz

University of Washington Press, UBC Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2012
Native American Studies, Fish
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2012
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


For centuries, borders have been central to salmon management customs on the Salish Sea, but how those borders were drawn has had very different effects on the Northwest salmon fishery. Native peoples who fished the Salish Sea drew social and cultural borders around salmon fishing locations and found ways to administer the resource in a sustainable way. Nineteenth-century European settlers took a different approach and drew the Anglo-American border along the forty-ninth parallel, ignoring the salmon's patterns and life cycle. As the canned salmon industry grew and more people moved into the region, class and ethnic relations changed. The Nature of Borders is about the ecological effects creating cultural and political borders has had on this critical West Coast salmon fishery.

About the author


  • Winner, Hal K. Rothman Award, Western History Association

Contributor Notes

Lissa K. Wadewitz is assistant professor of history and environmental studies at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon.

Editorial Reviews

At the risk of straining the metaphor, her book explores uncharted waters and does so masterfully.  Wadewitz has just set the bar incredibly high for future historians who also want to turn their backs to the land and gaze out to those coastal waters.

H-Borderlands, H-Net Reviews, September 2012