Whales & Salmon: Just as the Plains people depended upon horses to help them catch buffalo, so did the Northwest Pacific Indians depend upon their cedar canoes to help them catch whales.
It took days to kill a whale. At any moment, the whale could overturn the canoes. They used harpoon type spears. Some Indians actually jumped on the whales back to help kill it. A successful hunt meant food, rope, blubber to be eaten and made into oil, and containers.
The Makah and other Indians hunted and fished throughout the warm months. In the summer they fished for salmon. In the fall, they fished for whales.