G.A. Fuller Artworks &Photography

Indigenous Story Telling Though the Creative Lens of G.A. Fuller

The Pacific Northwest Indigenous welcome pole, or "totem pole," is a symbol of cultural identity and important lineage for Indigenous communities. The various animals and figures carved into the pole represent important cultural and mythological stories, as well as family crests and clan emblems. The pole itself is also a representation of community and connection, as it is often crafted by multiple artisans and raised in a community ceremony. Additionally, the pole serves as a reminder of the Indigenous connection to the land and the environment as the animals depicted in the carvings represent the important connection between humans and nature.



In Pacific Northwest indigenous cultures, bears are viewed as powerful symbols of strength, wisdom, protection, and healing. They are recognized as the guardians of the wilderness and are respected for their intelligence, resilience, and courage. The bear is seen as a teacher and provider, and their presence is often associated with prosperity, good luck, and good health.

In some tribal traditions, bears are considered sacred animals and are associated with specific tribes or clans. For example, the Kwakwaka'wakw people of British Columbia have a bear clan that is responsible for the well-being of the tribe and the balance of nature. The Haida people also have a bear crest that represents their connection to the natural world and their respect for all living things.

Bears also appear in many indigenous myths and legends as transformative figures. It is believed that through dreams and vision quests, individuals can gain the bear's wisdom and strength. The bear dance, a ceremonial dance performed by many Pacific Northwest tribes, is a way of honoring these powerful animals and seeking their guidance and protection.


The Eagle is a very important symbol for many indigenous cultures of the Pacific Northwest, representing power, freedom, and spiritual connection. It is considered a sacred bird and is often depicted in artwork, legend, and ceremony.

The Eagle is known for its keen vision and ability to soar high above the earth, making it a powerful symbol of foresight and perspective. It is also associated with the element of air and the direction of the East, which represents new beginnings and the potential for growth and change.

In many indigenous cultures, the Eagle is believed to serve as a messenger between the physical and spiritual realms, and its ability to fly high on strong wings makes it a symbol of spiritual ascension and enlightenment.

Overall, the Eagle is a celebrated and revered symbol among Pacific Northwest indigenous communities, embodying the power and wisdom of the natural world and reminding us all of our connection to something greater than ourselves.



 Ravens play a significant role in the spiritual beliefs and mythology of many Pacific Northwest indigenous cultures, including the Haida, Tlingit, and Kwakwaka'wakw.

The raven is often seen as a trickster figure, capable of both noble and mischievous acts. In many stories, the raven is a sly and cunning trickster who steals fire, water, and other valuable resources from the gods to share with humanity.

The raven is also associated with creation stories, as it is often portrayed as a powerful and creative force in the world. In some legends, the raven is credited with creating the world and all the creatures in it.

In addition to its creative and mischievous qualities, the raven is also seen as a symbol of intelligence and wisdom. Its ability to solve problems and navigate complex situations is admired and respected by many indigenous cultures in the Pacific Northwest.

Overall, the raven is a complex and multifaceted symbol in Pacific Northwest indigenous culture, representing both the light and dark aspects of human nature, as well as the power of creativity and the importance of intelligence and wisdom.



The Thunderbird is a sacred and powerful symbol in the mythology of many Indigenous cultures throughout the Pacific Northwest, including the Haida, Tlingit, and Kwakwaka’wakw Nations.

The Thunderbird is often depicted as a large, bird-like creature with a wingspan that can span miles. It is said to have the ability to summon thunder and lightning with its powerful wings and create storms with its all-encompassing presence in the sky. The Thunderbird is also said to be a guardian, protector, and messenger of the gods.

According to legend, the Thunderbird lived in the mountains and constantly battled with the Killer Whale, who controlled the ocean. The conflict between the two creatures was said to create powerful waves and storms, which could be felt throughout the region. As a result, people feared and respected the Thunderbird’s power.

The Thunderbird is also associated with strength, bravery, and wisdom. It is said that those who can summon the Thunderbird’s power are granted great strength and endurance, which allows them to undertake difficult tasks and protect their communities.

In Indigenous culture, the Thunderbird is also used in ceremonies and dances. The dancers wear elaborate costumes that mimic the Thunderbird’s wings, and their movements mimic the creature’s powerful presence in the sky.

Today, the Thunderbird remains a beloved and significant symbol in Indigenous culture, representing the power and resilience of Indigenous communities throughout the Pacific Northwest.


Dzunukwa : Wild Woman of the Woods

The Pacific Northwest Indigenous wild woman of the woods is a symbol of strength, resilience, and determination. She is often associated with the natural world, serving as a reminder of the interconnectedness between humans and nature. She is a protector of the land and its inhabitants and embodies the wisdom of past generations. The Wild Woman of the Woods is a legend told be elders to children. They were told she would come to get them with a basket on her back and take them to the mountains, if they were bad she would eat them.

The wild woman of the woods is also a symbol of transformation and rebirth. Her ability to survive and thrive in the wilderness reflects the resilience and adaptability of Indigenous peoples in the face of colonization and oppression. She teaches us to embrace our primal instincts and reconnect with our true selves, reminding us of the importance of self-care and self-empowerment.

In some Indigenous cultures, the wild woman of the woods may be associated with traditional female roles as healers, gatherers, and caretakers. She represents the strength and power of women, and the interconnectedness between women and nature. Her presence serves as a reminder of the important role that women have played in sustaining and protecting Indigenous cultures and communities.



In the Pacific Northwest Indigenous cultures, frogs are considered a symbol of transformation, renewal, and rebirth. They are seen as beings that can travel between the world of the living and the spirit world, and are often associated with water, which is considered a powerful source of life and purification.

Frogs are also associated with healing and cleansing, and their songs are believed to have medicinal properties. In some cultures, they are seen as messengers between humans and the spirit world and are believed to bring good luck and prosperity.

Frog symbolism is often used in art and decoration, including carvings, paintings, and traditional clothing. They are also featured in mythological stories and dances, representing the importance of transformation and the cyclical nature of life.



Salmon is an important symbol for many Indigenous cultures in the Pacific Northwest. The fish is seen as a provider of nourishment and a vital part of the ecosystem. The salmon runs are also deeply tied to the spiritual and cultural traditions of Indigenous communities in the region.

For many Indigenous peoples, salmon represents resilience and endurance. This is because salmon are known for their incredible journey, swimming long distances upstream against strong currents to reach their spawning grounds. The fish also represents perseverance, as they must navigate dangerous obstacles such as rapids and waterfalls on their journey.

In some Indigenous cultures, salmon is seen as a sacred gift from the Creator, and is celebrated through ceremonies and feasts. The fish is often viewed as a symbol of abundance and prosperity, as it provides an important source of food and livelihood for Indigenous communities.

Salmon is also an important symbol of interconnectedness and the importance of community. Indigenous peoples recognize that the survival of the salmon is linked to the health of the rivers and the entire ecosystem. This understanding is reflected in traditional practices such as sustainable fishing, and a deep respect for the natural world.

Overall, salmon holds significant spiritual and cultural meaning for Indigenous peoples in the Pacific Northwest. It is a symbol of strength, endurance, resilience, and interconnectedness, and is deeply woven into the fabric of Indigenous cultural traditions.


The indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest, including the Coast Salish, Tlingit, Haida, and Nuu-chah-nulth, have historically viewed the orca (also known as the killer whale) as a symbol of strength, power, and good fortune.

Many indigenous communities have creation stories that feature orcas as important figures. The orcas were believed to be powerful protectors of the sea and the land. They were seen as the rulers of the ocean and were respected for their intelligence, social behavior, and hunting skills.

Some indigenous communities also believe that orcas have the ability to transform into humans and vice versa. They see this transformation as a reminder of the interconnectedness between humans and the natural world.

In addition to their cultural significance, orcas also play a vital role in the ecology of the Pacific Northwest region. They are apex predators that help to maintain the balance of the ocean's ecosystem by regulating the populations of their prey.

Overall, the orca is an important symbol of the Pacific Northwest indigenous cultures, representing strength, power, protection, transformation, and the interconnectivity between humans and nature.



In many Pacific Northwest Indigenous cultures, the wolf is a revered animal and symbolizes important values and characteristics. Here are some common wolf symbolism in Pacific Northwest Indigenous cultures:

Strength and Endurance: Wolves are known for their strength and endurance, which makes them a symbol of physical and mental toughness. This symbolism is reflected in many Indigenous cultures through stories and legends.

Spirituality and Guidance: Wolves are also seen as spiritual guides that lead people through difficult times. Indigenous people believe that wolves have a unique connection to the spirit world and can provide spiritual guidance to those who seek it.

Loyalty and Devotion: Wolves are very loyal animals, and they have a strong sense of family and community. These characteristics make them a symbol of loyalty, devotion, and commitment.

Teaching and Wisdom: In some Indigenous cultures, the wolf is seen as a symbol of teaching and wisdom. Wolves are believed to be wise animals that have important lessons to teach people about life, the natural world, and spirituality.

Communication and Relationships: Wolves are highly social animals and depend on strong communication and relationships to thrive. This symbolism often represents the importance of communication and relationship-building in Pacific Northwest Indigenous cultures.