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Nootka Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Wakashan branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock. The Nootka proper are a small group on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, but the name is often given to the Aht Confederacy, which includes more than 20 tribes. Nootka culture was fundamentally that of the Northwest Coast area; they fished for salmon, lived in long wooden houses, and created elaborate totem poles. The so-called Nootka hats of woven fiber were common among other tribes of this area. With the exception of the Makah and a few of their neighbors, they were the only Native Americans on the Pacific coast who hunted whales. See Philip Drucker, The Northern and Central Nootkan Tribes (repr. 1988).