Coastal peoples used bigleaf maple wood to make dishes, pipes and hooks for clothing. Many groups who made paddles out of the wood called it the paddle tree. They used the inner bark to make baskets, rope and whisks for whipping soopolalie berries.
In the Interior, aboriginal people ate the young shoots raw in the spring. They also made a type of maple syrup, but because the sap has a low sugar content, it takes a large quantity of sap to make a small amount of syrup.
Because of its close grain and moderate hardness, maple wood is used commercially for furniture, interior finishing, and musical instruments and of course Knife Scales.