The waters of Puget Sound and the Straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca were officially recognized collectively as the Salish Sea in 2009 by the United States Board on Geographical Names. This official designation originated from a proposal by the Stz'uminus First Nation, a First Nations government in Canada.

Acutely aware of the dangers of cultural appropriation, the Salish Sea Philharmonia Orchestra takes the name "Salish Sea" out of deep respect for the indigenous people who have lived on this land and plied its waters for thousands of years, who were forcibly stripped of their natural rights by white settlers, and remain under duress to this day.

The Salish Sea Philharmonia Orchestra acknowledges this painful reality and hopes to call attention to it by its use of the name--a way of not forgetting to whom this place originally, and still, belongs.