Preserving the Tradition of T'lina Making

Creator(s): U'mista Cultural Centre

Each spring, families of the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation journey to a sacred place along the coast of British Columbia known as Dzawadi, or Knight Inlet, to follow the age-old tradition of rendering what is called t'lina from the oil of the tiny eulachon fish. The eulachon is one of 12 species belonging to the smelt family. It is a small, silvery fish, 15 to 20 centimetres long, and sometimes called candlefish. T'lina is a food staple, a condiment, a highly-prized medicine, and holds great importance in potlatches as a symbol of cultural wealth for Native people all along the West coast and into the interior of British Columbia.

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