In the bowels of Nisga’a Hall, members wielded knives and an electric saw to dissect a large male sea lion into thin strips for smoking the meat.
“In our history we’ve eaten sea lion as long as I can remember,” Veronica Eli said.
Every year, after the eulachon run, Nisga’a members hunt for sea lions. This year they caught two in the Nass River. The larger one weighed approximately 500lbs and the smaller one was approximately 250lbs.
“We catch the eulachon first and then the sea lion because the sea lion eats the eulachon up the river. They’re so full of eulachon, they taste like eulachon,” Eli said last week.
Nisga’a members began to carve up the meat on Friday, April 7 and Eli said it can take up to a week to smoke the pinniped with alder, weather depending.