The Dzawadi/Klinaklini Conservancy is within the traditional territory of the Da’naxda’xw Awaetlala First Nation.
Eulachon, small anadromous fish, are one of the foundations of First Nations culture and traditions in the region. First Nations families return each spring to the village of Dzawadi to harvest and process eulachon oil (Klina), which is highly prized as food and as a trading commodity. Dzawadi Village is part of the Da’naxda’xw Awaetlala First Nation Indian Reserve #1, located adjacent to the conservancy on its upstream boundary. Dzawadi was historically the largest village site within the Da’naxda’xw Awaetlala traditional territory, and its proximity to the conservancy points to the historical and contemporary importance of the Dzawadi/Klinaklini Estuary to the Da’naxda’xw Awaetlala First Nation.
Like all estuaries, the Dzawadi/Klinaklini Estuary Conservancy supports substantial biodiversity and ecological values. The Klinaklini River builds the estuary as it cuts through fluvial terraces and forms a heavily braided channel. Riparian vegetation grows on the terraces and is in various seral states as a result of periodic flooding. Returning salmon and eulachon are at the core of the conservancy’s values. Grizzly bear frequent the estuary from spring to fall, but especially in the fall, when salmon return to spawn in the river’s waters.