Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC)

Ground Slate Fish Knife

A ground slate fish knife, or kw’ets’tel, is made by grinding the stone slate into a fine rectangular blade with a sharp edge and attaching a wooden handle. Our ancestors invented this kind of knife about 2,500 year ago. It remained the perfect knife for butchering fish until we adapted metal traded with Xwelítem (European settlers) for this use in the 1800s.