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Identity, culture, and the forest: the Sto:lo O'Neill, Amy 1999

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I D E N T I T Y , C U L T U R E A N D T H E F O R E S T : T H E S T O : L O By A M Y O'NEILL M . A., The University of Edinburgh, 1996 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Geography) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December 1999 ©Amy O'Neill, 1999 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writ ten permission. Department of kfgQi The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date /Y/l2-H°> DE-6 (2/88) Abstract I offer some tentative thoughts on St6:lo relations with the forest and, in turn, suggest how those relations may inform St6:lo views on identity and culture. While highlighting the variety and complexity of St6:lo attitudes toward the forest, I pay particular attention to those that appear contradictory. In so doing, I suggest that such "contradictions" are instead necessary antagonisms that spring from the constantly changing pressures to which the St6:lo have been subjected, as well as from the ways in which they have struggled to cope with such pressures. More specifically, in pointing to St6:lo attitudes towards forest work and forest conservation, I suggest that the St6:lo have been forced and even encouraged to make claims to their identity that do not, and need not, conform with what is considered "traditional." In this way, my discussion is structured around the relationship between a sense of St6:lo identity and the notion of cultural continuity, while aimed at highlighting the material as well as the intellectual realities behind that relationship. In a broader context, my discussion is aimed at reinforcing the need for more flexible examinations of Native identity; those that will highlight what it means to live in a modern Native culture, and what it means to be vulnerable to power. ii Table of Contents Abstract ii Table of Contents iii Preface v Chapter 1 1 Identity, Culture, and the Forest: An Introduction 1 Interviewing ....3 Private knowledge 6 Writing on the Sto:lo: Politics, Predicaments and Perspectives 7 Chapter 2 11 St6:lo Conversations: Emerging Contradictions 11 Introduction 11 Early Antagonisms 12 Motivations for Logging: An Inroad into Issues of Spirituality and Forest Work 13 Attitudes Toward Forest Destruction: The Emergence of Antagonistic Viewpoints 16 My Return to Sard is 19 New Antagonisms 20 Reinforced Perspectives 25 Going Against the Grain: The Dilemmas of a Spiritual Logger 30 Walking with Feet on One Trail? 35 Some Thoughts 39 Chapter 3 42 Colonialism and Industry in St6:lo Territory 42 Introduction 42 Colonial Beginnings: The Gold Rush and Beyond 43 Life in the New Colony: Living on the Margins 44 The Reshaping of Native Culture 54 Industrialism and Wage Work: Survival Strategies in a Chaotic World 61 Entangled Processes: The Creation of Contradiction, Rupture and Antagonism 71 Chapter 4 76 A Theoretical Platform: Perspectives on Identity and Cultural Change 76 Introduction 76 General Theory on Culture and Identity 77 Primordialism 77 Constructionism '• 79 Alternative Perspectives: Embracing Fluidity and Abandoning Authenticity 81 Work, Landscape and Trees in Theories of Culture and Identity 85 Identity, Culture and Work 85 Identity, Culture and the Landscape 89 Identity, Culture and the Forests 90 By Way of Conclusion 95 Chapter 5 96 St6:lo Conversations Revisited: Rethinking Contradiction 96 Introduction 96 St6:lo Conversations Revisited: Primordialist Interpretations 99 St6:lo Conversations Revisited: Constructionist Interpretations 100 Inserting Notions of Humanity into Understandings of Culture and Identity 102 St6:lo Conversations Revisited: Rethinking Contradiction 105 Early Conversations / 05 Working Loggers 109 Ralph George 110 Proud Loggers HI Parting Words 113 Bibliography 117 Preface As an undergraduate student, I wrote a thesis on the way in which Gypsy identities are constituted within struggles for power. Writing that thesis was extremely challenging and I can remember thinking, upon its completion, that I would never write about identity again. I wanted in the future, I thought, to write about something more tangible, more easily discussed; on an issue, or issues, that did not involve placing oneself along the precarious path of hearsay and guesswork. Yet here, once again, I have written a thesis on identity, and why? Because I realize now, more than ever, that identities, and the struggles that shape them, matter. To every St6:lo person who taught me of the importance of his or her struggles, I owe a debt of gratitude that I cannot repay. They have all been my teachers. They have taught me a great deal about what matters in life. They have taught me about forgiveness, about dignity and, as a person renowned for her cynicism, they have restored within me a good deal of optimism about the goodness of the human heart and the resilience of the human spirit. Among those to whom I offer special thanks, is Frank Malloway. I thank him for his kindness in allowing me to live and learn in his longhouse on Yakwiakwioose reserve. I also wish to thank Sto.lo healer and friend, Herman Peters, for his support. Herman took me under his wing at an early stage and proceeded to encourage me every step of the way. I am indebted also to Russell Williams. Our conversations will remain with me always, and will serve as a constant reminder of the importance of trying to overcome barriers to cross-cultural understanding. To those at Sto:lo Nation - Sonny McHalsie, David Smith, Tracey Joe, David Schaepe - and to others whose names escape me, I thank them for the immense support and advice they provided during the research and writing process. Special thanks go to my friends Keith and Teresa Carlson, not only for their faith in my abilities, their sound advice and good humour, but also for their generosity in allowing me to share their home during my second, extended stay in Sardis. Finally, I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to Jody Woods. As a friend and colleague, Jody supported me greatly in the production of this thesis. Then there are those at the University of British Columbia to whom I am exceedingly indebted and with whom I feel privileged to have worked. Dr. Bruce Miller is one. Had it not been for his offer to join the field school, I would never have come to learn all that I have learned. I thank him, then, for providing me with such a rich experience, but also for encouraging me to pursue my own ideas. I also wish to thank Dr. Robert Galois for his encouragement and advice, particularly with regard to archival research. Finally, I owe a very special debt to my supervisor, Professor Cole Harris. I thank him for the wisdom he has shared, for his good humour, thoughtful criticism, and for his encouragement to proceed in this challenging, yet intriguing field. Last, but certainly not least, there are my family and friends to thank. To my friends in distant places - Deana Didio, Hazel Grace, Amy Summers, Fiona Clark, Marie Folgert, Loraine and Jim Francis, Saleem Chauhan and Ahmed Ishmail -1 am grateful to each for never having allowed geography to come between us. They have all, in so many ways, encouraged and inspired me in this endeavour, and in so many other challenges that I have encountered. Of my friends here in Vancouver, I give special thanks to Brenda Fitzpatrick, Lillian Ford, Beth Gilchrist, Kathy Ostermann, Helen Watkins, Caroline Butler, Kathy Runnells, Kevin Stitzinger, Geoff Rempel, Erik Schiefer, Richard Powell, Johanna Waters, Alison Mountz and Jennifer England. I thank them all for putting up with my complaints and for making me smile during moments of frustration. Their support has been central to my success and happiness here. vi Finally, I cannot talk of success and happiness without mentioning Jason Barraclough. His strength and kindness of heart saw me through and will always be remembered. Finally there are my parents, Joan and Mike, my sister Sarah, and my great Uncle Ken, for whom a simple thanks is not enough. They are, without doubt, my most honest critics and loyal supporters. Al l that I have achieved, of which I am proud, is largely a result of their unconditional love. This thesis could not have been written without them. Chapter 1 Identity, Culture, and the Forest: An Introduction The culture concept accommodates internal diversity, but not sharp contradictions, mutations, or emergences. It has difficulty with a medicine man who at one time feels a deep respect for Mother Earth and at another plans a radical real estate subdivision. -Clifford, 19761 Clifford has captured a central predicament of this thesis, one grounded in the assumption that Native identities and cultures are bounded, continuous, and somehow rooted in the past. For Native peoples who today participate in and are governed by many of the same rules and economies as most in the dominant society, the problem is clear: How are they to establish their "Nativeness?" Many have addressed this question, but it is not one I attempt to answer in this thesis, simply because I think it is the wrong question. Instead, I aim to suggest alternative ways of thinking about Native identities, ways that encourage a rethinking of our notions of "Self' and "Other," and that seek to free Native peoples from an impossible dilemma. With this intent, I offer a set of discussions around what I regard as a far more meaningful question: How have Native peoples sustained their dignity and developed their identity through the limitations and opportunities associated with their attempts to oppose and embrace accommodation with an enveloping colonial society? I have always been fascinated by people and culture - an outcome, I think, of a childhood of travel. Over the last six years - as a geography student - that interest in people has manifested ' In Clifford, J. (1976") The Predicament of Culture. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, p.338. 1 itself in studies of identity or, most recently, of how identities are shaped through relations with nature. Yet, when I began research for this thesis, I had not intended to write about St6:lo identity, but rather about their economic engagement with the forest. Interested in St6:lo involvement in the forest industry from circa 1900 to the present day, I had planned to write a thesis that might contribute to an understanding of how the St6:lo had adapted to colonialism and industrialism. My research plans shifted, however, in the early summer of 1998 when long-term interests in identity and new found curiosities about St6:lo economic practice began to merge. In May of 1998,1 became one of six graduate students - and the first geographer - to take part in the University of British Columbia's ethnographic field school. As a member of the field school, I spent four weeks among the Sto:lo, at Sardis, and was asked to conduct research on the extent to which spirituality influenced their participation in the forest industry. Despite feeling somewhat apprehensive at first about my ability to assess such a relationship, I embarked upon a set of interviews with retired St6:lo loggers. In the end, when the time came to return to Vancouver and mull over transcripts, I found myself with a set of articulations that spoke not so much about spirituality and forest work, as about people's attachment to trees and about the ways in which these attachments and the identities expressed through them, had altered within different spatial and temporal contexts. What emerged were struggles over identity that gave way to the cultural "contradictions" of which Clifford (1976) has written. These so-called contradictions were evident largely, if not entirely, in the remarks of St6:lo loggers who at one time spoke proudly of cutting trees down for a living and at another emphasized the spiritual value of trees and demanded their protection. Examined more closely, these remarks pointed to 2 a basic struggle over identity that apparently revolved around desires both to participate in and withdraw from the dominant society, and that centred, essentially, on the economic relations people chose and had forced upon them. This thesis is precisely about this basic struggle over identity, about what it means to carve out an identity as a Native person in a modern world. As the above suggests, in this thesis I offer some tentative thoughts on Sto.lo relations with the forest and, in turn, suggest how those relations may inform St6:lo identities and culture. While highlighting the variety and complexity of Sto.lo attitudes toward the forest, I pay particular attention to those that appear contradictory. In so doing, I suggest that such "contradictions" are instead necessary antagonisms that spring from the constantly changing pressures to which the St6:lo have been subjected, as well as from the ways in which they have struggled to cope with such pressures. More specifically, in pointing to St6:lo attitudes towards forest work and forest conservation, I suggest that the St6:lo have been forced and even encouraged to make claims to their identity that do not, and need not, conform with what is considered "traditional." In this way, my discussion is structured around the relationship between a sense of St6:lo identity and the notion of cultural continuity - while aiming to highlight the material as well as the intellectual realities behind that relationship. More broadly, my discussion seeks to encourage more flexible examinations of Native identity that will highlight what it means to live in a modern Native culture as well as what it means to be vulnerable to power. Interviewing The information on which this thesis is based comes primarily from interviews. These interviews, sixteen in all, were conducted during two field trips to Sardis, each of one-month's duration. The first of these field trips was as a member of U B C s ethnographic field school. As an inexperienced researcher, being a member of the field school brought numerous benefits. For a start, my research was conducted in collaboration with St6:lo Nation and, as such, was assisted by its members - people whose knowledge of the St6:lo and whose research experience far exceeded mine. At St6:lo Nation, Keith Carlson, Sonny McHalsie and Darwin Douglas all offered invaluable advice on interviewing protocol and, in addition, volunteered the names of individuals who might be willing to talk with me. Without such assistance, making contacts in the community would have been an even more difficult and anxious process than it was. Arranging interviews was far from easy. In an ideal setting, it would have been preferable to build up a rapport with people before asking them to engage in an interview, but this was not always possible. In addition, my lack of private transport served to compound time constraints and meant that I could not conduct interviews on more isolated reserves. Working within these constraints, I aimed to talk with as many retired or working St6:lo loggers as I could. I also hoped to speak to relatives of those involved in logging with the hope that they might provide a different perspective on issues of spirituality and forest work. In the end, in May of 1998,1 interviewed six members of the St6:lo community, four of whom had been involved in the industry for the greater part of their working lives and who were then between sixty and seventy years old. The other two had no direct involvement in the forest industry - one a chief, the other a researcher at St6:lo Nation - but both came from logging families and had much to say of their relatives' involvement in the industry. In speaking with these six individuals, I hoped to learn if they or their relatives had a spiritual attachment to trees and, if so, whether that attachment had influenced logging practices. Given 4 my ignorance of both logging practices and concepts of St6:lo spirituality, I decided that my interviews ought to be as loosely structured as possible. My concern here was to allow individuals the freedom to discuss issues they thought were important. While I established the broad theme of the discussion, they were encouraged to speak on whatever they considered pertinent. This approach was productive and led me to a set of broader issues. These issues, based on individuals' shifting relations with trees and rooted in notions of identity and culture, brought me to a second set of interviews with different, more focused questions. My return to the field did not come until March of 1999. In many ways, this second field trip was less daunting than the first. I already had contacts and friends in the community, experience of interviewing and, this time, funds to travel to more remote bands. During my second visit, I wanted to interview members of the community who were currently involved in the forest industry. I also wanted to contact people from as many St6:lo bands as possible to ascertain whether people's working patterns and attitudes towards trees differed with geographical location. By the end of this second field trip, I had added ten interviews to my initial six. Eight were conducted with people actively involved in the industry and between forty and sixty-four years old. Of the remaining interviews, one was with a retired logger and elder, the other with a female chief who had strong views on logging and environmental issues. In all, individuals came from ten bands and from various backgrounds. Like the interviews conducted the previous May, all were unstructured and took, on average, one-and-a-half hours. As before, most interviews were tape recorded and then transcribed verbatim. Of those that were not taped, detailed notes were taken throughout and later typed up. In all instances where I use excerpts from these interviews, I have been careful to make clear to whom statements belong. I have 5 done so at the request of all those interviewed, people who strongly believe that their words are among the few things they have left to call their own. Out of gratitude to those who shared their words with me, out of a desire to respect their wishes, and out of an understanding of the histories and circumstances from which those wishes emerge, I use actual names. Of course the relations and identities of which I speak are drawn from the small number of individuals with whom I spoke. While I suspect that the struggles over identity discussed here speak to a wider Native community within and beyond St6:lo territory, I am certain that, given an opportunity to extend my interviews, many other attitudes and struggles would have come to light. Private knowledge My appreciation of the way in which St6:lo cultural knowledge is shared, comes with an appreciation too of the way in which certain knowledge is guarded. The importance of guarding knowledge - keeping it secret from outsiders - has been well documented within the ethnographic literature. As Wayne Suttles (1987)2 suggests, guarding knowledge has been central to the maintenance of a class structure within St6:lo society. The upper class are among those known to possess private knowledge and who, by guarding it, are considered to value their heritage. Spiritual knowledge is among that deemed private. This knowledge includes spirit dances, songs and ritual practices. Beyond sustaining class status, secrecy is thought necessary to protect these beliefs from outsiders - people they fear will take their beliefs (either by 2 "Private Knowledge, Morality, and Social Classes among the Coast Salish," in Suttles, W. (1987) Coast Salish Essays. University of Washington Press, Seattle. 6 adopting or attempting to outlaw them) and, in so doing, will eliminate the last riches of St6:lo culture (Bierwert, 1986). Regardless of their motivation, ideologies surrounding private knowledge have made the task of understanding St6:lo culture and identity difficult for outsiders (McllWraith, 1995). In undertaking research on issues of identity and spirituality, I understood that individuals would perhaps be uncomfortable talking to me about their relations with trees (particularly when framing my question in terms of "spiritual ties") and that even if they did feel a spiritual attachment to trees, they might be reluctant or unwilling to share it with me. On another level, I accepted that the issues I was dealing with - issues of spirituality, relations with the environment, and identity more generally - were simply very personal and would probably not be shared openly with a stranger, whether Native or non-Native. Given that to most I was a stranger, and to all a non-Native, I did not at any point seek the essence of an individual's identity (as if that were even there to discover or to define). This said, let me reiterate that this thesis is not one that claims to know the essence of St6:lo identities, but one that seeks instead to speak suggestively of the way in which individuals express their identities through their shifting and often ambiguous relations with trees. Essentially, I am less interested in statements of truth, than in statements of what people claim to be true and, as it turned out, never sensed that people were withholding information from me. Writing on the Sto:lo: Politics, Predicaments and Perspectives Today Native people are demanding the right to speak as authorities on their own cultures and academics are increasingly acknowledging that right. At the same time, non-Natives who write on Native culture are increasingly subjected to criticism. Among such criticism is the charge 7 that to write on behalf of Native people is to reinforce their exclusion from the academy, and therefore to deny them a platform from which to speak out against their oppression. In short, it is the charge of reinforcing an "Imperialist project" (Spivak, 1988:298). Aware of such criticism - and although asked by a Std.lo to conduct this project -1 have thought long and hard about the ethics of my work and, at times, have felt almost paralyzed by the politics of it. In the end, however, I have concluded that as long as one takes the responsibility of writing about another people seriously, then there is the potential for positive outcomes. With this in mind, I have sought to overcome a colonial discourse of writing. As part of this endeavour, I have attempted to keep my thought and writing suggestive. I have done so believing that St6:lo culture (like all cultures) operates without a master narrative, and therefore ought not to be written about as if it did. I have also done so knowing that the message I am trying to convey is composed not of beginning, middle and end, but instead of a complex and incomplete set of voices that sometimes speak with, sometimes against, and often times past one another. In grappling with the difficulties of this challenge, I have attempted to write in a way which, as Crisca Bierwert (1999:8) puts it, "leaves parts left over or incomplete." In part, this has involved moving between diverse St6:lo voices, interweaving them with theoretical and archival materials, and often playing them against Native pasts, presents, and futures. My aim, in so doing, has been to cast light on the breaks as much as the continuities in St6:lo experience, and to suggest the importance of both to the ways in which the St6:lo have made claims to identity in "a world ordinarily intensely buffeted by even small swings in economic and political processes" (Sider&Smith, 1997:72). 8 My wish to avoid imposing an artificial coherence over my work, comes with its own limitations. Here my path diverges from that of many post-modernist and post-structuralist writers; I see my responsibility as an academic to include an effort to make sense of what I have encountered, both for myself and my readers. Like Margery Wolf (1992:129), I believe that "our job is not simply to pass on the disorderly complexity of culture, but also to hypothesize about apparent inconsistencies, to lay out our best guesses, without hiding the contradictions and the instability." The importance of "reducing the puzzle" rests, I think, in our responsibility to communicate our knowledge of another people as clearly as possible. To this end, I have avoided much of the postmodernist language currently in circulation. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, I have written this thesis within an emerging agenda that eventually was expressed in my organisation of chapters. Chapter two is the heart of this thesis. In it I present the results of my interviews — a variety of St6:lo attitudes toward trees ~ and focus on those that appear shifting and contradictory. In so doing, I suggest that these attitudes inform St6:lo views of identity and culture and derive from histories of socio-economic struggle. In chapter three, I turn to these struggles, sketching out the colonial and industrial processes within and against which the St6:lo have lived since the 1850s. The chapter is offered as a means of contextualising and thus better understanding contemporary St6:lo attitudes and the apparent contradictions and struggles they embody. Chapter four is theoretical. Intended as a basis from which to draw my own interpretations of St6:lo attitudes and identities, it engages various theories of Native identity and culture. In chapter five, I take these historical and theoretical discussions back to my interviews. In so doing, I suggest that shifting St6:lo attitudes toward trees and the expressions of identity that accompany them, are not so much contradictions as unavoidable outcomes of St6:lo attempts to adapt to outside pressures while retaining a measure of cultural distinctiveness. 10 Chapter 2 St6:Io Conversations: Emerging Contradictions Introduction In writing this chapter, I have kept three things in mind: first, that a search for meaning in casual conversation must be accompanied by the realization that human experience is complex; second, that any attempt to make sense of that complexity will inevitably be difficult; and third, that no matter how well we think we understand what we have heard, or seen, we cannot claim to hold the key to any individual's understanding of who he or she is. Keeping these thoughts in mind has been liberating in many respects. It has freed me from the demand - self-imposed or otherwise - of "getting it right," and instead has provided me with the confidence to lay out my "findings" as I interpret them. With this in mind, I attempt here to guide the reader through my conversations with the Sto:lo, and, in so doing, to reveal something of their attitudes toward trees. I begin by discussing my early conversations from the field school, those that were directed by questions of spirituality and forest work. I then go on to address those from a second field trip, when questions of identity and culture were more in mind. In laying out fragments of these conversations, I point to a set of shifting and apparently contradictory St6:lo attitudes toward trees. In turn, I suggest that these attitudes, though neither universally nor monolithically expressed, appear to inform St6:lo views on both identity and culture. In presenting St6:lo voices, I try to confine my comments to a minimum, allowing, as best I can, the St6:lo to speak for themselves. This said, I do not offer their statements as unproblematic 11 fragments of "reality," nor, as I hope to have made clear, do I deny my authorial role in presenting them. My choice of which statements to use and when has not been arbitrary, but then neither, I suspect, was their testimony. In the selection process, a great deal has been left out. From countless hours of conversation emerge only a few, captured moments. In wishing to reflect the great range of attitudes toward trees that were expressed, I have selected statements from many individuals, and, in most instances, present them here as a series of episodes rather than unbroken wholes. That I do so is not to conceal, but rather to highlight, the complexity of those statements. In assuming the power to choose among voices in this way, I accept full responsibility for what I present, knowing that what I present may, or may not, tell us much about Sto.lo individuals or their culture as a whole. Ear ly Antagonisms I've talked to some, like this one elder that I spent some time with, who just passed away last year. He was a logger all his life, but he said that in the mid part of his life he came back to his traditional ways. You know, he says he remembers the last time he was involved in logging and sawing cedar trees, and it just sort of hit him: trees are sacred to us. I think in this case, the impact of logging affected his choice to stay in the industry. He said that was the last time he logged. Darwin Douglas, May 26 th, 1998 These were the words that began my research among the Sto:lo. My task was to investigate if there were others in the community, like the elder Darwin described, whose spirituality or traditional ways had influenced their work in the forests. As it turned out, six men, four of them retired loggers, two of them from logging families, were to provide my entry point into this project. In interviewing these men - aware of the sensitivity surrounding issues of spirituality and eager to learn more about forest work -1 decided to keep interviews informal and unstructured. This decision, together with my initial reluctance to inquire directly about matters 12 of spirituality, meant that information on the topic was gathered mainly from the "edges in." In other words, it was often gathered through indirect sources of questioning and discussion. Among these indirect discussions, the most frequent were on job variety. Without exception, all individuals spoke at length about the variety of forest work that they had pursued throughout their working lives. In addition, each spoke of the work-related travels that they or their relatives had undertaken, travels that took some as far north as Alaska and others as far south as California. From talk of work-related travel, discussion frequently turned to the seasonal nature of forest work. In many instances, individuals spoke of the need and/or desire to combine forest work with other pursuits, namely with berry picking, fishing and boxing. For others, such matters paled in significance compared to the influence of forest work on family life. For them, the industry had been destructive: separating husbands from wives and fathers from children, often for months on end and with devastating consequence. As it turned out, it was this talk of family life and logging that drew me into discussions about why individuals had become loggers, and, ultimately, into questions of spirituality and forest work. Motivations for Logging: An Inroad into Issues of Spirituality and Forest Work For most individuals, entering the forest industry seemed a "natural" thing to do. It was, after all, work that their relatives had engaged in for as long as they could remember. More significantly, perhaps, it was a career that their fathers had pursued and often encouraged them to pursue. Following in "dad's footsteps" was commonly offered as a reason for becoming a logger. 3 Individuals frequently spoke of how their fathers had become alcoholics because of the stress induced by forest work and their separation from loved ones. 13 Francis Phillips: (We did it) Cause our dads did it. We just followed in their footsteps. Russell Williams: Dad showed us how to work. Like we used to work for my dad doing the cedar - making shingle bolts and the like. Despite the obvious significance of wishing to embrace the roles of their fathers, for all concerned economic necessity appeared to be a much more important factor behind decisions to enter the industry. Without exception, all spoke of the good wages that could be made as a logger and of how - in an era when job alternatives were few, welfare either did not exist or was barely off the ground, and subsistence activities were being curtailed by government - becoming a logger frequently meant freeing a family from poverty and starvation. The remarks below reveal beyond doubt the economic reality that brought individuals into the industry. Russell Williams: It's like when we were young, there was no such thing as welfare: you either worked or you starved. (And later) To us timber meant money. Francis Phillips: The only way we could get money was through that work. Being on welfare was no picnic in those days. Our house burned down in Yale in '53. We asked for help. The four of us got thirty-seven dollars, or thirty-four dollars, and that was supposed to last us a whole month. We had to do things or starve to death. They took away our fishery. They took away our hunting and trapping. Herb Joe:4 I think the men in our family working in the logging industry were doing it because they needed to support their families, simple as that. They needed to provide food for the table and clothing for their children. And then, from my recollection, the men in our family took the jobs out of necessity. (And later) There was very few other jobs that were accessible to the Native men. My initial response to such statements was to think that spirituality had had little, if anything, to do with forest work, or at least with decisions to enter the forest industry. This thought was 4 While never a logger himself, Herb spoke at length about his father's and his community's involvement in the logging industry. He also talked, as I reveal, about their attitudes toward trees, and about his own recent spiritual appreciation for the forest. 14 reinforced when I asked respondents if they had ever viewed the trees spiritually, and if this had influenced their work habits. Al l answered that they had never viewed the forests in a spiritual way. What is more, most stated that this lack of spiritual relations was the result of time spent in residential school. Francis Phillips, for instance, spoke of how the practice of leaving gifts of tobacco for trees, and of praying to them, had ceased when children were placed in these schools. Francis Phillips: To cut a tree down we always left something behind, in exchange to them for giving up their life for us... .We were always saying prayers, thanking them (the plants and trees) for giving us medicine to heal our (people). That part was almost wiped out. Caroline Butler:5 What would people leave as an exchange when they cut a tree down? Francis Phillips: Ah, it could be tobacco, food, but mostly tobacco. Caroline Butler: When did that stop happening? Francis Phillips: Since they started sending us to residential school. You've heard, you can listen to some of the elders saying, we were always taught the Indians were dirty pagans. None of us wanted to be an Indian. Hinted at by Francis Phillips, and expanded upon by Arthur Alex, was an insight into how this process of "despiritualization" occurred. It was an insight, sadly reflected in much of the current literature on residential schools, which pointed to processes of assimilation and acculturation, to attempts to destroy Native culture. Amy O'Neill: ...Did you ever regard the forests in a spiritual way? Arthur Alex: No. I did not. You see we grew up like many of the kids that went to residential school. Many of the kids that went to residential school, many of the children that entered residential school, many of them could only speak about 5Caroline Butler is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Anthropology, at the University of British Columbia. As a mutual friend of Francis Phillips and myself, she played a valuable role in the interviewing process. 15 six words of English. The residential school didn't teach us anything about the outside world, other than prayer, and it was all sisters and nuns. I mean nuns and brothers and mass six days a week. And when we left there we didn't know nothing about the outside world, about how to...Where do we take our place in White society when we came out?.. .That's where we lost much of our Native beliefs, Native teachings, when we went to residential school. When they went home from residential school they were at a loss. Though not discussed by respondents, I knew from the literature that part of the acculturation process within residential schools involved vocational training, at least for boys. To my knowledge, this training has centred upon farm work, not forest work, yet it seemed to provide another reason why work in the forest might have been, as it appeared, a non-spiritual, non-cultural experience. This assumption that spirituality had little influence on individuals' work in the forest, or on their attitudes toward trees, was brought under question, however, when the issue of forest destruction arose. At this point, expressions of a purely economic interest in the forest frequently, and often abruptly, gave way to those of an apparently spiritual and cultural interest. Thus, hopes of a tidy conclusion fell by the way side and an altogether more complex and intriguing set of relations with the forest came into view. Attitudes Toward Forest Destruction: The Emergence of Antagonistic Viewpoints For many, forest destruction was an issue of real concern. From Francis Phillips there came calls to halt the cutting of old growth trees: There's too much at stake. The owls, for instance, they need that high perching in order to survive. Like these low trees, like here eh, it don't take much for a cougar to get at them, or a cat. Just little things like that. It seems little, but it's big. 16 For Darwin Douglas,6 the dangers of clear cutting were framed in terms of destroying the fishery: I think we've seen that as far as logging, clear-cutting, over-logging. It affects us in say our fishery, you know. The run-off from the clear-cuts have been ruining our fish habitat. People talk about things like that. Just how we need to start changing the ways we log. I guess changing the system: just clear-cutting. The industry does it because it's economical I guess. But it's only economical for as long as it lasts. You know, that's the general feeling I get. In making remarks of this kind, some spoke of Native peoples as guardians of the environment, distancing themselves from non-Natives and logging companies whose (ab)use of the forests they tended to class as wasteful. Russell Williams, for instance, remarked: Well if they had their way, you know, MacMillan Bloedel and all those big outfits, they'd take all the timber and not leave any. You'd have to wait for the trees to grow again. It's sad to see. Like when I was up the Queen Charlottes I used to have to take a plane to Sandspit and I'd transfer into a smaller plane and I could see all the places that had been logged. You know, just stumps. That's sad. In other statements, emphasis on Native peoples as protectors of the environment was couched in terms of a return to Native spirituality and "traditional" teachings. Herb Joe, for example, claimed: We (the Sto:lo) also believe as a life philosophy that the trees for instance have shxweli - have a spirit - and, as such, need to be respected. This of course applies to all the land, the rivers, and the trees in particular. I've heard a number of the elders in our longhouses talk about the trees talking to them. Now I personally have never had a tree talk to me, but I guess spiritually, if one were to have spent some time in the woods praying, I can appreciate that they would have received a message on a spiritual level. Similarly, Francis Phillips, having stated that he and others were "back to the old ways," later remarked: 6 Darwin Douglas is a researcher at Sto:lo Nation and is part of a logging family. 17 I don't think they (logging companies) do much planting. They should have it. It's about time they started putting things back, eh. Take like, we went up to Sechelt last week. You remember Carl, right? Well, I'm teaching him to do things our way. I tell him, but he's got a plug in one ear. The clams and the oysters, you bring them back to where you got it: the shell...you got to bring that back to the ocean. It was precisely this talk of "putting things back," and of having a spiritual connection to the forest, that led some to assert that the St6:lo should act as role models for forest conservation. Darwin Douglas: Some, we need to be role-models. It seems that the industry got to partial cuts. It's got to happen sometime. I can see the St6:lo people taking a leading role in that. It's the natural thing to do. We have a lot of values in forests other than just the value of the trees. So it seems natural that we could take a leading role in that. Herb Joe: I guess the way that I see the St6:lo people providing some leadership is simply through role-modelling. Our people have participated in the logging industry, that's for sure. And I guess through those people who have participated - and still do to some degree - there is a, oh, how should I say this. There is a degree of responsibility that they carry for the destruction of our forests... .But I think in most part that our people have been survivors and they've been survivors because of the philosophy of life. And that is to attempt to live in harmony with everyone, and to share what our description of the supreme being, we call him...and what we tried to do as a people, historically, was to live by his laws, by his rules, and that was basically to live in harmony with everyone, all of the animals, and the fish and the birds and specifically with the environment that we live in, the land and all that entails, all that God put here for us. That role, that philosophy of life, that approach to life, I think it, in most part, is part of our culture today. The remarks above, together with those expressed earlier, presented me with a complex web of articulations regarding the forest. Attempting to understand these articulations was by no means a simple task. For instance, how was I to reconcile assertions that spirituality and culture played no part in decisions to enter the forest industry, yet now played a substantial part in why the Stodo ought to be role-models for forest conservation? This question could not be answered, I recognised, from speaking to only a handful of individuals. Yet finding an answer to the question seemed less important than thinking about the additional issues it raised, among them 18 the issue of cultural continuity. Indeed, aware of the tendency among both academics and public (not to mention among Native peoples themselves) to equate "real" Native culture with the "traditional" - that is, with a culture recognised to be rooted in the past and marked by continuity - I was struck by the apparent contradictions that emerged during my discussions. Put differently, I was intrigued by how past attitudes about trees came to sit uneasily with present ones, and by how that conflict in attitudes disturbed the notion of a continuous St6:lo culture. It was this interest in attitudinal shifts and in notions of culture, that brought a new perspective to my research project. No longer was I interested solely in whether spirituality affected work habits, but rather in whether people's relations with the forest had changed over time; and, if so, to what extent forest work, residential school experiences, and processes of cultural revival, had influenced that shift. Accompanying this new approach were a new set of aims. Among them was a desire to speak with individuals currently involved in the forest industry. Given that retired loggers had claimed to have no spiritual relationship with trees while working, I was curious to find out if those presently logging would express anything other than an economic relationship. As I embarked on a second and final field trip to St6:lo territory, these thoughts guided me. My Return to Sardis My return to Sardis brought me in contact with a group of varied age, band membership, and employment status. Some were middle-aged loggers, others had once been loggers but were now engaged in alternative pursuits, still others had retired from life-long careers in the forest and now reflected upon those careers with varying degrees of satisfaction. Al l in all, I spoke to ten individuals, each of whom, in bringing with them their own set of work and life experiences to questions of the forest, added new layers of complexity to my initial findings. At the same 19 time, many brought renewed clarity to earlier comments, speaking as they did of their economic motivations for becoming loggers and of their economic interest in trees upon entering the industry. Indeed, only around questions of a renewed spiritual attachment to the forest did responses tend to diverge markedly from those expressed earlier. This was particularly evident in the responses of working loggers. New Antagonisms In interviewing working loggers, I was, as I mentioned earlier, curious to learn if their attitudes toward the forest were entirely economic, or if, like the retired loggers I had spoken to previously, they had developed a recent spiritual or cultural appreciation for trees. As it turned out, there was no consensus on the issue. Three stated that they felt no spiritual attachment to the forest and, what is more, had no desire to acquire such an attachment, whilst three others claimed to have recently developed a new set of attitudes - be they cultural and/or spiritual -toward trees. Leaving the former responses for later discussion, I turn now to the latter. These responses appeared in many ways to mirror those I had obtained the previous year - emerging, once again, from questions about how individuals had become involved in the forest industry. As before, individuals stressed the economic motivations for their entry into logging, frequently adding that it was the most profitable of careers open to them. In addition, all stated that logging was essential to Native peoples in the Fraser Valley given the lack of alternative employment that existed at the time of their entry.7 There was work to be had on the railroad, I was told, as part of the maintenance gang, for instance, but the wages were very poor. Farming was another option open to some, but as Chief Ron John, aged fifty-two, pointed out, a lack of good land 20 proved extremely problematic. The reserves, he argued, were often located in areas deemed undesirable by whites and, as a result, either covered by swamps or prone to flooding. Of his own 1,400-acre reserve by Hope, Chief John noted, "half is useable, half is swamps;" a fact that prompted him to add: "logging was the only industry (my people) could make a profit at." The importance of making a "profit" took on new meaning in these interviews. Unlike before, when individuals had emphasized their role in providing for wives and children, individuals here emphasized their role in supporting parents and siblings. Indeed most, as members of large families, spoke of how their childhood wages were pivotal in keeping the family from destitution. Gary Paul: I was probably fourteen/fifteen (when I entered the industry)....It was tough when I was living at home, you know, and I had to more or less go off on my own and support myself... When I first started working, I'd leave some money for my mum to help my younger brothers and sisters. Chief Ron John: I joined the industry at age fourteen, after my dad died. I was one of seven children and my wages were depended on. In listening to remarks of this kind, the economic importance of logging was obvious enough. What is more, I suspected that given that these people were still loggers, economic relations with the forest would continue to take precedence over any others. As my conversation with Gary Paul progressed from questions of why he had entered the industry, to why his job was under threat, I felt sure that these assumptions were accurate. Amy O'Neill: So do you find it hard these days to find regular work in the industry? 7 Individuals entered the forest industry in the 1950s and 1960s. 21 Gary Paul: Yeah. Cause a lot of people are hanging onto their jobs now. A lot of it's getting pushed out because of the spotted owl. And last year, I never worked for my company at all. Amy O'Neill:.... Are you sympathetic towards these environmental moves? Gary Paul: It kind of hurts a bit because that's your livelihood and it's your job, you know. A lot of it is stressful. You know your job is coming to an end. It's hard to deal with. (And later) As far as I was more or less concerned, you know, you cut a tree down and it grows again. Amy O'Neill: Has that always been your attitude? Gary Paul: Well a lot of the old growth is going to fall on the ground anyways so. And the companies I've worked for, we've always replanted. As I suggested, Gary's talk of having to earn a living and of trees "falling on the ground" and simply "growing again," indicated little, if anything, of a spiritual connection with the forest. Nonetheless, I then asked whether teachings about the forest had ever been passed on to him. His response was similar to previous ones: "No. There were no teachings at all about it, cause a lot of it was taken away from us in (residential school)." Expecting the conversation to shift to another topic, I was surprised when Gary went on to inform me that he had recently become a spirit dancer and was learning some of the "traditional" values about the forest: ....Within the last couple of years like, I just got into the longhouse. And I've learned to respect some of the values of the trees after being in the longhouse. Intrigued by this remark, I asked whether combining these new "values" with a logging career had brought him a sense of internal conflict. His response, somewhat apprehensively delivered, was: It's a tough question. It's. I don't know how to put it. It's my living, you know. That's all I've done for the last, probably, twenty-five years now. From Gary's words emerged a set of attitudes and circumstances notably different from those of earlier respondents. Certainly a shift from economic toward spiritual/cultural relations with the forest appeared to have taken place, but that shift was undoubtedly made more problematic 22 because Gary continued to log. Indeed, for me, and I suspect for Gary, difficulty lay in trying to reconcile not only an apparent conflict between past views and present ones, but a conflict between present views and present actions. In other words, in trying to reconcile the apparent contradiction of claiming, on the one hand, to have a spiritual attachment to trees and of continuing to cut them down on the other. In talking to other loggers, it was clear the Gary Paul was not alone in experiencing this dilemma. Chief Ron John, for instance, remarked that he too had known little about the "traditional" values of the forest as a boy, but that through "listening to a lot of people" - either at pow wows or elders' gatherings - he was making every effort to learn them. In asking Chief John of his ability to reconcile these "traditional" values with logging practices, he remarked: "We have a lot of the same feelings as a hundred years ago. We want to see Mother Earth protected, but it's a difficult struggle." The struggle to live, combining economic needs with spiritual/cultural ones, was perhaps most poignantly described by logger Mike Kelly. In articulating this struggle, Mike began by describing how, as a child, he had been placed in residential school, and thus separated from Native culture and traditions: I didn't learn very much from my father. I was in school, and then when I turned sixteen, I quit school. And then I started logging at seventeen. And so I wasn't around my dad very much because a lot of us were in residential school. As Mike would later articulate, entering the forest industry so soon after leaving school brought a further degree of cultural separation, removing him, as had residential school, from his community and the ceremonies particular to it: "I didn't go to our ceremonies around here. Like I said, I was gone for a good many years." 23 As our conversation progressed, and as we began to talk of a revival of St6:lo traditions, I asked Mike if he had ever viewed the trees in a spiritual way. He replied: Well I learned a lot of that way after. And I feel that everybody is just learning today And with that I feel it's educational, but we can't go overboard on it because a lot of us have been logging. I've been logging for thirty-five years now. I still do it, even though now I know we used the cedar tree for clothing and shelter and cleansing and all of that, eh. Concerns of "going overboard" were likewise articulated during discussions about environmentalists and their attempts to curb logging activities: I agree with them to an extent, you know, but they go overboard - like Greenpeace or whatever - and try to shut everybody down just because they're millionaires. Like Gary Paul's, Mike's statements above spoke of an altogether more ambivalent adoption of "traditional" values than those I had encountered on my initial field trip. They also pointed to a much more ambivalent approach to forest conservation; notably absent were claims of having an ancestral bond with the forest, or of living in harmony with nature. This ambivalence, Mike later said, stemmed from a struggle to bring "traditional" pursuits and values in line with economic needs. Amy O'Neill: So it (logging) doesn't cause you any conflict? You know, you can appreciate the tradition, but it wouldn't prevent you from logging? Mike Kelly: We have to learn how to survive in this type of environment, in this type of world. We have to learn how and appreciate what we do have, but then again, we have to live also. So it's give and take....It's the survival game. There's so many things that we don't have any control over. The only things we can control is our minds and our spirit. It was here, in talk of "survival" and of a loss of control over many of life's realms, that a context was provided in which the conflict between logging practices and "traditional" values seemed to make sense. This understanding came in appreciating that Mike's teachings about the forest provided him with a distance - as he put it, in "mind and spirit" - from a dominant and 24 controlling society of which he recognised himself to be very much a part. In other words, it came in seeing his teachings as an aspect of his adaptation to, rather than rejection of, dominant society's structures and institutions. Reinforced Perspectives With struggles over economy and culture in mind, I turned to several retired loggers, interested in their views on the forest and on the task of combining logging practices with a cultural/spiritual appreciation for trees. Among the first with whom I spoke was Sidney Douglas, a man who had entered the forest industry at age fifteen, but who left after only six years. In talking of his attitude toward the forest, Sidney claimed he had never been taught "outright" about trees, and that his logging pursuits had therefore never been problematic. On the other hand, he stated that he was aware of the dilemma others faced in working as loggers during an era of cultural revival, and pointed to what he believed lay at the heart of that dilemma: Like everything else. Everything turns down to the money system. You know, like years ago, you didn't need that much money to sustain yourself. But it's a new system we live in. We can't go back because the past has been encroached upon. (And) you know, our people like to live comfortably too. That's why they have to go out. (And later) Times have changed, so the way we sustain ourselves have changed also. If for Sidney, the apparent contradiction of logging whilst culturally/spiritually "respecting" trees could be resolved by pointing to how "times have changed," Chief Jimmy George offered a different approach to the dilemma. Chief Jimmy George: I think these people, the people I've worked with, they're "traditional-valued" people....They're still practicing what they want to practice, but, you know, like me myself. I was a wood gatherer from when I was a young man, a young boy. So I just turned my wood gathering into a (pause). Amy O'Neill: A bigger project? 25 Chief Jimmy George: Yeah. So we're still doing it. We're still doing it to help other human beings. So as far as it being a part of caring for each other - that element is there. As one can see, Chief George appeared to suggest that the dilemma could be resolved by understanding that logging pursuits were an extension of, rather than a break from, "traditional" pursuits. In this way, then, it seemed as if he were attempting to resolve the conflict between economic and cultural pursuits simply by collapsing the two; that is, by seeing economic pursuits as cultural ones. But this was to be only part of the picture, perhaps only how some would come to terms with bringing economic and spiritual relations with the forest together. As Chief George later added: No. It's not that our people aren't culturally valued in what they do. They need to do what they're doing because they need to pay for their house, like everybody else. And feed their family, like everybody else. They just don't have anything else. (And later) The power that is hung over the top of all of our heads: the almighty dollar. When we're trying to practice our traditional (ways) we're running back out of the door as fast as we can.. ..It's hard to walk with a foot on both trails and no one "understands that. As the statement above reveals, Chief George went on to speak, not of an unproblematic union of work and "traditional" values, but of an anguished, now familiar, situation: of a struggle in which individuals, torn by competing forces and driven by economic need, attempt to "walk with a foot on both trails." Compelled by the poignancy of his statement, I asked Chief George if he thought it possible that people could comfortably balance both cultural and economic views of the forest. In responding, Chief George turned the conversation towards himself and, in so doing, provided an insight into how he has been able to reach such a balance: ....If I didn't have the elders that I have, I wouldn't be able to speak the way I do. I wouldn't be able to feel the way I do. I wouldn't be able to understand the way I do. And you asked me something about if you could come to a balance with your traditional culture and still be able to hang on to any little bit of what it takes to survive: that's what I'm doing. That's who I am today. 26 Chief George's reference to "the elders" suggested that they had enabled him to reach a balance between his work and his cultural beliefs. As I reflected upon Chief George's current role as Chief and spiritual healer, at the same time thinking of what I had been told of his lengthy career as a logger, the need to find a balance seemed clear. In this case, Chief George's past pursuits, and the values associated with them, appeared inconsistent with his present ones. Yet, he made no attempt to conceal that inconsistency. Indeed, while he claimed to now to be "a very traditional man" - teaching his community, amongst other things, of the spiritual significance of the forest and of the need to respect nature - he explained that his actions and beliefs had once been very different. For instance, he spoke of how, at age sixteen, he had entered the forest industry and for many years been more concerned about the economic benefits and the great dangers of his work, than about the well-being of the forest and its creatures: At the time, I think when I was doing it. I think my first reason for entering was that nobody made a big issue about it. It was the fact I needed a job, there it was, go and do it... .(And) There was no room to think, "Jeez, I wonder how those poor animals are doing." We're busy ducking and diving and running for your life. As Chief George stressed, his attitudes toward the forest and his work did change, however, toward the end of his twenty-year career in the forest industry. In recalling his return to old, once deeply forested hunting grounds, later scarred by logging, he remarked: I think that's when I started to open up the back of my mind and realized that wasn't right...I started to realize we are devastating at it...we were having a powerful impact. I never had all of that (realization) then. It takes time. This realization of the industry's destructive impact on the environment, together with the physical demands and dangers of the job, eventually led Chief George from forest work toward the teachings of his elders; and, thus, to an experience remarkably similar to that of the elder Darwin had described (see page 11). 27 As Chief George went on to talk of his teachings and of the rituals he regularly conducts, I made a rather surprising discovery. Indeed, it transpired that, quite unlike others with whom I had spoken, Chief George's teachings had come to him not just in recent years, nor just through those in his own community, but instead were being relearned and built upon through a variety of sources. Amy O'Neill: Who taught you these things (rituals)? Chief George: I think it's a very broad amount of people because you've got to learn how to listen. And I've followed just about every ways that our people have adopted. They've come to our people and we've adopted them in some way. The teachings I carry myself come from the Sioux people from the South Dakota. And my teacher had his teachings from there. Before that, I used to follow my father around and we used to go to all the longhouses...I was around the more traditional elders - not my dad's generation, but the one just before him. That wave of elders. I believe my father's wave of elders were just in the process of gathering themselves, because of what happened to them: the alcoholism, the residential school impact, and the pressure society puts on people to get a job. You know there was not that kind of room. They (the previous generation of elders) came from an era where they could practice it no matter what other people did to change that. In Chief George's statement were two apparently separate cultural influences upon his journey to spiritual work and a spiritual connection with the forest. The first, highlighted in reference to Sioux teachings, came from beyond the local community. It was an influence clearly rooted in Plains culture and no doubt part of the pan-Indian movement.8 The second, referred to in having "followed father" and been "around the elders," came from an earlier time and appeared to have a local source. Together, these influences pointed to both Chief George's and his community's attempts to maintain a level of cultural independence and continuity. Talk of visiting "the more traditional elders," for instance, hinted at a childhood privileged by class; one in which high-8 Described by Tennant, P. (1990:68), pan-Indianism is a phenomenon that results when "Indians from different tribal backgrounds come to have a common awareness and seek to act in concert." 28 class status provided access to those who "knew their history."9 In addition, the recognised importance of accessing such elders and their knowledge hinted at a community's efforts to retain cultural stability in times of rapid change. On another level, both local and extra-local teachings, together, appeared to have provided Chief George with a personal sense of self. Indeed, by reminding him of "where (he's) from, and what (he's) done, to be who (he is)," they seemed to have provided Chief George with a means of reconciling his past attitudes and actions with those of the present.10 So far in this chapter, I have presented attitudes toward the forest that appear to have altered through time. These attitudes, I have suggested, reflect a shift from a predominantly economic interest in the forest toward a more spiritual/cultural one. For individuals who have experienced it, this shift has created conflicts. For retired loggers, such conflicts lie in attempting to reconcile - both for themselves and for others - past views with present ones. For those currently logging, they not only have to reconcile past attitudes with present ones, but also to reconcile current logging practices with spiritual attachments to the forest. These shifts in attitude and practice, and the conflicts to which they give rise, were expressed by the majority of my respondents. For this reason they have been and will continue to be the focus of my discussions. However, other attitudes toward the forest were expressed and deserve discussion. They are significant in their own right, and they highlight the variety of relations people have with the forest, and the variety 9 In Sto:lo society, "to know one's history" is to be considered smelarlh, a "worthy person." Among other things, knowing one's history, means knowing "which productive fishing or berry picking sites your family owned, legends about the mythological past, special information about plants and resources, and having a relationship with the spirits of prominent family ancestors" (Carlson, 1996:89). 1 0 Just why the teachings Chief George received as a child failed to remain with him beyond his adolescent years was hinted at, but never made explicit. I suspect, however, that his incorporation into the mainstream education system, the need to work, and the pressures of work, played a part in forcing him to re-prioritise those teachings. In other words, I suspect that the pressures Chief George spoke of other Native peoples negotiating today, are similar to those that shaped his life experiences. 29 of circumstances - past and present - that have informed these relations. This said, I turn for the remainder of this chapter to two very different sets of relations with the forest, both relatively consistent through time, yet profoundly different in the ways in which they have shaped lives. The first of these relations, recounted by elder and retired logger, Ralph George, appear to have remained consistently spiritual - a fact that, for him, made logging a traumatic activity. Going Against the Grain: The Dilemmas of a Spiritual Logger Ralph George began logging at age fourteen after both parents suffered heart attacks and the family was thrown into financial difficulty. Like other respondents, then, he entered the forest industry not out of choice, but out of necessity. Also like others, he had turned logging into a life-long career and had much to say of the changes that have occurred in the industry's practices. Yet it was here, in talk of change within the industry and of present rates of forest destruction, that Ralph set himself apart from other respondents. Indeed, it was he, not I, who in expressing concern over logging practices made reference to the spiritual significance of the forest: There's some logging going to be happening right behind our reserve and I want to see what they're doing...cause that area's. There's a few areas. There's Hunter's Creek, the Jones' Creek, the Ruby Creek, Peters reserve and Seabird Island - all of those reserves in that surrounding area. Al l of them are using them mountains as spiritual grounds. And you know, when they take them trees out, they're taking part of our spirituality away from us. The explicit connection Ralph made between the industry's simultaneous impact on the forest and on his people's spirituality was powerful. It brought into focus the one-sidedness of my initial research question - making clear the need to ask not only how spirituality impacts logging practices, but how logging practices impact spirituality - and, more importantly, a very special set of relations with trees. Those relations, tied inextricably to cultural practices, were revealed upon asking Ralph if he had ever been exposed to teachings about the forest. 30 Amy O'Neill: So, just to ask you about your own beliefs or teachings. Did your parents, or did your elders, when you were growing up, did they teach you that forests were spiritual beings? Ralph George: Yeah. No, I was taught about the forestry. I was taught about the waters, the land, the ground. Al l of that was taught to me by the elders when I was eight years old. They took me into the longhouse and they said "Okay, you're in a special place, sit in the longhouse." When you're a young boy or girl, they'd sit you there. And they'd tell you "Okay, this is what you've got to learn. This is what you're going to be taught this month, this week, this moon, and this sun. Is going to be your teaching, your teaching for this amount of time." And they'd sit you in the longhouse and they'd explain to you what this means - birch bark, cedar and all this kind of stuff and you had to learn that this moon that's coming up. They go by moons and they go by sun. They don't go by days and weeks, they go by moons and sun, and then how many suns come up. And you've got to learn this in that amount of time. So when you sit there and look at them and you've got to be....this one you got to prepare a certain way, and this one you've got to prepare a certain way and this one over here and this is for this disease. This one's for this one and this one's for energy and this one's for your feast and your gathering - all of these different things. There's a lot of different things that we used to go by a long time ago. And that was on a daily basis, day-to-day life. And we lived that way. There's a lot of different things that we had to do throughout our native lives - the different rituals that we went through - spring, summer, fall and winter. That's four seasons that we went by. Each season was a different way of life. Each year as we grew up. Listening to Ralph speak of a way of life far removed from my own, one bound so intimately to learning, understanding, and respecting nature, I could not imagine that his entry into logging was easy. Amy O'Neill: Did you find when you entered into the forest industry, was there any conflict between what you had been taught by the elders - you know, your beliefs - and taking part in what might be seen as some kind of destruction...? Ralph George: Oh yeah, there was. It was hard for me to get started. But the only way that I could survive to feed my parents and my sister and brother, was to do that...I had just turned into my manhood and I went logging. So this was hard for me to see the destruction of something I was taught to worship, and taught to pray to, and taught how to use all of these different things. It was hard for me to go up there and do it. But in another sense, I had to do it to survive... As clear as Ralph's anguish at having to log may have seemed, it was not until I asked if his work had become easier that the full extent of his suffering was revealed: 31 Yeah, it did. After about five years, I guess then it started to go as a daily job. Then I could go out there and do it. The first five years it was hard for me to cope with. Go out there and do that work, come home, and when our certain season changed and then go and worship in our own longhouse. And then I could see myself getting split, you know, as a person. My spirit was over here and my body's over here. So that was two different things I was trying to cope with. And the elders had to work with me hard on this. (And later) My spirit was broken down. My body split apart. My heart busted just because I had to do that. It was totally against my own way of life, the way that the elders taught me.... The elders had to work hard just so I could go out there and do that job. Taken together, Ralph's statements conveyed a degree of antagonism between work practices and spiritual beliefs quite unlike any I had come across. It was an antagonism hard to grasp within my own framework of understanding. I had "not lived it," as Ralph gently reminded me, therefore I could not fully comprehend the nature of what he had experienced. His experience may have been comparable to that of a pacifist sent into combat, but I would never know. Nor would I ever fully comprehend the outcome of that experience. Indeed his talk of body and spirit separating - a condition often referred to as "spirit sickness" within the community - appeared equally traumatic and foreign. Yet, it pointed to an experience that not so much disturbed, as destroyed Ralph's sense of self, leading him to a state of identity crisis. Like Chief George, however, that sense of crisis appeared to have been overcome, or at least ameliorated, through the work of elders. As Ralph explained, the elders had worked with him to reunite spirit and body, embracing him in the longhouse whilst simultaneously encouraging him to return to the woods. In a sense, then, they appeared to have been key to his adaptation. In pondering the burden that Ralph had shouldered in becoming a logger, I was forced to think again about the economic circumstances that would have necessitated this move. In so doing, I wondered whether Ralph could have perhaps avoided such torment had economic opportunities in the area been more varied when he entered the industry. At the same time, my mind was drawn back to earlier discussions with logger, Stan Peters. In those discussions, Stan had claimed that many Native peoples south of the border, in Washington state, "didn't fall trees," 32 but instead chose either to "fish or collect treaty money." Curious if Ralph had similar knowledge, I asked if he too knew of Washington Natives refusing to log. He gave this response: Oh yeah....There was quite a few up here that was recruited down to the States to do that job, 'cause the Natives down there was totally against it.... (It) was totally against their culture, so they didn't do it. That the possibility of choosing whether to go against one's culture seemed open to many Washington Natives and closed to many Sto:lo, suggested that a greater number of employment alternatives had existed for the former. As Ralph went on to speak of why some Washington Natives had not logged,11 this seemed indeed to be the case: ...They had a different way of life than we did up here. Like there, they live right down by the ocean, most of them. And they had their ocean activities down there that brought in their income to meet their needs. So they didn't have to quit fishing and go logging.... The logging industry was not their way of life, like ours is around the Fraser Valley here... .They had a better choice of employment. I mean we were just stuck with mostly the forest industry up on reserve. If economic circumstances in the past had forced many St6:lo to put logging before their cultural beliefs, Ralph stressed that today the dynamics of the struggle between economy and culture had merely been altered, not made easier. Indeed, while he stressed that St6:lo culture was "coming out of the woodwork," he simultaneously pointed out how St6:lo communities were being increasingly encroached upon: Their (non-Native) communities are wrapped around our reserves, you know. The whole environment has changed, and now we have to keep up with them in order to survive. If we don't keep up to them, then we're left behind, and then 1 1 It is important to note that logging has provided an income for some Washington Natives. 33 we're in the poverty level. Eighty percent of our people on each reserve is on welfare. With these two opposing forces at work - a cultural revival on one hand and the encroachment of mainstream society on the other - the struggle to reconcile work with cultural beliefs appeared, in some sense, to have intensified. Certainly Ralph stressed the lack of control that St6:lo people have over this dilemma: We have to do that (log) in order to survive, to get that almighty dollar. And it's put there in front of us, just like a carrot, leading you round with a carrot. And saying, "if you want this, you got to do this." And they're shaking that carrot in front of you. And if you want this money over here, you got to take this over here. And you've got to go against you own beliefs. And that's wrong for us, but it's the only way we can survive. If logging meant going against one's beliefs, it did not appear to necessitate abandoning them, at least if Ralph's experiences were anything to go by. Indeed, despite having logged most of his life, Ralph continued to speak passionately of the spiritual importance of trees and of his teachings in general. For him, being incorporated into the industrial work place had not, it seemed, entailed his assimilation into mainstream society. What it did entail, however, as Ralph had earlier made clear, was that he take a different approach to his teachings. The nature of that approach was hinted at during a discussion on logging, when Ralph rather unexpectedly began to talk of his visits to a Christian Church: I've attended a lot of rituals, and stuff like that, in white society. Just to go along with some of the people that are my friends...I went and prayed with them. I'm not saying that I changed my religion...The ritual's still there...but in a different manner. Ralph's statement, if interpreted correctly, suggested that logging practices had not forced him to entirely abandon his beliefs, but rather to embrace them in a "different manner." In contemplating his words, it seemed as if this were the "middle ground" that people strove to reach when either introducing spiritual beliefs alongside logging practices, or logging practices 34 alongside spiritual beliefs. As our conversation drew to a close, Ralph stressed that the more painful struggle lay in the latter endeavour. He also stressed that there were many today who did not endure either form of struggle: Nowadays I've come across a lot of different young loggers that do the work today....It's easier for them to deal with today than it was for me to deal with as a young man. I was taught strictly by the elders how to pray in the longhouse...(Some of them) they can go out and do it, and not even think about it. At this point, I felt as if I understood what Ralph meant. As mentioned earlier, I had spoken to Native loggers who claimed not to "think about it," to those who claimed never to have viewed the forest in any spiritual way, and for whom the struggles that I have discussed appeared foreign. In turning now to my discussions with these individuals, I present a final set of views on the forest. Walking with Feet on One Trail? Earl Peters was among the first to declare that his attitude toward the forest was, and always had been, primarily economic. This declaration came at the end of a lengthy discussion on Earl's work as a faller, during which he had laughed, joked and even fetched photographs. But laughter and signs of comfort were notably absent upon asking Earl if he had ever been taught legends about trees, or anything of the forest's spiritual significance. At this point, he paused, face expressionless: apparently unable to relate to such questions. Eventually, however, he would tell me that legends and teachings had never been part of his upbringing, and had therefore never come into conflict with his logging career. "I just worked," he stated. Responses of this sort, both emotional and verbal, were not unique to Earl. His brother, Stan Peters, had similar views. He too stressed the economic importance of the forest, arguing 35 likewise to be free from any internal conflict over work and culture. The same was true for Samuel Kelly, a retired logger, aged eighty-one years, who remarked: I always felt that I wanted to save as much as I could. More so when hand falling. Wanted to save every bit. Save every bit of tree because you got paid for it. Finally, there was Jack Mussell, a logger aged fifty-seven years, whose response to questions of having a spiritual connection with the forest often appeared laced with irritation. In a rather poignant statement that "trees are trees," it very much seemed as if Jack were attempting to distance himself from notions of the "spiritual," or "ecological Indian." However, I sensed from a later statement that Jack wished me to understand not only that economic relations with the forest came first, but that he could respect trees without being spiritually connected to them in any cultural way: Trees are alive, right....So now I have feelings for the tree right. (But) the only thing that I look at when I'm doing my work is that, number one, we need money. We need a job. Talk of economic relations with trees, per se, did not separate the respondents above from others with whom I had spoken. What did, however, was their apparent lack of anguish in maintaining those relations. Indeed, unlike other respondents, their responses appeared to convey a far greater sense of control over lives and attitudes. This sense of control would prevail throughout our conversations, including those on residential school. Here, individuals had a very different outlook from earlier respondents who had claimed that residential school was at least partly to blame for their lack of spiritual relations with the forest. Stan Peters, for instance, while stating that he had attended residential school, entirely dismissed any impact that it may have had on 1 2 He did, however, claim to have been affected by similar issues. In talking of the 1988 Haida logging blockades, Stan noted that while he was sympathetic of Haida wishes and fearful of their threats, his work always came first. 36 his attitude toward the forest, remarking: "Oh, but that was a long time ago." Jack Mussell was also quick to dismiss the impact of any residential school experience, despite never having attended residential school: How long do you use that? How long do you use a bad experience?....Would you want to be saying, "Oh the residential (school)? I'm here because of the residential school, or booze." Or you have any excuse you want. We have no excuse. We're all here the same. Presenting the residential school experience as an "excuse" for non-spiritual attitudes, or at least as an irrelevant influence upon attitudes, may have reflected (at least in Stan's case) more positive residential school experiences. It may also have reflected the desired outcome of the residential school process: a "mainstream" perspective. Yet whatever these responses reflected, they appeared, as I suggested earlier, to convey feelings of control. Indeed, if individuals did not look upon the forest in any spiritual way, it was, I was led to believe, because they had chosen not to. These thoughts in mind, I proceeded to ask individuals if they had any desire to become acquainted with spiritual teachings about the forest. Their responses, once again, emphasized the importance of forest work and indicated a desire to remain distant from spiritual/cultural practices. Earl Peters, for instance, stated that he had no wish to learn anything about Native teachings in general and went on to add: "I don't do things other Indians do...I don't go to pow wows and stuff like that. I just work." Similarly, Stan Peters, when asked specifically whether he was interested in learning any teachings about the forest, claimed he was not. Finally, Jack Mussell offered his views on the matter. When asked if he was interested in learning of the forest's spiritual values, through participation in longhouse ceremonies and sweats, he gave this response: "No...I tell you, if you want to sweat, come to work. You can sweat all you want. If you work, you sweat, eh?" 37 This powerful play on words revealed a sense of frustration, perhaps a frustration aimed at tendencies to associate Native peoples and their practices with the "traditional," or perhaps borne from pressures to conform to that association. Either way, Jack's play on words did more than that: in blurring the dichotomy between culture and economy, it provided him with a platform from which to articulate his feelings about Native culture, and his own sense of cultural identity. The way I look at it is, our culture - people are always talking about our culture, Native culture and stuff: we're living it today. What I'm doing to provide for my family and my life, would be culture now, many years later, right? When I was a kid and very interested in everything, my grandpa took me out one time and we kind of cut a little kindling, cut a little wood along the river in the canoe, right? Caught an old fish. Brought the old fish home, cooked it. The next day we were out doing the same thing - paddling on the river and looking for this and looking for that - survival. It's straight: what we did to survive is culture. For Jack, it appeared, then, that his work as a logger produced a cultural identity as it produced economic well being. Like Stan Peters, spiritual teachings of the forest, and in general, seemed to have little place in his life. Indeed for him, it appeared as if teachings belonged in the past, to be drawn on only from memory, not "relived" as a necessary part of being Native. This was implied not only in the words, "We can't go back," but more explicitly when he remarked: We can be hiding in a sweat...but you know, I'll tell you, there's more to Native communities: frustration, hopelessness and no direction - it's too far to go. It's too much to think. Too big of a gap. You know what I mean? And you've got to keep closing that gap.... (And later) We're proud of who we are. We know where we came from, but we also know where we're going. From these poignant words, came a sense of Jack's determination to shape the connections between his past, present and future on his own terms. If his talk of "closing the gap" implied the need to abandon Native culture or identity entirely, his talk of knowing and being proud of "where (he) came from" suggested otherwise. Indeed, it seemed to point once again to where he believed a dignified future for himself and other Native peoples lay: in the workplace. As he 38 went on to talk of his passion for forest work, and of his current attempts to rejuvenate the forest, his sense of pride was unmistakable and the context for his position, clear: "There isn't anything that I can't do....I love working....I want to work everyday." In summary, then, it appeared that for Jack, Stan, Samuel and Earl, logging brought no sense of struggle or anguish. Their expressed lack of spiritual attachment to the forest, together with their lack of desire to establish such an attachment, seemed to free them from any internal angst over logging practices. Moreover, their careers appeared not so much to represent a necessary chore that distanced them or took away from their "cultural" self, but rather a pursuit that offered, in addition to economic security, a sense of pride, dignity and even cultural identity. Some Thoughts In this chapter, I have attempted to highlight something of the nature and diversity of St6:lo attitudes toward trees. In so doing, I have suggested that these attitudes, often ambiguously expressed, convey a set of economic as well as cultural relations with the forest. Unlike Walkem (1994), however, who argues that Native attitudes toward the forest lie on a continuum from "traditional" to "modern" understandings - whereby "traditional" and "modern" are understood to mean cultural and economic, respectively -1 have suggested that individuals can and do hold both sets of understandings, simultaneously. In this sense, I have attempted to reveal St6:lo attitudes as complex, and as resting not so much on a continuum, but instead within a constantly rewoven web in which economic and cultural understandings intersect. What is more, I have implied that it is precisely through this interweaving of attitudes that apparent contradictions have arisen, those which bring to many a sense of struggle. For some, that struggle appears to stem from attempts to reconcile past and present views of the forest. For others, it appears 3 9 compounded by the need not only to reconcile a shift in attitudes, but to overcome the apparent contradiction of cutting down trees they claim are sacred. In any event, these struggles seem to extend beyond simple relations with nature to include notions of identity and culture. Indeed, in most instances, they appear to speak of the cultural and economic negotiations through which individuals attempt to nurture, or reclaim, a Native identity. While for some these struggles may provide a sense of dignity, for most they appear to generate ambiguous and confused feelings and practices; highlighting, among other things, the ways in which people come to stand in opposition to their own culture. In talking of both the contradictions and struggles that arise when economy and culture conjoin, it is important that I reiterate that such struggles are not lived by all. Indeed, as I have pointed out, there are some Storlo, perhaps a considerable number, for whom apparent contradictions over work and cultural/spiritual beliefs appear, at least on the surface, to be absent. For these individuals, economic relations with the forest appear to take precedent over all others, and do not seem to conflict with either their beliefs or practices. Also important, I wish to avoid suggesting that struggles over work and identity are confined to the Sto:lo, or to Native peoples in general: clearly they are not. Indeed, we all, to varying degrees, struggle over our sense of self, over who we are, what we do and where we belong. However, for those with whom I spoke, a sense of struggle seemed particularly intense. That intensity is apparently exacerbated by the need to learn and relearn how to situate themselves across often opposing cultural axes - in other words, by attempts to lead culturally distinct lives, while at the same remaining substantially within the dominant society's incorporative structures. In a similar way, I do not wish to suggest that Native peoples alone live lives marked by contradiction: we all at some point have changed our views over time, and/or acted against 40 them. Yet there is a crucial difference, it would seem to me, between the contradictions I live, as a white academic, and those of my respondents. Indeed, as a member of the dominant society, my contradictions tend to be confined to values and ideas, whereas those of my respondents tend to be inscribed in the material realities of life. For them, contradictions pointing to a lack of cultural coherence tend to become grounds for withholding access to rights and resources, for sorting out truths from fictions, and for withholding the rewards associated with the former (see chapters four and five). My point, then, is that who we are matters considerably in how cultural/economic contradictions come to affect our lives, our hopes, and our futures. This leads me to one final suggestion: that the struggles which I have described are not new, but instead stem from a colonial system that alienated Native peoples from their land and bombarded them with a host of contradictory ideological and legal demands. In this sense, I believe that they are struggles which, while eclectic in form, emerge from a powerfully shared history. With this in mind, I move now to chapter three, a chapter in which I turn to the past in order to highlight something of St6:lo socio-economic histories. In so doing, my aim is basic: I hope to provide an additional layer of meaning in the discussions I have raised, believing that the past informs the present, and suspecting, as does Povinelli (1993), that contemporary Native attitudes toward culture and economic practice have been misunderstood as a result of being assessed separately and in isolation from historical circumstance. In this way, chapter three is offered as a means of contextualising, and thus better understanding, both St6:lo attitudes and the contradictions and struggles they raise. 41 Chapter 3 Colonialism and Industry in St6:lo Territory Introduction The dense pre-contact St6:lo population was supported in large part by the Fraser River. As a provider of abundant resources - particularly salmon - and as a vital transportation route, the river lay at the heart of St6:lo socio-economic relations. The St6:lo lived close to the river in permanent longhouse villages and moved in late spring to temporary campsites for fishing, hunting and gathering. Having harvested most of their annual food supply from late spring to early fall, the St6:lo returned to their villages for the winter. Their society revolved around shifting seasons and made little, if any, distinction between the categories of culture, economy and environment. For most, both land and resources were intimately known, thought to contain shxweli (spirit power) and viewed as ancestors - creations of XeXa:ls (the transformers) (Carlson, 1996:56). By the late 1800s, St6:lo pre-contact ways of life had been fundamentally altered by the sovereign and disciplinary power of British colonialism. While Europeans had begun to live among the St6:lo after the building of Fort Langley in 1827, it was not until the gold rush, in 1858, that their numbers and powers were great enough to change St6:lo ways radically. Once 42 the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) was completed in 1885, the pace and momentum of that change was further accelerated. As an artery to the rest of Canada and overseas, the railway opened St6:lo territories to a flood of immigrants in search of land and a better life. At the same time, it created new markets for the province's fledgling resource industries, and paved the way for an industrial boom. Caught up in these processes - their population greatly reduced by European diseases, and their capacity to resist therefore weakened - the St6:lo soon found themselves marginalized and cast out on the fringes of a non-Native world. In the scramble for land and resources, both they and their subsistence activities came to be seen as obstacles to the European goals of progress and civilization, and were quickly brought under structures of colonial domination. Central to these structures was the reserve system, which was designed to detach the St6:lo from most of their land and draw them into the industrial economy. Within only a few decades, then, the St6:lo had experienced remarkable change. Their fishing, hunting, and gathering lives had been altered by a colonial presence that incorporated them suddenly - if not always willingly and never entirely - into a new political and cultural economy. Colonial Beginnings: The Gold Rush and Beyond During the spring and summer of 1858, as many as 25,000 miners may have passed through St6:lo territory. The arrival of those miners, most of them American, marked the end of a brief, yet largely peaceful fur trade, and the beginning of new and more hostile relations between the St6:lo and outsiders. Unlike the fur trade years, when Europeans had required the Sto:lo, gold 1 3 According to Carlson (1996:165), the Sto:lo population at contact may have been as high as 28,000. 43 miners tended to see them as obstacles. Bringing with them a host of racial assumptions and cultural intolerances, the miners conflated the St6:lo with a wilderness awaiting exploitation. In so doing, they categorized the St6:lo as "savages," as peoples whose settlements, berry-patches and fishing sites could be justifiably destroyed (Ray, 1996:190). Out of this context, arose intense conflicts over property. The St6:lo spoke out about their unfair treatment, while attempting to protect their land and resources. As more and more miners entered the region, all of them well armed, relations rapidly deteriorated. By August 1858, a war had broken out in the canyon. In the midst of this unrest, the British parliament turned the mainland - then known as New Caledonia - into a new colony, named it British Columbia, and made James Douglas its first governor (Tennant, 1990:17). With the creation of the colony came the implementation of British civil and criminal law, the introduction of jails, gunboats, and troops: in short, a system of control that would effectively bring Native sovereignty in their own territory to an end. Also, within this larger, more overt system of control, came an equally important yet much more complex and subtle set of powers. Tied implicitly to Eurocentric assumptions about race, were a set of equally Eurocentric ideas about land: about who would control and use it, and by what means (Harris, 1997:135). Life in the New Colony: Living on the Margins Of the some 25,000 miners who came to the Fraser River in 1858, most had returned home within a year (Harris, 1997:109). Following in their wake was a steady stream of white settlers, many of them Ontario farmers with aspirations of cultivating the fertile Fraser Valley. At a time when agriculture was deemed a central component of "civilized" society, the colonial government welcomed and actively encouraged such settlement. That the St6:lo lived on those 44 lands and were required, under the Royal Proclamation of 1763, to be compensated for their loss, mattered little to those in power. Unaware that the Proclamation applied to BC, most officials viewed the St6:lo as obstacles to progress and development. Their subsistence activities were considered incompatible with those of an emerging settler society. Governor James Douglas shared such views (Carlson, 1996). Unlike his colleagues, however, he did not view Native people as innately inferior. Rather, Douglas believed Native peoples had the ability to assimilate into settler society, as well as the right to be protected in their attempts to do so. The reserve system he devised reflected those assumptions. Through the allocation of generous reserves (by later standards) Douglas believed that the St6:lo would be protected from the encroachment of white settlement (Titley, 1986). At the same time, by teaching them how to farm, he hoped, and firmly believed, that they would abandon their hunting, fishing and gathering way of life, and instead become settled, "civilized" farmers (Francis, 1995). Writing to the colonial secretary in London, in 1859, Douglas stated: Provided we succeed in devising means of rendering the Indian as comfortable and independent in regard to physical wants in his improved condition, as when he was a wandering denizen of the forest, there can be little doubt of the ultimate success of the experiment....14 To ensure Native people's physical "comfort" and "independence," Douglas insisted that they determine the size of their own reserves. In addition, he allowed them to pre-empt land under the same conditions as whites. These policies emerged in 1861 and remained until 1864 (Harris, forthcoming). In 1864, Douglas instructed surveyors to mark out reserves of "whatsoever land In Tennant, P. (1990) Aboriginal Peoples and Politics. University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver, p.28. 45 the Indians claim as theirs."15 By May of that year, sergeant William McColl, operating on Douglas's instructions, had outlined fourteen St6:lo reserves, the largest of which at Matsqui was 9,600 acres (Carlson, 1996:71). Unfortunately for the Sto:lo, the reserves surveyed and outlined by McColl were never officially registered. With Douglas's resignation that spring, responsibility for ensuring the completion of McColl's work fell upon Joseph Trutch; a man who would disavow McColl's authority and abandon Douglas's Native land policies. From his position as Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, Joseph Trutch, effectively reshaped Native policy in the colony (Bierwert, 1999). An engineer and surveyor by trade, Trutch possessed little knowledge of Native peoples, yet believed firmly that they were lazy, dirty individuals with the potential of thwarting the colony's development. Following an 1862 smallpox epidemic which probably reduced British Columbia's Native population by a third, Trutch assumed - along with most in the settler society - that the "Indian problem" would eventually disappear with the Indians themselves (Tennant, 1990).16 Until then, however, he would continue to categorize Native peoples as savages, deny them title, and seek to relieve them of the "burden" of land-ownership. Settler demands fuelled Trutch's policies. Through a land ordinance in 1866, he successfully put an end to a central feature of Douglas's Indian policy - the Native right to pre-empt land - and, in so doing, secured additional land for settlers.17 A year later, in a climate of growing anti-Native sentiment, he moved again to serve the "public interest." This time his goal was to 1 5 Instructions to McColl from Chartres Brew, April 6, 1864, in B.C. Papers Connected with the Indian Land Question, 1850-75, Victoria, Government Printer, 1875, p.43. (In Carlson, 1996:71). 1 6 According to Tennant (1990:39) (who draws on Wilson Duff (1965)) the Native population in 1862, prior to the epidemic, was 60,000. 46 reduce Native reserves to a maximum size of ten acres per family (Tennant, 1990). In attempting to justify such actions, Trutch asserted that by neither clearing nor farming the land, Native people had "really no right to or use for (it)."18 In this way, he turned Native people's way of life against them, and left them with only tiny reserves from which to eke out a living. Trutch's "reductionist" policy had a profound impact on Native groups. For the Sto:lo, the policy brought a ninety-one percent reduction in their reserve land base,19 leaving them with patches of land too small to support either their traditional activities, or the agricultural pursuits that officials insisted they pursue (Carlson, 1997). Brought under this system of spatial control, St6:lo ways of life and the freedoms that supported them, became increasingly curtailed and compromised. In effect, Trutch's policies had succeeded in creating a rupture between a recent St6:lo past, known and largely understood, and a St6:lo present, unresolved and largely foreboding. Denied even the most basic rights of a British colonist, the St6:lo found themselves in what would be an ongoing struggle for political and economic survival. In the years following Trutch's reductions, Storlo leaders protested repeatedly to the Colonial government about the inadequacy of their resources, but to no avail. In 1871, when British Columbia joined Confederation and Native peoples became the responsibility of the federal government, the St6:lo hoped that their treatment would improve and that Trutch's policies would be reversed (Tennant, 1990:44). This was not to happen, however, for at least two This policy would remain in place until 1953 (Tennant, 1990). 1 8 Trutch to Acting Colonial Secretary, August 28, 1867, in British Columbia, Papers Connected with the Land Question. 1850-75, p.42. (In Carlson, 1996:73). 47 reasons: first, and perhaps most obviously, because Trutch became Lieutenant Governor, and therefore was able to entrench his policies; but also, and more significantly, because land remained a provincial responsibility. As many scholars have pointed out (Titley, 1989; Tennant, 1990; Knight, 1996), this division of power would form the basis of major disputes between the two governments, both of which had different notions of how Native land policy should evolve. On the one hand, was a federal government which considered that Native people had title to land and that it should be extinguished by treaties which made provision for ample reserves. On the other, was a provincial government that refused to consider the idea of Native title, and was bent on the removal of land and resources from Natives for the benefit of settlers. Given the province's refusal to address questions of title, dominion-provincial wrangles came to revolve principally around the question of reserve size (Harris, 1997; Titley, 1986). In 1873, Ottawa suggested that the province increase its allocation of reserve lands from ten to eighty-acres per family. Opposed to the idea of the eighty-acre standard, the province agreed to twenty-acres, but, in the end, reneged even on this agreement (Titley, 1986; Tennant, 1990). By 1875, the provincial premier, G. A. Walkem, presented the clearest statement on the province's land policy: The policy of the Dominion aims at a concentration of the Indians upon Reserves, while that of the Crown Colony, besides granting reserves in cases where the Indians preferred them, caused rather an opposite result...Under this (the provincial) policy the Natives were invited and encouraged to mingle with and live amongst the white population with a view of weaning them by degrees 1 9 According to Tennant (1990:43) Trutch reduced the Lower Fraser reserves by 40,000 acres, or more than 62 square miles. 48 from savage life, and of gradually, by example and precept, to adopt habits of peace, honesty and industry.20 In the above statement was the province's principal motive for keeping reserves small: the assimilation of Native peoples. The province hoped that by allocating reserves that were too small to sustain Native people, they would be forced into the labour market, where they would "mingle" with whites and, in so doing, become "civilized." Failing to agree on policies, the Dominion did finally agree, in 1876, to create a three-man commission (a federal commissioner, a provincial commissioner, and one joint commissioner) to address the Native land question (Harris, forthcoming). In the same year, the Dominion passed the Indian Act. As the legislative vehicle for administering Native peoples and their lands across the country, the Act was complex and multifaceted. Among other things, it defined who a Native person was21 and, at the same time, outlined how that status could be relinquished and the rights of a "full British subject" obtained (Tennant, 1990:45). The Act also, and very importantly with regard to land, set our measures to protect the integrity of the reserves. It did this by "defining them as federal crown lands held in trust for the benefit of Native peoples, by prohibiting taxation of reserve land and property on it,2 2 and by providing that a reserve could be reduced only with the consent of a majority of the adult males in the band affected" (Tennant, 1989:4). In this way, despite reinforcing relations of dependency that it sought to erase, the dominion government aimed to protect reserve lands against further intrusion. Premier G. A. Walkem in an 1875 DIA Sessional Paper (Annual Report of the Department of Indian Affairs), August 18*, p.liv. 2 1 "The Indian Act defined an Indian as 'any male person of Indian blood reputed to belong to a particularly band,' his wife and children" (Francis, 1995:201). 49 In 1878 the three-man commission was reduced to one man, Gilbert Malcolm Sproat, the former joint commissioner. Like Douglas, Sproat was generally sympathetic towards Native peoples and believed that they ought to have sufficient land to meet their needs. Determined to assist Native peoples, he set about listening to Native leaders across the province. After meeting with St6:lo chiefs and learning first hand about the inadequacy of their reserves, Sproat began pressuring the provincial government to assist him in addressing the problem. He requested that it halt pre-emptions near Storlo reserves until they had been examined and, later, that it free up tracts of the railway belt so that several could be expanded (Carlson, 1996; Titley, 1986). Rather than accepting Sproat's proposals, the province passed legislation that worked directly against them. The Sumas Dyking Act of 1878 was among the most consequential of such legislation. Through this Act and the construction it enabled, an American businessman succeeded in taking possession of a considerable portion of the Matsqui reserve, and in preventing the extension of other, smaller Storlo reserves (Thorn & Cameron, 1996).23 Sproat did enlarge several Storlo reserves (enlargements the provincial government later rejected), but faced a growing barrage of provincial criticism. In 1880 he resigned. His successor, Peter O'Reilly, shared Joseph Trutch's views about Native land policy. The small Storlo reserves, laid out in 1868, would not be substantially changed (Harris, forthcoming). After the completion of the CPR, both provincial and federal governments increasingly restricted Storlo use of Crown resources, as well as Crown lands. Between 1904 and 1910, for 2 2 The importance of this clause is stressed by Knight (1996:119) who suggests that, "if reserve lands had been required to carry the burden of land taxes much of it would have been lost through default." 50 instance, the province sold off large sections of the most accessible and profitable Crown timber lands to lumber companies and speculators. In what amounted to a "timber rush," St6:lo claims did not stand a chance and, as of 1908, their logging for commercial and personal use - both on and off reserve - came under regulation through a licensing law (Knight, 1996:111). By 1912, St6:lo access to game animals was also brought under regulation when provincial law permitted hunting for subsistence purposes only.24 Over time, regulations restricting the kind, number, and method of taking game were gradually tightened until, by the 1920s, most St6:lo were forced to act against them out of economic necessity. Finally, and perhaps most significantly, were federal and provincial efforts to regulate St6:lo fisheries. Such regulations were passed in earnest from 1888 onwards, when over-fishing by the commercial fishery brought a sharp decline in fish stocks. Blamed for the shortfall, and in the name of conservation, the Native fishery came under assault. Through an 1888 Fisheries Act, it became illegal for the St6:lo to fish without a license or to sell their catch to a white person (Newell, 1993) (According to officials, Native fishing reflected pre-contact values, in other words, a non-commercial system). Later, in the early 1900s, regulations regarding the use of fishing technologies and the times when fishing could be conducted were introduced and strictly enforced by Fisheries 2 3 In Carlson (1996:175). 2 4 It is possible that hunting laws may have been introduced to promote Native agriculture, as well as conservation. This is suggested in a 1910 DIA Sessional Paper, no. 27 (p.xxix) in which Indian Agent R. C. McDonald states: "It is found futile to encourage the Indians to start farming so long as any prospect remains of their other pursuits offering even a scanty and precarious subsistence." 2 5 Such regulations infringed greatly upon the Sto:lo, many of whom, despite working for wages, depended on hunting for their well-being. 2 6 As Newell (1993) reveals, because most licenses were issued by the canneries, the majority of Sto:lo people wanting to sell their fish had therefore to work for the canneries. In this way, the Act served to "capture" a Native work force. 51 officers and Indian agents; many of whom destroyed St6:lo fishing weirs and confiscated their boats. Then, in 1913, matters deteriorated swiftly when railway work in the Fraser canyon created a landslide that effectively destroyed the salmon run. In a bid to rebuild salmon stocks, the government banned Native food fishing in 1914, and later, in 1915, attempted to abolish it altogether (Ray, 1995:303). Such a proposal, at a time when many St6:lo were close to starvation, demonstrated the disregard authorities had for St6:lo ways of life and well-being. For the St6:lo and other Native peoples, these laws had to be lived around and, whenever possible, resisted. When resistance did occur, it took many forms. Many, for instance, continued to hunt, fish and log without a license, and/or took part in what emerged as a significant black market trade in fish. Others, however, opted for more overt forms of resistance, choosing, for example, to petition the government. Given the centrality of salmon to St6:lo culture and economy, public resistance to fishing regulations tended to be the most intense. In 1894, for example, St6:lo chiefs protested to government against the licensing system. We are troubled when we are told that we must no longer catch our fish in the way we have always caught them, viz., the long net anchored along the sides of our streams and rivers. We are also told that certain seasons we may catch Salmon for our own use, but not sell them to white people. We think this very unjust, for there are times when the sale of Salmon would bring to us little things which we could not otherwise have, And when the Salmon are in season, why A culmination of events led the Sto:lo to the brink of starvation. The potlatch (as a form of economic redistribution) was being enforced more stringently (Muszynski, 1988), the Sto:lo were increasingly being forced out of the industrial workplace (See pp. 62 and 63), and increased restrictions were being placed upon their access to game. 52 should the Indians be compelled to pay licenses for catching and selling what belongs to them?28 As long as the St6:lo had been able to hunt, fish, and gather in their former territories, the geometry of their reserves had been negotiated and a livelihood sustained. As regulations increasingly constrained those old ways of life, so the implications of a small land base became ever more apparent. In this new, regulated environment, carving out a living became increasingly difficult, for some impossible. Desperate to improve their circumstances, the St6:lo and other Native groups began to join forces in what amounted to broader, more territorial demands (Harris, 1997; Tennant, 1990). In 1913, a joint federal-provincial Indian Reserve Commission, the McKenna-McBride Commission, appeared to present a window of opportunity. Established in a bid to bring about "a final adjustment of all matters relating to Indian Affairs in the Province of British Columbia," the commission spent from 1913 to 1916 holding hearings and examining reserves throughout the province (Titley, 1986:141). In meeting with commissioners, the St6:lo voiced their concerns over a wide range of issues, including their right to hunt and fish. Their main concerns, however, centred on title and reserve size. As the St6:lo were soon to discover, however, the commissioners would not consider the question of title: their mandate, as they saw it, had to do with the number and size of reserves (Tennant, 1990; Ray, 1996). In 1916, the commission released its report, wherein it was recommended that St6:lo reserves remain unaltered in size. Cited in Carlson (1996:145). 53 As part of the railway belt, most, it was said, could not be reduced or expanded. Thus, despite the commission's promises, St6:lo grievances remained unresolved. The Reshaping of Native Culture -Colonialism in British Columbia, as elsewhere, revolved not only around the European appropriation of Native lands and resources, but also around the reshaping of Native cultures. In the quest for power, both endeavors were intertwined and justified by the same cultural assumptions: as members of the "chosen race," colonizers believed that the environment and the Native peoples who occupied it were to be "tamed," and thereby incorporated into the imperial system (Sibley, 1995). While certain of the need to incorporate Native peoples into an emerging "civil" society, colonizers were less sure how such incorporation, (or assimilation, as it became known) was to occur. In part, this came with the realization that strategies intended to incorporate Native peoples into white culture, whatever they might be, would prove more difficult to implement than those involving Native lands. Missionaries of various denominations were the "initial foot soldiers" in the assimilation experiment (Carlson, 1997:95). Arriving mainly after the gold rush, their intention was to protect the St6:lo from the evils of white society and, at the same time, to introduce them to one of its greatest attributes - Christianity. Their success in converting the St6:lo to the Christian faith was apparently considerable. According to Oblate missionaries at Mission, in 1861, "Indians, en masse, (had) enrolled under the Banner of Temperance...."29 Though it is difficult to assess the extent to which the St6:lo gave up their own beliefs in this voluntary "conversion" 54 process, there can be little doubt about the government's response to it: deeming Christianity the backbone of civilized society, it strongly supported the missionaries and, in time, ensured a larger role for their efforts to transform St6:lo culture. Government support for missionaries was reinforced by the fact that their endeavors extended beyond the theological to include attempts to reorganize St6:lo society. Within mission villages, missionaries sought to wean the St6:lo from their traditional practices and to instill in them the habits of industry. Farming became the focus of many of these efforts and a central part of life in many missions, including those established in the Fraser Valley. By teaching the St6:lo to farm, missionaries hoped that they would become self-supporting in ways acceptable to Europeans, and in the process would become "civilized." The appeal of mission activities was obvious to government officials, including Governor Douglas. In implementing his reserve system, Douglas had entrusted missionaries to set up villages, and instruct Native peoples in Christianity and farming (Tennant, 1990:31). In this way, he had hoped that the reserves would become isolated environments into which "positive" stimuli could be introduced, and out of which long term social and economic reforms would emerge. Such a vision remained largely unfulfilled, however, for a number reasons. Some St6:lo did become enthusiastic, successful farmers, but many did not. For most, reserve land was simply too inadequate to farm, and earlier economies either too remunerative or too culturally significant to forego. As for the larger goal of assimilation, the reserves proved ultimately Cited in Carlson (1996:62). 5 5 unsuccessful. By separating the St6:lo from the very society they were expected to join, the reserves not only hindered assimilation, but may, in some instances, have reinforced local identities (Titley, 1986; Tennant, 1990).30 The joint effort of church and state to assimilate the St6:lo did not end at the boundaries of the reserve. In the 1870s and 1880s, when the government stepped up its assimilative efforts, missionaries frequently worked side by side with government officials in recommending legislation intended to assist those efforts. The focus of much of their work was the Indian Act. In the early twentieth century, missionaries supported the incorporation of the Gradual Enfranchisement Act into the Indian Act, for it aimed among other things to replace traditional leaders - influential in maintaining Native culture - with elected councils. Also welcomed by missionaries was the Civilization Act, an Act intended to draw Native peoples away from their "immoral" habits through offers of full citizenship. Under the terms of this Act, only Native peoples who could prove that they were of "good moral character" (that is, that they had abandoned such "customs" as polygamy and slavery), free of debt, and able to read and write, would be entitled to full citizenship and the privileges attached thereto (Carlson, 1996:97).31 Perhaps best known of this impressive legislation was the anti-potlatch law of 1884. Under this amendment to the Indian Act, government and missionaries hoped to destroy one of the main economic and social institutions of Native life. In deeming the potlatch "immoral," "heathen," As Tennant (1990:38) notes, because Native communities were allowed to choose the location of their reserves they were able to remain resident within their ancestral homelands. Moreover, they "could retain a sense of communal unity and an active connection with historic places and communal memories." 3 1 As Carlson (1996) notes, in the C19th most full Canadian citizens of British or European origin could not have met all the citizenship requirements established for "Indians." Thus, to gain citizenship, Native peoples were expected to become more "civilized" than whites. 56 and "communistic," the Act made it illegal for Native peoples to gather at any event at which gifts were given (Carlson, 1996:99). For the Sto:lo, the anti-potlatch law was one of the most powerful acts of European cultural intolerance. The law did not succeed, however, in eradicating either potlatching practices or the socio-economic systems they supported. In part, this was because many Native leaders moved the potlatch underground, but also because, until 1910, the provincial government would not enforce the ban. Just why the province chOse not to enforce the potlatch law remains unclear, though Knight (1996:121) speculates that the underlying reasons were economic. In suggesting that wage labour provided Native peoples with much of the wealth required to potlatch, he argues that the province viewed the practice as necessary to secure and maintain a valuable Native labour force. Legislative attempts to suppress Native culture represented only one aspect of the state's larger assimilation project. Another crucial aspect, again involving the church, focused on the acculturation of Native children. To this end, education was regarded as key, and residential schools were deemed vital to its successful delivery. The particular appeal of residential schools was that they separated children from the "retrogressive influences of home life" and, in so doing, appeared to offer the best conditions for successful assimilation. Two such schools were established in St6:lo territory. The first, St. Mary's, opened at Mission in 1863 and was run by Catholic priests until its closure in 1986 (Carlson, 1996:101). Later, a second, Coqualeetza, was established in Sardis, near Chilliwack. Run by Methodists and attended by approximately 3 2 Frank Pedley, Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, in a 1903 Report of the Department of Indian Affairs for the year ended 30 June, p.xxvii. 57 one hundred students, Coqualeetza became the largest residential school in British Columbia (Knight, 1996:101). St6:lo children between seven and seventeen years of age, attended St. Mary's or Coqualeetza. A considerable number also attended schools in more remote locations, such as Alberni, Kamloops, Kuper Island, and Sechelt (Carlson, 1996). As Raibmon (1996) suggests, residential schools housed a wide variety of attitudes and environments and, as a result, allowed for a wide range of experiences. This said, while some residential schools may have Offered a satisfactory, perhaps even enjoyable experience for some students, one must bear in mind that these schools were instruments of cultural destruction: their very existence aimed at replacing Native cultural identity with an altogether more "civilized" Anglo-Canadian one. The strategies invoked to acculturate St6:lo children were many and varied, and extended well beyond simple academic training. Forbidding St6:lo children to speak their traditional, Halq'emeylem language, and punishing them when they did, was, in many schools, among the most crucial of those strategies. Through beatings and other forms of abuse, students often became ashamed of their own language; many became incapable of communicating, even basically, with close relations. In this way, as Tennant (1990:80) suggests, the residential schools eroded, if not shattered, St6:lo children's "fundamental cultural and personal link between tradition and posterity." St6:lo culture was attacked in other, fundamental ways within residential schools. Children were taught to reject spiritual beliefs that had, until then, been central to their understanding of the world. Told that their beliefs represented no more than mere superstition, children were forced to pray for hours each day in the hope their souls would be "saved." Also crucial to the 58 "civilizing" project was vocational training. Such training was carried out alongside academic study, and was aimed at inculcating students with the skills and habits of industry. The most common vocational training that schools provided was in farming and market gardening. The combination of vocational and academic training apparently left many students feeling humiliated (Knight, 1996). Subjected to a regimented timetable, most children spent more hours each day in physical than in intellectual pursuits. This was partly because agricultural work generated a necessary income for many schools, but also because Native children were thought ill-suited to intellectual life (Carlson, 1996). The enthusiasm of church and state for residential schools was not shared by many St6:lo. While some parents sent their children to school hoping to ease their passage through a non-Native world, others could tolerate neither their child's long term absence nor their mistreatment, and therefore kept them at home (Miller, 1996:84). For children who were sent to residential school, and whose happiness and well-being were compromised as a result, running away was often the only solution. Together, runaways and uncooperative parents seriously reduced attendance rates. Frustrated by this problem, the government made attendance mandatory in 1894, and strictly enforced that law by 1920 (Titley, 1986:91). The long-term consequences of residential school experiences may never fully be appreciated. For many Sto:lo, perhaps the majority, the schools are remembered as oppressive institutions in which they were harshly punished, stigmatized, and poorly trained for the outside world. In this way, they are blamed for having induced a state of cultural limbo - robbing individuals of vital aspects of their own culture, yet leaving them unwilling and/or unable to adopt those of white society - and, consequently, for depriving them of the confidence and dignity necessary to lead full and happy lives. For others, residential schooling appears to have led to different outcomes. 59 As Tennant (1990) suggests, while the schools undoubtedly eroded the fabric of local culture, they also, at the same time — by bringing together children from different tribal groups and isolating them from their "traditional" influences ~ generated in some a broader, pan-Indian identity and thirst for leadership. Taken together, the above outcomes suggest that residential school experiences altered Native identities, often profoundly, yet seldom, if ever, to a point where a sense of "Nativeness" gave way entirely to a sense of "Whiteness." As Titley (1986:93) states, "the vast majority (of Native peoples) remained distinctly Indian." The goal of assimilation through the residential school system, had failed. In 1949, the government publicly acknowledged that failure by announcing its wish to have residential schools phased out and Native children integrated into the public schools. In many ways, the residential schools stand as poignant reminders both of the coercive tactics of colonialism, and of the enduring strength of Native peoples. Colonialism in British Columbia worked, as it did elsewhere, to alter landscapes and to reshape cultures according to the needs of colonizers. In the process, Native peoples such as the St6:lo were alienated from their environment, from their social relations to one another, and even from their own history. Their lives, in short, were subjected to a barrage of ideological and physical change, which they tried persistently and often desperately to resist. While resistance allowed identities to be retained, and fishing sites here and there to be preserved, colonialism's assault was, overall, too pervasive, and change had often to be accepted and reworked in what became strategies of survival. In a world in which a Native identity excluded a person from a host of rights, including the vote, those strategies of survival tended to lie not just within political or cultural realms, but within the economies that colonialism itself had introduced. 60 Industrialism and Wage Work: Survival Strategies in a Chaotic World Capitalism was a crucial engine in the colonial process, one that sought to shatter all restrictions to economic growth, and to remake spaces around markets, property, and a quantifiable nature (Harris, 1997). As a set of intertwined forces, colonialism and capitalism affected Native groups in varied and intricate ways. For Native groups in isolated parts of the province, the impact of those processes would come later and in diluted form. For those such as the Sto:lo, located in accessible and sought after terrain, the impact was more immediate and more intense. In one way or another, the St6:lo experienced the brunt of what colonialism had to offer, and as a result, were among the first to seek solutions to its marginalizing effects. As Knight (1996) reveals, wage work in the province's resource industries proved central among the Sto:lo's repertoire of strategies for overcoming, or at least ameliorating, the worst material effects (and possibly social effects) of colonialism. As loggers, fishermen, and labourers in general, the Storlo were able to sustain a livelihood and to reclaim a sense of dignity. At the same time, however, their incorporation into the labour force would recreate their dependence on the interests and needs of more powerful others - a fact neither coincidental nor oblivious to the state, industry, or to the St6:lo themselves. Industrial development in BC began to take hold after the gold rush and the onset of permanent white settlement. As roads, telegraph lines, and other communication networks were laid down, so the province's territories became better known, and more easily and comprehensively utilized (Harris, 1997:186). By the 1860s and 1870s, resource industries had begun to reap the rewards of nature - logging camps, sawmills and canneries all emerged on the landscape - reminders to the St6:lo of the profound and rapid change that was taking place around them. Within this context, and well aware that their reserves would not adequately sustain them, the St6:lo sought 61 employment in the newly developing industries of the province. As members, in the 1870s and "IT 1880s, of the majority population, their labour was pivotal to the success of those industries. By the dawn of the twentieth century, they were incorporated into virtually every major resource industry, both as workers and as owner-operators (Knight, 1996). While British Columbia was never a "farmers' frontier," agriculture was a focus of development in the Fraser Valley after 1858 (Knight, 1996:122). As immigrants came to the Valley following the gold rush, many established successful farms and relied heavily upon Native seasonal workers. For many Sto:lo, working on those farms often proved preferable and more profitable than engaging in independent commercial farming, not only because it enabled them to continue their traditional subsistence activities, but also because their reserve lands were frequently incapable of producing beyond a subsistence level (Carlson, 1996).34 As early as 1875, the province had promoted a Native land policy to this precise end. In the present infancy of British Columbia, the Indians of this class have proved invaluable in the settled portions of the Province.... If they got them (reserves of agricultural land) they would be bound to occupy and cultivate them, and this would not be without loss to themselves and loss of valuable and trained labour to the Province.35 In their role as "valuable," "trained" labourers, the St6:lo entered a variety of industries in the late nineteenth-century, engaging, whenever possible, in those that fit their seasonal activities and that offered the best pay. The industrial salmon fishery became one of the most important According to Knight (1996:124), the Native population in 1870 represented between 65% and 80% of the total provincial population. 4 I. W. Powell, the province's commissioner, noted in 1879 that "The majority of the Indians on the Fraser River prefer working for the whites to cultivating their lands." In DIA, Sessional Papers, 1886, vol.4, pp.87-8, 118 (In Carlson, 1996:116). 3 5 G. A. Walkem, Attorney General, in an 1875 Annual Report of the Department of Indian Affairs, August 17th, p.liv. 62 sources of St6:lo employment from the 1870s onwards. Reliant upon a Native workforce, the canneries hired St6:lo men, women and children in varied capacities. Usually men supplied the canneries with fish from the early summer salmon runs, while women and children worked inside the canneries, processing the catch (Ray, 1995; Knight, 1996). Like other forms of St6:lo wage labour, commercial fishing and canning were seasonal work (lasting for up to four months of the year) that were combined with subsistence activities and, usually, with other forms of wage work (Burrows, 1986). When industrial fishing and canning came to a close in late August or early September, many Sto.lo headed to the hop-fields. From the 1870s onwards, hop-fields were established throughout the Fraser Valley, many of them near Chilliwack. As pickers, the St6:lo were crucial to the hop industry's success, providing a source of labour well into the twentieth-century (Carlson, 1996:118). Like the canneries, hop picking provided seasonal employment for entire St6:lo families and drew people from broad geographical areas. While lasting only a month, the hop-picking season is remembered by most St6:lo as a time of social gathering, and the hop-fields as sites of social, ceremonial and economic exchange (Bierwert, 1999). Forest work provided more solitary and dangerous, yet often more lucrative work. According to D.I.A. reports, the St6:lo were logging as early as the 1870s, supplying logs for the first commercial sawmills in the Valley and later, as the industry expanded, to those elsewhere in the province. As Knight (1996:241) shows, by the late 1870s, the St6:lo were working for Harrison Mills and neighbouring operators. By the late 1880s, they were operating their own logging outfits, as well as working for European-owned logging camps, large and small (Knight, 1996). 63 As loggers and outfitters, the St6:lo worked initially for much of the fall and winter, fishing and berry-picking during the summer. Later, however, as other avenues of employment closed, forestry became a critical source of income for many, and logging and milling appear to have been carried out for longer periods, even year-round (Knight, 1996). In addition to working in the resource industries, the St6:lo found employment in construction and transportation. Many, for instance, worked as pilot and deck hands on the paddle wheelers that carried supplies to European settlements along the Fraser River. Others were heavily involved, alongside the Chinese, in the construction of roads and railways. As Carlson (1996:118) shows, between 1879 and 1885, almost every St6:lo male was employed in the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. While decent wages - up to $3 a day in 188336 -no doubt attracted many to railroad work, others seem to have undertaken such work only when other options failed. For those on Chilliwack reserves in 1882, for instance, D.I.A. reports suggest that flooded crops led many to resort to rail work. For those at Lessees Lake, whose reserve was cut in half by the CPR line, reserve farming appears not to have been an option, and rail work an obvious if not necessarily welcome alternative.37 As the above suggests, and as the 1881 census confirms, the St6:lo were participating extensively in BCs capitalist economy by the 1880s. As part of that workforce, they engaged in a cycle of seasonal work, combining multiple forms of wage labour with subsistence 3 6 According to I. W. Powell, in an 1883 Annual Report of the Department of Indian Affairs, 31st Dec, p. 107. 3 7 Indian Agent, P. McTiernan, to the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, in an 1882 Annual Report of the Department of Indian Affairs, August 8*, pp.58-59. 3 8 According to the census, out of 524 Sto:lo men aged between 14 and 75, only ten gave non-European occupations....The vast majority were recorded as "labourers." (In Carlson, 1996:120). 64 activities. This combination of seasonal and wage work, while serving to maintain Sto.lo ties to ancient and important ways of life, was also a necessary economic strategy in an era when government subsidies were non-existent and when neither a "traditional" nor an "industrial" system alone could support a family (Burrows, 1986). As an economic strategy, such combined employment proved successful for many Sto:lo. Despite having to adjust their work patterns - often rapidly and radically - the demand for their labour and skills enabled many Sto.lo to obtain high wages and achieve a level of relative prosperity.39 Such prosperity, however, would prove short-lived, for with the completion of the CPR came not only rapid industrial expansion, but also increased labour competition. One source of that competition came from the Chinese who had worked on the CPR and who, like the Sto:lo, sought alternative employment upon its completion. Of the 15,000 Chinese who had worked on the railroad, most were willing - separated as they were from their homeland and entirely dependent on wage work - to accept lower rates of pay than were most St6:lo (Ray, 1995). As a result, the Chinese were able to displace many Storlo workers from cannery, farm, and other workplaces that had conveniently accommodated their traditional economic, social and religious practices (Carlson, 1996). Another, more pervasive source of competition came from the thousands of whites who entered St6:lo territories once the railway and its trunk lines were completed. As white numbers rose and quickly surpassed those of Native peoples in the Fraser Valley, so the St6:lo were seen to be 65 a more dispensable and less attractive source of labour. In this era of empire-building, their usefulness was abruptly reexamined and redefined, and a host of racial stereotypes used to justify their economic marginalization. In their displacement from industry, in their decreased wages, and, most poignantly, in their pleas for assistance, their marginalization was clear. As Indian Agent Devlin put it in his Annual Report of 1895: It is noticeable that within the last few years, there has been a falling off in the gross earnings of the natives in British Columbia, which may be accounted for by the gradual influx of settlers of every nationality into the province, which increases each year. The Indians do not now, nor can they expect to in the future, make as much money as formerly in any line of industry or enterprise where the natives used to be the only people available for such employment and pursuits; whitemen and Japanese, and others, are at the present time to be seen in all directions and in great numbers competing with them in the labour market, and in the occupations of fishing, trapping, and hunting, etc.40 As the above suggests, the Sto:lo's economic marginalization was not confined to the realms of industrial wage work, but was compounded by increased competition within their own former economies. As Europeans flooded into St6:lo territory not only were game animals increasingly hunted by non-Sto:lo, but also St6:lo hunting and trapping grounds were increasingly appropriated, transformed, and destroyed in the making of immigrant settlements and landscapes. Similarly, as the commercial fishery expanded in the 1880s, so fish stocks began to decline and the Stodo's central means of subsistence became threatened. In 1886, overfishing by the commercial fishery left the St6:lo without a sufficient catch, and many were forced to It was noted by I. W. Powell in an 1883 Annual Report to Ottawa, p. 107, that employment was "not slow to (be) taken advantage of...and intelligently accoun(ted) for the little destitution seen among them." 4 0 Indian Agent, F. Devlin to Ottawa, in an 1895 Annual Report of the Department of Indian Affairs, August 26th p.202. 66 engage in "any employment they (could) find by which to make a living." Together, the pressures that came to bear on Storlo wage and subsistence activities drove many into positions of intense vulnerability. In a bid to cope with these pressures, the Storlo were forced to rework their economic strategies. Many returned to the land, attempting to make the most of their reserve lands.42 Others, recognizing both the difficulty and the necessity of obtaining a cash income, ventured further afield, often leaving their communities and families for months on end. Archival sources suggest that from the late nineteenth century onwards, forest work became an increasingly important source of income for many Storlo. As an industry that was rapidly expanding after the completion of the CPR - supplying lumber to the prairies and eastern Canada - the forest industry appears to have offered the Storlo work opportunities at a time when other industries were winding down and/or pushing them out. According to Knight (1996), by the 1890s the industry had become a critical source of income for some Storlo bands, including those at Schowlitz and Chehalis. This claim is supported by several D.I.A. reports. That of 1897 listed logging among the top three income earners; that of 1903 reported that the Storlo had "earned considerable sums of money in handlogging...."43 Some Storlo found such work in close proximity to their communities, either at local sawmills,44 or by logging under 4lIndian Agent, P. McTiernan to Ottawa, in an 1886 Annual Report of the Department of Indian Affairs, year ended Dec. 31st, p.80. 42Around Chilliwack, agriculture could be supported and could even thrive with government assistance. In the poorly irrigated, rocky, and isolated terrain of the canyon, farming was much less successful. 4 3 A . W. Vowell, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, to Ottawa, in a 1903 Annual Report of the Department of Indian Affairs, year ended June 30*, p.289. 4 4 Indian Agent P. McTiernan reported in an 1888 Annual Report of the Department of Indian Affairs, p. 105, that "At Cheam...the young men find constant employment at Popcum sawmill, and are paid fare wages." 67 license on their reserves or on neighbouring government lands. Others were pulled further afield, and probably most, at one time or other, ventured beyond the logging camps at Harrison Lake and Vedder Mountain to work in logging operations around the province and in several American states. Within the industry, the St6:lo were remarkably adaptable. That capacity is revealed not only in the variety of jobs they held - whistle punk, chokerman, and rigging slinger, sometimes within a matter of days or weeks - but also in their adjustment to the industry's constant technological changes, recurrent financial problems, and boom and bust cycles. According to Codere (1950),46 Native groups across the province were "flourishing" as forest workers until the 1930s and the onset of the Great Depression. During the Depression, the industry, like others, was forced to reduce production and wages - an outcome that led most to depend more heavily on subsistence activities and to return to former "emergency" activities, such as placer mining. Buffeted in this way by swings in the market, and still without significant financial assistance from government, the St6:lo were again forced to readjust their economic strategies.47 With the onset of World War Two, the industry entered a period of sustained economic growth, and Native people were once again able to find work. As Hank Pennier, a St6:lo from Chehalis notes, forestry "was a vital industry during the war time.... (T)here was no let up in the work....Of course in those days...it was a lot more manual labour that it is now" (Pennier & In an 1908 Annual Report of the Department of Indian Affairs, p.2, it is noted that Native peoples were "logging on their own account on government lands under "logger's license," and working for wages in sawmills." 4 6 In Knight (1996:237). 4 7 Knight (1996:322) reveals that in 1935, the per capita year payment for each status Indian in BC was a mere $5, and that, in practice, most did not even receive that. 68 McDonald, 1972:90). The demand for manual labour in the forests and sawmills was readily met by the Sto:lo, a workforce lacking in professional skills and increasingly cut off from other sources of income. As Bierwert (1990:237) points out, from the 1940s onwards there was a collapse of St6:lo summer wage work opportunities, namely as a result of increased mechanization. "The hop yards and berry farms that had provided summer occupation and residences were mechanizing by the 1950s, and farm labour was no longer available to local populations." The same was true, according to Knight (1996), for the canning industry, which had begun to mechanize and consolidate long before World War One. The labour intensity of forest work may also have made the St6:lo particularly attractive to employers. Indeed, it appears from oral histories and D.I.A. reports (in which native peoples are listed as "preferred" workers) that employers considered them "natural" for the work and, as such, preferable to white workers. An academic survey in the late 1950s reinforces this view by claiming that "working conditions in this (the forest) industry seem well suited to the Indians training and skills, work attitudes and behaviour patterns" (Hawthorne et al, 1958:124). In many ways, this apparent preference for Native workers suggests that a racial stereotype defining Native peoples as "denizens of the forest," and facilitating their exclusion from other realms of employment, worked to include them within the forest industry. Although forest work had proved an important source of manual labour when other options were closed off, it too, by the late 1950s and early 1960s, required less labour. At this time, capital investment at all stages of forest work led to structural changes and a subsequent removal of workers. While the St6:lo continued to play an important role in the forest industry in the following decades, their, participation rate was reduced. As a result, any manual work became difficult to obtain. Many St6:lo became under or unemployed and frequently turned to 69 welfare payments and to food fishing for survival. From the 1950s there was a resurgence in the "food fishery," a sign, Bierwert (1999) surmises, of the Stodo's need for economic as well as cultural sustenance. In a sense, her comment points to an important outcome in St6:lo encounters with colonial and industrial systems: in the end, the St6:lo were forced to depend more heavily on their most enduring source of survival - the river. By the 1950s, a hundred years of colonial and industrial pressures had left the St6:lo economically marginalized and culturally diminished, yet not culturally destroyed. Having participated in wage work, most St6:lo had not become assimilated into the dominant society, even if they had, to varying degrees, become acculturated (Knight, 1996). In other words, the colonial policy of forcing Native people into the workforce to "mingle" and become "white" had largely failed. Whether loggers, deckhands, or mill workers, the St6:lo remained "Indian," and were rarely allowed to forget it, particularly when market forces changed and labour competition set in. Similarly, though wage work, like the residential school, was often successful in separating the St6:lo from their local cultures, it did not, it seems, destroy their feelings of attachment to a "Native self." Indeed, in some cases it may even have contributed -by bringing together Natives from all over the province - to a broader, pan-Indian sense of identity. In the 1930s, Native organizations emerged from the workplace to press for Native rights. The Native Brotherhood, formed by commercial fishermen in 1931, was one such organization. Although without St6:lo members, the Native Brotherhood pushed for St6:lo rights and for those of Native peoples throughout Canada. Such organizational protests, together with shifts in 70 public opinion, led to major legal shifts in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1951 prohibitions on both the potlatch and on Native pursuit of land claims were lifted, and Native groups began pursuing their land rights much more vigorously. Since then ~ driven by economic marginalization and a desire to restore their culture -- the Storlo have been successful in obtaining a measure of self-government, and in increasing their economic opportunities. While their future in the larger economy remains uncertain, their past participation is clear: the Sto:lo, along side other Native peoples, were critical to the success of an industrial system that ultimately considered them redundant. Entangled Processes: The Creation of Contradiction, Rupture and Antagonism In this chapter I have attempted to illustrate something of the ways in which colonial and industrial processes moved through the St6:lo landscape - how they deinscribed and then reinscribed that landscape in the quest for power, and against the background of St6:lo resistance. Central to this aim has been my effort to reveal colonialism as a force dependent on appropriating Native resources and intent on reshaping Native cultures. Also pivotal to my overall aim, has been my effort to reveal industrialism as a double-edged sword; as a process that created not only great economic opportunity, but also a dependence on more powerful others. In the colonial era, industrial forces worked to sustain Native livelihoods only as long as Native peoples were deemed useful. As time went on and the power of demography and technology took hold, the industrial system proved a false friend - certainly not an enduring alternative to land and livelihoods lost. Finally, as part of these wider discussions, I have aimed to reveal something of the S to do's response to the economic and political pressures thrust upon them. Through the deployment of a vast range of resistance and survival strategies -participation in industry, open protests, land petitions, and the removal of their children from 71 school - the St6:lo and other Native peoples did what they could to ameliorate the worst effects of colonialism. I wish now, in closing, to turn to the processes of colonialism and industrialism themselves. In so doing, let me reiterate that these processes, no matter how separate they appear in abstract discussion, were profoundly intertwined. Colonial processes paved the way for industrial development - shaping the land and its people for economic advancement - while, in turn, the momentum of that development reinforced and maintained colonial processes. Put more succinctly, industrial visions sprang from and helped to sustain colonial triumphs (See Schuurman, 1996; Harris, 1997). Land policies were one mechanism through which colonial and industrial visions became connected. These policies were a crucial component in the reshaping of territory for capitalist success. The reserve system acted as a source of exclusion - excluding those deemed a potential threat to the progress of settlement. With Native peoples tucked away on small patches of land, the path was cleared for settlers to do as they wished - to farm, build roads and towns, in short, create a civil society. Policies that allocated land for specific purposes such as forestry and mining worked in a similar way, providing institutional support for an emerging economy that depended on the division of and uninhibited access to land. In other ways, colonialism became intertwined with industrialism in efforts to create a productive labour force. At the heart of that endeavour lay attempts to reshape Native society within a set of social rules that would support the industrial system. The reserves would again play an important role. As social laboratories, they were symbolic of what colonial officials wished to do to Native peoples: restrict their movements, transform their economy and instill in them a capitalist work ethic. Residential schools too, through vocational training and the 72 regimentation of activities around the clock, sought to inculcate a "healthy" work ethic. In short, they sought to turn St6:lo children from "useless savages" into useful members of civil society. If the interconnectedness of colonial and industrial goals can be glimpsed through an examination of BC's Indian policies, so too can the profound contradictions to which they gave rise. In many respects, contradiction was inscribed within almost all Indian policy - a central strategy in its operations and its hegemonic success. If we return to the reserves they were sites of contradiction. The commissioners' emphasis on farming was contradicted by their allocations of lands which were often too small, dry and isolated to sustain agriculture. In other words, colonial policy that expressed a desire to make Native peoples "self-reliant," in actual fact largely denied this opportunity. However much they may have wished to become successful farmers, many St6:lo were frequently unable, rather than unwilling, to do so. Instead they were pushed into the industrial workforce. Once in the workforce, colonial policy again secured its goals with policies that contradicted its own demands. Take for instance the demand that Native peoples become "modern" industrialists. This was contradicted in many economic realms, including the industrial fishery. When Native peoples had been valuable to the industry in the early 1800s, restrictions upon their fishing were few. Yet, as their labour became dispensable, so policies were implemented that pushed them out. Through fishing restrictions, not only were the St6:lo and other Native peoples economically marginalized, but their ability to conform to the rhetoric of the "modern Indian" was severely curtailed. Outside of the industrial workplace, colonial policy took on different, yet no less contradictory agendas. While enjoining Storlo and other Native peoples to become "civilized," federal 73 officials simultaneously denied them the vote. As "Indians" they were automatically assumed incapable of becoming full citizens, and instead regarded, "childlike," as wards of the state. In turn, as wards of the state, the St6:lo were told to follow the instructions of the Indian agent, while simultaneously urged to become independent. As with most Native policy in BC, self-reliance and submission went hand in hand (Harris, 1997:132). Few colonial officials either challenged, or perhaps were aware of, the contradictions inherent in their demands. Their policies were taken as part of the natural order of things, and, as such, protected from internal criticism. That such policies were backed up by firepower - with a military apparatus that could take away life - meant that they were protected too from fundamental external challenge. Finally, that such policies were based upon ambiguous and shifting definitions of who Native peoples were and ought to be, also ensured their power. By expecting Native people to be independent industrialists in the domain of the economy, while obedient wards on the reserve, those in power presented Native peoples with a system, a set of expectations, that they could never at all times fully satisfy or overturn. This brings me to the point that Bhabha (1994:85) makes in his discussions of "colonial mimicry." As he suggests, colonial powers worked to have Native peoples become an Other, a people who were "almost the same (as Europeans), but not quite" (Bhabha, 1994:86). More specifically, they worked to have Native peoples only partially reform, knowing that that partial transformation, that "imitation," would work to disrupt Native peoples social well-being and thus enhance their vulnerability. For the St6:lo and others, that vulnerability translated into having to constantly bridge two pressures: satisfying colonial demands on the one hand, and conforming to local tribal needs on the other. In many ways, the antagonisms and contradictions Native peoples faced reflected the ruptures that colonial pressures had created between their 74 pasts and presents. They reflected Native people's attempts to cope with colonial pressures and, at the same time, to hang on to fragments of older, familiar ways of life. 75 Chapter 4 A Theoretical Platform: Perspectives on Identity and Cultural Change Introduction In chapter two I offered some thoughts on how some of the St6:lo relate to the forest and how, in turn, they articulated their culture and identity through that relationship. In so doing, I suggested that apparent cultural contradictions had emerged through people's efforts to reconcile logging practices and different views of the forest. From there, I sketched in chapter three an additional layer of meaning, a historical context into which forest attitudes and work practices could be situated. Now, in chapter four, I shift from a process of layering towards one of analysis, moving from a set of empirical discussions towards theory. I offer a summary of the key theoretical perspectives that have dominated academic understandings of culture and identity, highlighting both the chronology of intellectual debates and the various levels of abstraction at which those debates have taken place. In short, I present this chapter as a theoretical platform from which I aim, in chapter five, to present my own views on how, through their relations with the forest, St6:lo culture and identities may best be interpreted. I have organized the chapter into two main parts. In part one, I engage cultural theory at a high level of abstraction. Beginning with primordialism as the foundation for my discussions, I then consider constructionism and conclude with the most current, as yet unnamed, body of academic ideas. In mapping these shifts in thought, I focus particularly on how notions of continuity have come to characterize and constrain the ways in which Native culture has been viewed; how cultural discontinuities or contradictions have been problematized; and finally, how the 76 production of Native culture and identity has been reconceptualized to incorporate processes of compromise, appropriation, succession, and revival. In part two, I consider theory at a lower level of abstraction, discussing how indigenous culture and identity have been theorized in relation to work, the landscape and the forest. My discussions in part two are limited to a few scholars. The reasons for this are largely practical: although "Native identity" is a lively academic and political issue in British Columbia, there is a surprising lack of scholarship on how Native identities are constituted through specific social, environmental, and economic relations. For this reason, and after a considerable international search, I discuss only those few accounts that seem useful in interpreting St6:lo assertions about the forest, their work, and their identity. General Theory on Culture and Identity Primordialism As Mauze (1997) shows, primordialism emerged in the mid-nineteenth-century when anthropologists began to "reconstruct" and classify societies they feared were in danger of disappearing. In attempting to preserve Native culture - in part through documenting Native social traits and collecting cultural artefacts - anthropologists made "preservability" its main attribute. Implicit in their approach, was the assumption that Native cultures were natural and pure, and that cultural change of any kind was inherently bad because it resulted in the destruction of both qualities. In short, cultural change was bad because it resulted in the very destruction of culture. In this way, Native culture became theorized as a primordial entity, the 77 essence of which could be measured against the yardsticks of cultural distance and inner cultural coherence.49 Conceptualizing Native culture as bounded and static enabled primordialists to create and perpetuate a number of powerful dichotomies, including that between "traditional" and "modern" societies (Merlan, 1991). By defining the former as unchanging and the latter as fundamentally dynamic, and by associating Native society with the "traditional," primordialists were able to draw sharp intellectual boundaries between Native and non-Native peoples. In a similar way, primordialists were instrumental in creating a second dichotomy, this time between "authentic" and "inauthentic" Natives. In constructing this dichotomy, anthropologists colluded in the assumption that the authenticity of Native cultures lay in their survival against the currents of change in the modern world. Therefore, to be deemed authentic, Native cultures had to be seen to consist of ancient customs and beliefs that were uncorrupted by and easily discernible from those of mainstream society. Native cultures that had changed through selective assimilation - which all could not fail to do - were "inauthentic" (Mauze, 1997). Today, primordialism and its attendant notions remain strong in vernacular imaginations, reinforced by Hollywood's image of what it means to be "Indian" (Francis, 1995). In legal realms too, primordial assumptions continue to prevail, serving to separate "real" Indians from "fake" ones, and to determine who are worthy of "justice" upon that distinction. In academic realms, however, primordialism has fared considerably less well. As Sharp (1996) points out, primordialism has been repeatedly discredited over the last two decades and, in turn, largely I use "indigenous" here as an all-encompassing term for both the Aborigines of Australia and the Native peoples of North America. 78 replaced by competing discourses. Among the most powerful and popular of these competing discourses has been constructionism (Hanson, 1997). Constructionism Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, together with Benedict Anderson, were among the most prominent scholars to popularize constructionism. Through their respective works - The Invention of Tradition (1983) and Imagined Communities (1983) - they showed how scholarship, once focused on cultural continuity and inner coherence, had moved towards an interest in cultural discontinuity and heterogeneity. Research that had begun with the question of authenticity had turned to questioning the very concept (Sider&Smith, 1997). Put differently, their work and others indicated something of a paradigm shift within the social sciences, creating, as they did, an intellectual space in which it became increasingly difficult, if not entirely implausible, to view cultural identities simply as "survivals from a pristine past" (Sider&Smith, 1997:5). Constructionist objections to primordialism have been and continue to be leveled along theoretical and practical lines. At the most basic theoretical level, constructionists argue, in sharp contrast to primordialists, that no culture exists as a given, but rather that all cultures (and social identities) are constructs of human thought and action (Wilmsen, 1996; Sharp, 1996). On one level, this argument challenges the "naturalness" of categories, dismissing the notion that cultural groups are composed of a set of essential, objectifiable traits. On another level, the argument critiques the primordial assumption that individuals are passive objects in the Native culture, in other words, became viewed as internally homogenous and externally distinct from other cultures. 79 production of their own culture or identity. As Pieterse (1996) reveals, constructionist arguments - particularly those of instrumentalists, who assert that culture is constructed and manipulated in games of power - emphasize individuals as active subjects in the creation of their world. In addition to challenging the primordialist belief that all categories are natural, constructionists have problematized the notion that culture and identity are static. As Hanson (1997) points out, they have attacked the notion of cultural continuity by asserting that all cultures and identities undergo reworking, redefinition, and reformulation. In this sense, they argue that ethnic cultures and traditions are continually produced and nurtured by new ideas to the extent that they become products of the present, as opposed to products of the past. It is through these assertions that constructionists have sought to break from a discourse that, they believe, cuts Native peoples off from the possibility of acceding to modernity (Mauze, 1997). Because constructionism presents all cultures as lacking a fixed centre, it fundamentally undermines the primordialist view that the only authentic culture is that which consists of an essential, primordial core (Sharp, 1996). This said, constructionists do not buy into the corollary of the "authenticity" argument. In other words, they do not suggest that because all cultures (or cultural identities) lack an essential core, and are constructed, that they are therefore "inauthentic." Indeed, they argue instead that invention/construction is a normal part of culture and in no way compromises its "authenticity" (Hanson, 1997). In this way, constructionists have sought to sever the intellectual links between concepts of "inauthenticity" and "invention." This brings me finally to the practical objections that constructionists have leveled at primordialism. As I have mentioned, primordial assumptions continue to underlie much legal discourse, serving to divide Native peoples into the "authentic" (deserving of reward) and the 80 "inauthentic" (deserving of neglect). As Merlan (1991) and Clifford (1988) have powerfully demonstrated, legal categories have severely compromised Native access to material and other compensation. The problems, they suggest, are twofold: first, that "modern" Native lives are not accounted for and thus penalized by legal categories; and second, that Native people who enter into a "rhetoric of aboriginally" in order to win legal claims, serve only to reinforce a status quo which they cannot then fundamentally challenge (Sharp, 1996:94). In this way, constructionists argue that attacks upon notions of cultural continuity and authenticity are therefore necessary in order to undermine images of Native culture and identity that are potentially marginalizing in their effects. Alternative Perspectives: Embracing Fluidity and Abandoning Authenticity While most scholars continue to prefer constructionism over primordialism, a number have begun to raise serious criticisms around the assumption that culture and identity are constructed/invented - Gerald Sider is one such. According to him, talk of "invented tradition" undermines the impact of historical struggle in the production of culture and, as such, makes culture appear too much a matter of choice. In his opinion, the refusal to see culture as a negotiated terrain - in which ethnic peoples must struggle against forces often beyond of their immediate control - trivializes and, more to the point, fundamentally misunderstands what it means to be vulnerable to power. Taking the above argument one step further, scholars have also critiqued some constructionists' portrayals50 of ethnicity as simply a vehicle for political gain. Sider (1993), for example, claims It is important to note that constructionists have varied approaches to ethnicity. See chapter five for further discussion about various constructionist perspectives. 81 that presenting ethnic groups as nothing more than interest groups is problematic for it neglects the often antagonistic connections between peoples' history and their collective interests. According to him, constructionism "makes the connection between the history and the interests of the group appear seamless and smooth, when actually a people must confront not only other people's versions of their history, but also...their own" (Sider, 1993:7). Though similar arguments have been made by Tambiah (1996) and Pieterse (1996), both agree that there are other, more fundamental, problems with constructionist accusations of "cultural strategizing." According to them, the portrayal of ethnic peoples as opportunists who, in particular contexts, "invent tradition" for economic gain, underrates both the cultural character of ethnicity and the importance of symbolic resources - both flattened to economic choices (Pieterse, 1996:27). In short, they condemn radical constructionist perspectives for inadequately accounting for the enduring power of ethnicity and, in turn, for denying the possibility that tradition can foster ethnic identity. Perhaps the most scathing criticisms raised against constructionism hinge upon the troublesome issue of authenticity. As a host of scholars have pointed out, there is a growing suspicion within academia that the "invention of culture" approach is a "politically revisionist and anti-native rubric, if not in the explicit statement of particular scholars, then in its implications" (Linneken, 1993:446). The concern is that constructionist discourse undercuts the cultural authority of indigenous peoples by calling into question their authenticity. For Jocelyn Linneken, this problem lies not so much in constructionism's fundamental tenets, nor in the scholarship of its practitioners, but rather in how the discourse has been understood outside the academy. Her argument is that constructionism's weaknesses are largely semantic. In pointing to the public's tendency to conflate the term "invention" with "artificial," she highlights the potential political disadvantages for those who - by asserting their rights on the grounds of their "authentic" 82 distinctiveness - have been deemed "cultural inventors." In so doing, however, she reiterates her belief that constructionism's consequences while real, are nonetheless unintended. For Jonathan Friedman (1992b), the connection between the academic deconstruction of cultural identities and their political dismissal is the result of far more than mere semantic difficulties. As he sees it, political vulnerability is not merely an "unintended consequence" (Linneken, 1991:446) of the invention thesis, but rather an obvious and unacceptable outcome of its flawed tenets. In explaining his position, Friedman (1992b:857) asserts that constructionists cannot avoid having their work associated with notions of artificiality, for their texts are produced within a self-contradictory theoretical framework; one that denies the fact that "if all culture is invention then there is nothing with which to compare a particular cultural product, no authentic foundation." It is upon this premise that Friedman (1992) concludes that constructionism is based on the absolute distinction between something aboriginal and something non-aboriginal, and while its overall assertion is that there is no difference, its effect is to reinforce precisely such a difference. In the light of these and other criticisms, scholars have attempted to find other intellectual and political approaches to understanding culture and identity. Central to their efforts has been the desire to adopt a vocabulary that embraces forms of ethnic identity that are flexible and polyvalent (Wilmsen, 1996:3). In the last few years, new approaches to understanding culture and identity have emerged. Though varied in the questions they ask, these approaches arguably have one thing in common: they all hold that cultural identities must be understood in terms of their histories, in other words, in terms of how they are forged through the complex connections people make between pasts, presents and impending futures (Sider, 1993; Comaroff, 1996). Scholars are now suggesting, therefore, that cultural identities be viewed not as things but rather as relations whose contents are "wrought in the particularities their ongoing construction" (Comaroff, 1996:166). In this sense, they are insisting that the conditions that give rise to a particular social identity are not necessarily the same as those that sustain it, and that, in turn, the substance of any identity can never be defined in the abstract. This latter point has led Norval (1996) to insist that there can never be a theory of ethnicity per se, only a theory of history capable of elucidating the production of identity. Gerald Sider and Jonathan Friedman are among those who have attempted to understand ethnicity/identity explicitly through a theory of history. According to Friedman (1992a: 194), "the discourse of history...is simultaneously a discourse of identity; it consists of attributing a meaningful past to a structured present." While Sider also views history as central to identity production, he places far greater emphasis on the complex struggles involved in connecting pasts to presents. In his view, ethnic identities emerge from within intensely vulnerable situations, through people's efforts to build dignified lives against "histories of power" - against the knowledge "of what they know has been, and still could be, done to them" (Sider, 1993:8). It is this vulnerability - rooted namely in ethnic people's attempts to cope with larger society's demand that they be "other," while at the same time comply with a set of constantly shifting laws and standards - that Sider argues has resulted in the apparent contradictions that characterize all ethnic cultures. Taken together, Sider's arguments convey ethnicity as the outcome of struggles between pasts and presents, hopes and fears, old ways and new. Viewing culture in this way, as Norval (1996) points out, has disrupted our understanding of how concepts of continuity and discontinuity fit into the process of identity formation (Norval, 1996). This fact has been welcomed by Merlan (1991:350) who underlines the need to dispense with categories of "traditional" and "modern," and instead grasp the "simultaneity of 84 Aboriginality;" that is, the way in which Aboriginal cultures are composed of both traditional and non-Aboriginal elements. In support of Merlan, Friedman (1992b) also urges that we transcend such categories as "traditional" and "modern," "authentic" and "inauthentic." For him, this is most satisfactorily accomplished by viewing all identities "in terms of the existential relations between the subject and the constitution of a meaningful world" (Friedman, 1992b:856). For others, it is best achieved either by focusing on the lives of ordinary ethnic peoples as opposed to their leaders (Roosens, 1989),51 or else by highlighting the structures of feeling and experience that are produced and reproduced through everyday practice in the realms of work, the environment, and the home (Tambiah, 1996). Taken together, the "alternative approaches" above all point to a need to embrace discontinuity within culture and to reject questions of authenticity. Within each approach, culture is less about rejecting a present in favour of a past, or about manipulating a past in the invention of a present, but instead is about attempts, often struggles, to build lives that are meaningful and dignified. Presenting culture and identities in this way, these approaches demand that academics move away from abstract theory and shift instead to looking at the everyday lives of ordinary peoples. Work, Landscape and Trees in Theories of Culture and Identity Identity, Culture and Work Few scholars have theorized the relationship between the nature of indigenous economic practice and the production of cultural identity. Elizabeth Povinelli, however, is a notable and, as far as I am aware, a unique exception. In her 1993 book, Labor's Lot, she attempts to bridge 5 1 Roosens, cited in Wilmsen et al (1996:92), suggests that Native leaders are prone to present their people as culturally unified, and that in order to fully engage with the complexities of Native culture one must therefore 85 this theoretical divide by examining how Belyuen Aboriginal identities are shaped through contemporary economic practices, the political demands of the state, and complex and often constraining historical narratives. As this suggests, Povinelli's concerns lie not in the so-called "substance" of practice or identity, but rather in the mechanisms by which both are linked. According to her (1993:13), "economic and cultural action and the identities they produce are the processes of association from which Aboriginal identity and history emerge, but they are also objects of assessment within evolving, uneven power relations." As this implies, Povinelli's work on processes of identity and practice are not confined to the local community, but instead are connected to the discourse and legal-political demands of the state. In her opinion, to view practices and identities separately from how they are assessed and challenged outside the local community is to misunderstand both. For Povinelli (1993:248) identity is, among other things, "a locus of struggle for the power to control the epistemological relations between...economic practice and cultural identity." Viewing identity as a locus of epistemological struggle leads Povinelli to issues of authenticity, or rather, to the issue of "how groups come to judge the "truth" of another group's knowledges and economic practices" (Povinelli, 1993:1). Drawn to this inquiry, Povinelli outlines how "authentic" Belyuen identity has been constructed around the "hunter-gather" thesis, in other words, around the assumption that the Belyuen are part of an unchanging subsistence economy that is isolated from modern society. By pointing to the Belyuen's contemporary economic practices, as well as to a colonial era that drew many into what are considered "non-Aboriginal" examine the lives of "ordinary" Native peoples. 86 economic realms, Povinelli (1993:4) shows how the Belyuen's attempts to present themselves as "authentic cultural subjects" are constrained. In attempting to loosen this conceptual constraint, Povinelli emphasizes both the heterogeneity of labour practices52 undertaken during the colonial era, and also the ways in which these practices were turned into forms consistent with the Belyuen's own beliefs. In so doing, she insists that the authenticity of Belyuen practices and identities can be reinstated if economic heterogeneity is seen as a "method of cultural continuity," and if we appreciate that Belyuen identities were and continue to be forged in discourses neither wholly their own, nor wholly European (Povinelli, 1993:169). In other ways, Povinelli attempts to "authenticate" Belyuen identities by focusing upon the nature of contemporary hunting, fishing and gathering practices. Here she discusses how Belyuen labour operates between two levels of signification: the local/Aboriginal level, in which labour practices are swept into cultural landscapes imbued with spirituality, and the non-local/non-Aboriginal level, in which they are drawn into a set of larger political-economic agendas. At the local/Aboriginal level, Povinelli demonstrates how contemporary hunting, fishing and gathering practices, when closely examined, disturb our sense of both the boundedness of Aboriginal culture and its compatibility with different kinds of political economies. As she puts it (1993:169): The Australian literature gears us up to expect socio-cultural and political phenomena to occur in a time separate from the day-to-day "grubbing and chasing for subsistence foods." If cultural and political phenomena do "intrude" when we are hunting, fishing, or collecting, we expect intrusions to be of a local As Povinelli reveals, gold mining, cattle ranching and farm work were just a few of the activities that the Belyuen engaged in from the mid-1800s onwards. 87 sort. This is not the case. On fishing trips Dreamings surge from beneath motor-powered dinghies; over a campfire meal heavy-metal music roars. On the dirt tracks that lead to isolated outstations, the Northern Territory government stretches car-count meters to monitor "public access" on and around Aboriginal lands. In this way, by emphasizing the spiritual, political and economic threads that make up contemporary Belyuen subsistence practices, Povinelli successfully disrupts a Western hunter-gather discourse that shuts out the present, the political, and the spiritually significant aspects of Belyuen lives. Finally, at a non-local/non-Aboriginal level, Povinelli reveals the ways in which the Belyuen and the state struggle over the meaning of past and present Belyuen practice. For the Belyuen, she argues, there are rewards - rights to land and self-determination - in presenting a form of Aboriginal practice that is useful to the state's international image and tourist industry - in other words, in presenting one's practices within the Western hunter-gather image. Recognizing this, Povinelli (1993:240) insists that the Belyuen must operate between both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal levels according to need. At the same time, she insists that economic practice and culture are always linked, that they cannot be separated from the "dialectic interethnic processes that have contributed to the identity and shape of Aboriginal-non-Aboriginal relations in contemporary Australia." Taken together, Povinelli's arguments provide a unique framework for understanding how economic practice and identity are linked. Her emphasis on epistemological struggle and her attempts to explore Aboriginal people's "lived environments" - the connections people make between pasts and presents, cultural and political concerns, local and national needs - strikingly disrupts notions of the "traditional" and "authentic" Aborigine (Povinelli, 1993:241). 88 Identity, Culture and the Landscape Where Povinelli offers a unique perspective on how Aboriginal identities are produced and assessed through economic practice, Veronica Strang (1997) offers a provocative interpretation of the production of Aboriginal identity through relations with the landscape. As the title Uncommon Grounds suggests, Strang's work is based on the premise that Australian Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal groups value the land and draw an identity from it in "completely different ways" (Strang, 1997:4). After setting up this dichotomy, Strang's discussions then focus on how and why this dichotomy exists. Like many contemporary cultural theorists, she turns to history in search of answers, viewing history both as a context for and as a formative part of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people's differing relations with the land. Focusing first on the colonial period, Strang argues that European culture - based on dominating and controlling the environment, on appropriating technology, and on embracing mobility -prevented European peoples from establishing affective values for the land. In sharp contrast, she insists that Aboriginal culture - based on interacting with the land, on spirituality and on respecting nature - fostered highly affective values. While Strang (1997:107) acknowledges that colonialism altered both the environment that Aborigines occupied and their relationship with it, she insists that their affective values for the land were not destroyed, but instead "remained firm." Moreover, she argues that it was the land itself - as the medium for every cultural form -which maintained that continuity of values. As an inalienable entity, Strang (1997:240) insists, Strang's illustration of how Aborigine's were incorporated into a landscape transformed by European settlement and industry, makes it hard to understand how differences between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples could have been, and could remain, as she suggests, so sharply opposed and so categorically homogenised. 89 the land provided continuity and stability - in short, a "cultural anchor" for all Aboriginal peoples. It is precisely through the above assertions that Strang then contrasts contemporary Aboriginal values to those of non-Aboriginal peoples. In her view, Aboriginal peoples "read" the landscape in spiritual and intellectual ways, while non-Aboriginals read it in primarily economic ways. For non-Aboriginal peoples, Strang (1997:252) insists, land is first and foremost a quantitative commodity, while for Aboriginal peoples, the land is at all times a "conscious spiritual entity that generates and responds to their actions." By presenting Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal views of the land in such stark opposition, Strang's thesis (despite her occasional qualifications) reinforces a number of problematic dichotomies - between modern and traditional, continuity and change, authentic and inauthentic - and, in so doing, creates a theoretical framework that is highly exclusionist. For instance, by presenting Aboriginal peoples as those who have a spiritual attachment to the land and who gain cultural sustenance from it, she implies that any Aboriginal person who does not hold such values is, in some way, "less" Aboriginal. This assumption is particularly close to the surface in her conclusion. Here she states that, as Aboriginal peoples become increasingly reliant upon technology and intensive resource use their affective values will diminish and, if they are to be saved, will require a complete reworking of all cultural forms. Identity, Culture and the Forests While Bruce Willems-Braun's 1996 article, "Colonial Vestiges," does not specifically address the issue of how Native identity is produced through relations with the forest, it does represent a useful entry to the relevant literature. Like Povinelli, Willems-Braun's concerns lie squarely with "representational practices," or, more specifically, with how non-Native environmentalists 90 currently portray Native peoples (Willems-Braun, 1996:7). According to him, the environmental movement and its rhetoric of the "traditional Indian" have been damaging to Native people within Canadian forestry debates, serving to constrain the ways in which they are able to use and claim access to the forest. Environmental rhetoric that equates Native people with nature has "present(ed) them with an imperative: resist modernization or risk losing both your identity and your voice!" (Willems-Braun, 1996:30). It is in this way — in its refusal to see Native peoples as "authentic" in any other role than that of forest guardian ~ that Willems-Braun claims that the discourse of environmentalism is profoundly disempowering and, as such, "resolutely neo-colonial" (Willems-Braun, 1996:8). Though much of Willems-Braun's discussion fits within the broader theoretical literature on Native categorization, his demonstration of how Native peoples have challenged the category of the "ecological Indian" is unusual. In discussing the artwork of Coast Salish artist, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Willems-Braun (1996:33) reveals how Native peoples are asserting themselves as part of a "social nature." In other words, he suggests that they are presenting themselves as part of a nature that is "never fixed," and in which they reside as people "fully Native and fully modern, but still deeply ecological" (Willems-Braun, 1996:33). As a piece that engages with Native peoples' challenge of the "ecological Indian" stereotype, Willems-Braun's article is important. However, it does not consider how Native people have themselves participated in (and been criticized for so doing) in the discourse of the "ecological Indian." With this in mind, I turn to the work of Marie Mauze. In her chapter Northwest Coast Trees: From Metaphors in Culture to Symbols of Culture, Marie Mauze is interested in tree symbolism, or rather, in the symbolic meaning of trees for Native peoples. By focusing on the role that trees have played in the lives of Northwest coast peoples over time, Mauze insists that there has been a distinct shift from a "traditional" to a 91 "contemporary" discourse of tree symbolism. Put plainly, she argues that trees, once viewed as vehicles of cultural communication and expression, are now held as symbols of cultural survival and political advancement. In making this assertion, Mauze emphasizes the role of the environmental movement in the construction of this new "contemporary discourse." In so doing, she insists that trees have become crucial vehicles for political and cultural revival, not so much because of any inherent social or spiritual properties that they might have, but largely because of the current vogue of environmental discourses.54 Mauze's efforts to demonstrate the political nature of Native forest representations/relations and their connection with the environmental discourse, lie principally in her analysis (or rather, her deconstruction) of an article, "Too Long Too Silent,"55 Written by three Skokomish individuals - one a traditional spiritual leader, one an assistant professor of education, and the other an attorney - Mauze insists that the article provides an excellent illustration of how Native environmentalist and political discourses are merging today. In approaching the article as part of an "empirical problem" Mauze (1998:234) takes issue with the way the authors present their views as those of all Natives. "With phrases such as "our tribe," and "in a traditional voice..," she argues that the article "has a clear political message to deliver: the protection of old-growth forests, symbolized by cedar trees, is the necessary condition for the survival of Native culture" (Mauze, 1998:242). From here, Mauze insists that in their efforts to present Native people as "guardians" of the forest, the authors then integrate into their assertions aspects of both "traditional" and environmental discourses. According to her, while the following statement Mauze (1998) argues that efforts to preserve Native culture were once centred on the potlatch, but now in the politicized context of land claims, are focused on the preservation of old-growth cedar forests. 5 5 Pavel et al (1993) Too Long, Too Silent: The Threat to Cedar and the Sacred Ways of the Skokomish in American Indian Culture and Research Journal. 17 (3), pp.53-80. 92 shows how trees have come to symbolize pre-contact harmony and the historical links between Native peoples and old-growth forest, it should also be read as a political statement in defence of ancestral lands: Because many of the old-growth Cedar predate the coming of the white man, they are our link to more pure times before the land was desecrated....We need a place where old-growth trees, especially the Red Cedar, live along with young trees; where we know our shrines will be unmolested....(Pavel et al,1993:64). Particularly interesting for Mauze, here and elsewhere, is the use of Christian idioms and analogies. Talk of cedars being "sacred" and "holy shrines" reinforces their importance, she insists, for it serves to connect Native concerns to a wider non-Native audience. Moreover, she suggests that these idioms and analogies illustrate well how Native peoples are drawing upon symbols and concepts that lie beyond their own "traditional discourses." Mauze concludes that Native tree symbolism today is more a matter of political and cultural than of ecological concerns. While she insists that her views are based on interpretation and not upon a single "truth," and while her arguments focus on how Native leaders present their relations with the forest, Mauze's overall assertions appear to undermine the significance of trees for "ordinary" Native people. For instance, by suggesting that a "traditional discourse" ~ in which people relate to trees on a range of spiritual and cultural levels — is somehow a discourse of the past, Mauze does not allow for the possibility that people ("ordinary" or leaders) could hold spiritual/cultural values detached from political ones, or, more importantly perhaps, that they could hold, spiritual, political and deeply ecological views simultaneously. In contrast to Mauze, Ardith Walkem, in her 1994 paper First Nations and Old Growth Values, focuses on the diversity of perspectives that Native peoples currently hold toward old-growth forests. In so doing, she argues that the forests are valued by Native peoples in a variety of ways - economically, culturally and spiritually (though interestingly enough, not politically). In turn, 93 she insists that these perspectives represent "a diverse continuum of traditional to modern understandings" (Walkem, 1994:1). In outlining the nature of "traditional" understandings, Walkem points to the continued spiritual and cultural significance of the forests for many Native peoples, arguing, among other things, that the forests play a central role in cultural revival. Where Walkem's account is most revealing, however, is in its discussions of "modern" forest understandings. Here she confronts the economic importance of the forest, particularly the way in which logging practices are perceived. In so doing, she insists that Native people either accept logging as a "translation of a traditional reliance into modern times," or oppose it in preference for forest conservation. According to her (1994:6), the former group views the forest in monetary-economic terms, and the latter as a "spiritual place or a source of traditional foods." In setting up these oppositional categories, Walkem runs into difficulty when attempting to account for the opinions of one-time logger Ken Harris; a Native whose perspectives she claims were once economic, but are now spiritual. Rather than engage with this "apparent contradiction," Walkem implies that economic need may account for diverging opinions. It is here that her framework becomes problematic, for in setting up the notion that forest values lie on a continuum from traditional to modern understandings, she makes it difficult to account for shifts in attitudes, and presumably impossible to account for those who may hold "traditional" and "modern" understandings simultaneously. In other words, her framework denies the possibility that a Native person could, for instance, have an economic interest in the forest, and at the same time a profoundly spiritual one. In this way, Walkem's analysis appears to suffer from the type of simplicity that has been harshly criticized in the wider literature - a simplicity that denies the so-called "simultaneity of Aboriginal lives" (Merlan, 1991:350). 94 B y Way of Conclusion In this chapter I attempted to suggest how Native identities and cultures have been theorized at different times and scales. In part one I engaged with general theory, revealing how the once popular discourses of primordialism and constructionism are currently being challenged by new approaches that seek to embrace the flexibility and complexity of culture through an understanding of the everyday struggles of its participants. While my emphasis in part one was on the shifting nature of theoretical ideas, I hope to have illustrated how notions of continuity and authenticity provided a common concern - being either embraced as essential hallmarks of culture and identity, or else critiqued as a fundamental constraint upon both understanding and human well-being. In part two, I presented several examples from the literature where Native/Aboriginal identity and culture have been theorized in relation to work, the landscape and the forest. In so doing, I engaged more critically with the literature, pointing now and then to its connections with the theory discussed in part one, and revealing its inability, in most instances, to free Native peoples from the confines of a "traditional" versus "modern" dichotomy. Finally, I cannot refer to the chapter's grand conclusions, for there are none - except perhaps to suggest that our discourses for understanding identity and culture are just as shifting and elusive, it seems, as the cultures and identities that we are attempting to describe. But perhaps it does provide some analytical tools on which I can draw and build in the next chapter. 95 Chapter 5 St6:lo Conversations Revisited: Rethinking Contradiction Introduction Daniel Francis (1995:194) once wrote that "images have consequences in the real world." He was right. How the St6:lo and other Native peoples are "imagined" ~ how they are perceived ~ is of consequence in British Columbia, particularly in the courtroom and in battles over land, resources, and rights. To be deemed worthy of compensation, the St6:lo have had to present themselves as a distinctive people, whose culture and occupancy of traditional territories has been continuous since European occupation. Understanding the political ramifications of St6:lo images has been central to the development of my research. I cannot escape its politics, nor separate images from consequences. In March of 1999, a non-Native researcher told me that by implying St6:lo culture was discontinuous my work was potentially detrimental to St6:lo treaty negotiations and ought, for this reason, to be abandoned. My reaction was one of surprise, then concern and eventually frustration. I understood the challenge to my work and, in many ways, I shared the concerns expressed about it. At the same time, I felt that I could not turn my back on what St6:lo people were telling me. I could not ignore their altering perceptions of the forest, their varying attachments to "tradition," nor their struggles to reclaim cultural ways against a set of outside pressures. In short, I could not ignore their pleas to be accepted as a culturally diverse people, at 96 once Native and modern. Moreover, I felt that presenting the St6:lo as a bounded group, with a singular identity and a continuous culture would not only be intellectually dishonest but, more importantly, would reinforce their vulnerability within a system of domination. Put differently, I did not wish to buy into a primordial discourse that I knew had been, and would no doubt continue to be, dismissed by those reluctant to share their power. My concern over St6:lo images and their potential consequences has extended beyond my own "imaginings" (and their potential consequences) to those of a general public. Over the last two years, I have engaged in countless conversations about my work. Both inside and outside the academy I have been confronted time and again by what seem, at least to me, extremely narrow images of who the St6:lo are, how they live, and how they ought to be living. Take the remarks of a non-Native man who declared that a St6:lo feast seemed "ordinary" because the food -particularly the mashed potatoes and rice - had not been very "Indian." Such disappointment prompted him to discuss his long felt uncertainty over Native peoples' grounds for recognition as distinct peoples. The Makah whale hunt (in the United States) which had drawn much public attention earlier in the year, clearly captured his imagination and offered him a useful platform. If whaling were an Aboriginal right, why, he asked, had the Makah used rifles and motor boats? Why hadn't they hunted according to their "tradition," using dugout-canoes and spears? Was it not profoundly contradictory to pursue an Aboriginal right in a "non-Aboriginal" way? His questions, it seemed, pointed to a belief that Native peoples were not much different from "us" (non-Natives), and that if they were to be afforded special rights, they ought at least to demonstrate that they were "special" ~ that they were unmistakably different. For him, Native peoples could only be accepted as distinct peoples, with distinct rights, if they returned to past ways, and became "more Native." 9 7 On another occasion I was told that my "findings" that Storlo identities were reflected through shifting relations with the forest, were rather obvious. Why, I was asked, was I surprised that the Storlo had shifting identities and no sense of self56 when they chose to invest their identity in such transitory entities as trees? Rather, the "solution" for the Sto:lo's "identity crisis" lay in Jesus. If the Storlo could only embrace Jesus' love - which was the "same yesterday as it is today, and as it will be tomorrow" - they would no longer be "in crisis." For this individual, it seemed the Storlo could only be "saved'Vrespected if they could become born again Christians. They could be respected only if they could become something else, something "less Native." Pondering these and other conversations, I am left wondering to what extent popular portrayals of Native peoples have changed over the last 150 years. In an era of celebrated multiculturalism, when assimilation policies officially have been abandoned, and when politicians and academics (among others) widely condemn the use of stereotypes, it is easy to think that colonial mentalities have disappeared. Yet in my experience, many Canadians still see Native peoples in very simplistic ways: either as people like us (non-Natives), who ought to accept that and let go of the past, or else as people who may in some ways be different, but who in attempting to reclaim their traditions can never truly succeed and, therefore, can never be truly authentic. In this final chapter, I consider the need to problematize and reconceptualize our understandings of Native people ~ to reach beyond narrow, either/or categories and to look and listen carefully to what Native people are doing and saying. As I return to my conversations with the Storlo, my I made reference to the Sto:lo neither as a people without a sense of self, nor as a people currently experiencing an identity "crisis." 98 aim is to demonstrate not only the constraints that primordialist and constructionist imaginings would place upon them, but also how these conversations might be interpreted in more flexible and open ways. By drawing upon the historical and theoretical discussions of earlier chapters, I suggest that St6:lo attitudes and practices, together with the identities that appear to emerge from them, can best be understood in relation to St6:lo histories and to their struggles against domination. St6:lo Conversations Revisited: Primordialist Interpretations To revisit my conversations with the St6:lo from a primordialist perspective would be to search for signs of cultural continuity, for evidence of a pristine St6:lo culture rooted in the past. In turning to St6:lo statements regarding forest relations and logging practices, the primordialist eye would be troubled by their apparent inconsistencies. Comments made by retired and working loggers that trees had once been economically important, but were now spiritually important, would not, for instance, fit within the primordialist understanding of an "authentic" Native culture. For a start, any "real" St6:lo person cannot by primordialist definitions fail to maintain a spiritual connection with the forest/nature. "Real Indians," after all, according to primordialists, have a deep and inherent connection with nature and, as a result, can only view it spiritually, never economically. Similarly, Native logging (in the recent or distant past) — Native participation in the destruction of nature — would only serve to confirm the primordialist belief that any "real" Native identity/culture St6:lo individuals may have possessed had long since been contaminated and destroyed by their encounters with a modern capitalist economy. 9 9 Concerns with economic attitudes and practices aside, primordialists would also have difficulty with the notion of a return to spirituality. Indeed, as a conceptual framework that neither accommodates radical breaks in historical continuity, nor notions of cultural revival, St6:lo claims of having returned to "traditions" and of having acquired a spiritual attachment to the forest, would simply be dismissed as implausible. That implausibility would be compounded if new values were shown to have a non-local source,57 for, in addition to a demand for cultural continuity, the primordialist concept of culture carries with it an expectation of local "rootedness" (Clifford, 1978:338). Finally, because the primordialist framework does not tolerate historical explanations for cultural change, St6:lo efforts to account for shifting attitudes would not free them from the charge of "inauthenticity." In other words, discussions of residential school experiences, and of forced entry into the forest industry, would only serve as "discursive pitfalls:" as evidence that what may once have been "genuine" and "pure" about these Sto.lo had been lost long since, and so lost, could not be retrieved (Povinelli, 1993:103). In sum, the primordialist framework would present shifting St6:lo attitudes as a set of intolerable contradictions made by "inauthentic" people. St6:lo Conversations Revisited: Constructionist Interpretations Resistant to demands for cultural continuity and open to notions of cultural change, the constructionist framework would unproblematically incorporate, indeed anticipate, shifting See, for instance, Chief Jimmy George's claims of learning teachings from the Sioux of South Dakota, p.26. 100 St6:lo attitudes and practices. Once incorporated, these attitudes and practices would be assessed not for what they revealed about the S to do's authenticity, but for what they revealed about the motivations behind particular "cultural adjustments" (Hanson, 1997). Put differently, they would provide evidence not of the Stodo's inauthenticity, but rather of their ability to rework past beliefs and practices in order to meet contemporary agendas. For cultural constructionists, claims of having recently "returned to the longhouse" and of having acquired "new understandings" of the forest would be evidence of their conscious attempts to construct an identity - a sense of self/pride - within a system of domination. In this process of claiming "otherness," St6:lo individuals would be conceptualized much like "actors in a play," as people whose uptake of cultural beliefs and practices had been done with conviction, yet with a large measure of control and self-reflection (Sharp, 1996:94). For other constructionists - namely those subscribing to an instrumentalist philosophy - claims of having returned to spiritual teachings and spiritual relationships with the forest would be interpreted in rather more politicized ways. Aware that demonstrations of fundamental difference are potentially rewarding in the context of land claims negotiations, St6:lo talk of cultural and spiritual revival would be held as proof of their conscious engagement in strategic essentialism -- in other words, as evidence of their conscious manipulation of culture in a bid to secure political and material advantage. Working loggers who spoke of cutting trees down in one context and of worshipping them in another would be deemed to be "inventors of tradition," that is people who, according to need and context, can pick up or put down their beliefs and practices. Taken together, the constructionist framework would present shifting St6:lo views and practices as the strategic contradictions of those intent on creating a "historically shallow," yet "powerfully imagined" community (Tambiah, 1996:139). 101 Inserting Notions of Humanity into Understandings of Culture and Identity I am struck by the simplicity of primordialist and constructionist interpretations of culture and identity. Like many, I consider the primordialist approach particularly problematic because of its assumption that Native cultures cannot evolve or change without becoming something else, something non-Native. This notion that an authentic culture depends on an ineradicable difference, confined to the past, I find problematic on several levels: first, because it robs Native peoples of agency and presents them, to quote Jean Comaroff (1985:5),58 as "cultural fools doomed to reproduce their world endlessly and mindlessly;" second, because it dismisses cross-cultural sharing in identity production; and finally, because it has serious political consequences. Given that Native peoples can never prove themselves to be absolutely and in all ways different from non-Native peoples, I consider the primordial discourse (that underlies legal categories) one which works to undermine both the perception and reality of distinctive Native cultures. My concern with various forms of constructionism are no less serious. Like Sider, my main concern with constructionist perspectives is that they make Native identities into intellectual phenomena - matters of ideas and words - whilst slighting the direct material relations and political force fields that necessarily inform them. More specifically, in response to those constructionists who argue that identities are consciously constructed in a bid to gain social recognition, I would argue that identities are, more often than not, subconsciously produced, that they emerge out of everyday routines and interactions with others. In addition, I am concerned about the way in which many constructionists (particularly instrumentalists) dismiss essentialism entirely. This dismissal of essentialism is unfortunate, in my opinion, for it ignores 1 0 2 the fact that most human beings operate according to the belief that their identities and cultures are essential/natural. Finally, in response to political constructionists who argue that Native people simply construct their identities for political advantage, I argue, after Roosens (1989),59 that while St6:lo leaders may (necessarily) engage in the political construction of their identities, most St6:lo do not. In my opinion, in their day-to-day lives most St6:lo have neither the opportunity nor the desire to construct their identities in such politicized ways. In considering how to best gain an understanding of the ways in which St6:lo peoples may forge an identity, I am drawn back to Sardis and to a particular conversation. That conversation was with a St6:lo man who described, often with tears in his eyes, a lifetime of struggle. In speaking of his anguish at being sent to residential school, he went on to talk of his struggles to support a family amidst a barrage of discriminating laws and practices, of his attempts to shelter his children from racism, and finally, of his return to the longhouse and to the teachings that he believed would make him "strong again." What came from that conversation was an appreciation that this man's life had involved struggle and negotiation, not for political advantage, but for dignity. I take from that encounter a conviction that any attempt to gain a sense of who the St6:lo are, of what they have done and are currently doing, must be with their emotions and lived experiences in mind. 5 8 In Wilmsen, E. N.. Premises of Power in Ethnic Politics, in Wilmsen et al (1996:21) The Politics of Difference. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. 5 9 In Wilmsen, E. N. (1996:92). 103 As I turn to present my own interpretations of St6:lo attitudes and practices, I am drawn to recent scholarship which abandons notions of identity as essential or invented and allows us to consider the humanity of individuals. Particularly compelling, in my view, is the current notion that identities are constituted through struggles within and against history, and in quests for dignity. I find convincing Jonathan Friedman's call to view identities in terms of how people attach meaningful pasts to structured presents. Also convincing, I find, are Gerald Sider and John Comaroff s arguments that identities are neither simply imposed nor chosen, but instead are negotiated in unequal power relations and through the minutiae of everyday practice. In my opinion, it is through such ideas that an appreciation of the human fears, hopes and angers that shape identities are likely to emerge. Finally, in thinking about how conflicting expressions of identity have been addressed, I am drawn to John Comaroff s idea that the conditions that give rise to a particular identity do not always sustain it. Even more important, I think, is Gerald Sider's conception of culture not as a set of values per se, but as the spaces between people's values and what they are able to do. Viewing culture in this way, Sider insists that conflicting expressions of ethnic identity are less contradictions than unavoidable antagonisms. These antagonisms, he suggests, exist between Native pasts, presents and futures, and result from the changing pressures that Native peoples have had imposed upon them, as well as from their attempts to cope with these pressures. Convinced that this notion of unavoidable antagonism is useful for interpreting shifting St6:lo attitudes, I return now to my early conversations. 104 Storlo Conversations Revisited: Rethinking Contradiction Early Conversations I began chapter two with a discussion of those whose views of trees appeared to have changed markedly over time. Their views, I explained, had been expressed as economic during discussions of forest work, but as spiritual/cultural during discussions of forest conservation/destruction. In attempting to account for these attitudinal shifts, I turn to Storlo pasts and to the socio-economic and political pressures within them. This said, I first attempt to understand something of economic attachments to trees by contemplating the histories that bound people, through their Nativeness, to a particular set of economic pressures. Economic Pressures Russell Williams: It's like when we were young, there was no such thing as welfare: you either worked or you starved. (And later) To us, timber meant money. In the 1940s and 1950s, when Russell and others entered the forest industry, St6:lo work opportunities were limited. At that time, summer jobs were being closed off as a result increased mechanization and reduced labour requirements. Hop-picking and farm work were just two crucial sources of income that became increasingly difficult to secure. In this economic context, logging was the most accessible and highly paid work around, and many St6:lo seized the opportunity to log whenever and wherever it arose. In this context, then, in a struggle to support self and family with little or no government assistance, "timber" had necessarily come to mean "money." Yet this context can provide only a partial understanding of the economic importance of trees. To understand in what ways the St6:lo became entangled in economic relations with the forest arguably requires that we go back to a colonial era, and to the economic pressures it engendered. In late nineteenth-century British Columbia, being St6:lo meant being subjected to a set of pressures — political, economic and cultural ~ that made former ways of life difficult to maintain, and economic vulnerability difficult to avoid. Allocated reserves that could not sustain them, the Stodo were forced into the industrial workplace in a bid for survival. As wage labourers, most were able, for a time, to combine seasonal and wage work in ways that allowed them to maintain ties with ancient ways of life. By the 1880s, however, when settler numbers rose and labour competition set in, the St6:lo found themselves increasingly displaced from a variety of industries and driven, in most cases, into positions of intense economic vulnerability. In this situation, many turned to a rapidly expanding forest industry for a living. That industry would prove an enduring source of support for generations of Stodo. Thus, for the fathers and grandfathers of those with whom I spoke, trees had also been, irrespective of other attachments, a way of earning a living for themselves and their families. To understand this, is arguably to better understand the role of trees in Stodo efforts to cope with domination. C u l t u r a l Pressures Economic attachments to trees need not have precluded spiritual attachments. Yet, when I asked individuals if they had ever viewed trees in a spiritual way, all stated that they had not. What is more, all claimed that residential school experiences were to blame for that lack of attachment. To better understand this absence of spiritual relations, we must return to the history of residential schools, and to the powerful cultural pressures that they imposed. 106 Residential schools were central in colonial efforts to assimilate Native children. Designed with the intent of turning Native children from "savages" into civilized and "useful" citizens, these schools tore away at the fabric of Native culture and identity. At St. Mary's and Kamloops (which Arthur Alex and Russell Williams respectively attended) Native spiritual beliefs were ridiculed. Within this environment, as Francis Phillips articulated (see page 14), there was no opportunity to hold spiritual views of the forest, indeed any views associated with "Nativeness." If one had prayed to trees, or viewed them as ancestors prior to entering residential school, years of exposure to assimilation strategies and of isolation from the communities in which those values and practices made sense, meant they were often abandoned.60 This was true for Russell and the others, but it was also true for their parents and grandparents. Like the economic pressures that had stemmed from a colonial era, so cultural pressures had impacted successive generations. Russell Williams: Residential school took a lot away from the Natives, including my mum and dad. (And later) We weren't taught anything like that (that trees were spiritual beings) by our grandparents. Reflecting upon residential school experiences and the economic pressures that had made logging a necessity, it seemed clear why individuals had expressed their views of trees in such economic and non-spiritual terms. Finally, in discussing current attitudes towards the forest, some spoke of returning to "tradition" and of now having a spiritual attachment to trees. Francis Phillips, for instance, stated: .. .we're back to our old ways... .You must know about the machine that they have that they put on that tree, eh? That tree shook when that axe got close to it and cried when they started choppin' it... .Our ancestors were right when they In the orchards at Coqualeetza and other schools, where children were put to work tending trees, it is likely that they came to know only the market, never the spiritual, value of trees. 107 said we had to pray to them, to the Creator for giving us all of these plants. We're always saying prayers, thanking them for giving us medicine to heal. That part was almost wiped out. To acquire some understanding of this shift in attitudes, St6:lo pasts are again important, this time for assessing what may have been culturally revived or adopted, as opposed to eroded or abandoned. As Herb Joe pointed out, a cultural revival is occurring within St6:lo communities. Many Sto:lo, including those with whom I spoke, are returning to the longhouse and are taking part in ceremonial activities that were once outlawed. In doing so, there is a sense that personal identities and feelings of worth are being restored (Mcllwraith, 1995:23). In thinking about individual's attempts to regain "tradition" against histories marked by fundamental economic and cultural pressures, shifts in forest views appear less contradictory. In other words, particular attitudes toward trees acquire new meaning when considered within the specific socio-historical contexts out of which they emerge. For instance, when individuals spoke of their non-spiritual/economic relations with trees, they spoke of how those relations had emerged as a result of residential schooling and the economic need to log. Both residential schooling and the economic processes that were acting at the time were forced upon these individuals. They were pressures they could not control, and to which they had to adapt. Now, in a new political and economic climate, when individuals are no longer dependent on the forest for their economic well-being, and when there is the opportunity to learn about St6:lo spirituality, that some should claim a spiritual attachment to trees, seems less a contradiction than simply a shift in what individuals both wish and are able to do. Yet, as I suggested earlier, this shift in views is not entirely without struggle. As people claim new values, they are not insulated from their own social histories. Thus, new values that appear to contradict old ones must be reconciled internally within oneself (and group) and also justified 108 to members of a dominant society who will more than likely challenge either the authenticity of those new values, and/or the source of past ones. Working Loggers Discussions with working loggers appeared to reveal both a similar shift in attitudes and a new set of struggles. These struggles emerged not only from efforts to reconcile a shift from economic to spiritual views, but also to reconcile the apparent contradiction of cutting down trees they claimed to worship. As before, individuals spoke of how a dependence on logging had fostered economic relations with the forest, and of how residential schooling (both theirs and their parents) had deprived them of spiritual relations with trees. They also spoke of having recently acquired a new understanding of and respect for trees. Yet it was here, in talk of returning to "spirituality," that I suggested that these working loggers differed from earlier respondents. Unlike retired loggers, I suggested that these men had adopted spiritual values with greater ambivalence, and that such ambivalence stemmed, in part, from a struggle to bring "traditional" pursuits in line with economic needs. Chief George highlighted that struggle: The power that is hung over the top of all our heads: the almighty dollar. When we're trying to practice our traditional (ways) we're running back out of the door as fast as we can....It's hard to walk with a foot on both trails and no one understands that. The metaphor of people walking down two different trails, simultaneously, is useful in attempting to explain the apparent contradictions in the values of those who cut down trees they claim to worship. For a start, by presenting "traditional" and "modern" ways as equally viable presents, it undermines the notion that they occupy opposites ends on a path of linear development. Moreover, it reinforces the idea of struggle in identity formation ~ how in this case, economic pressures come to shape the ways in which pasts are incorporated into presents and into visions of the future. For these loggers, spiritual views of forest could be adopted, but 109 only to a point. Still dependent on logging for a livelihood, spiritual values could not be adopted at the cost of abandoning their wage work. Having logged most of their lives, there was a sense that spiritual values, if taken "too far," would end up running not only against still strongly flowing economic currents, but against work histories that had provided the material basis for families, dignity, and pride. Accounting for the opposing pressures within and against which "spiritual" loggers live and claim an identity, their contradictions give way to Sider's (1993) notions of unavoidable antagonism. They give way to a sense that identities emerge not out of values per se, but out of the spaces between values and the economic relations people both choose and have imposed upon them. Moreover, they highlight the mixed, often fiercely oppositional, orientations that underlie identities. In this case, mixed orientations appear to exist most prominently in people's efforts to establish a cultural identity that is distinct from the dominant society, and to find a measure of economic security that is dependent on that society. Ralph George Conversations with Ralph George revealed a different, and apparently more intense, set of struggles. As a man who had entered logging with the belief that trees were spiritual ancestors, Ralph was forced to come to terms with the profound contradictions of his actions. In other words, he was forced to confront his own purposeful destruction of the trees he considered sacred. Today, as a spiritual leader, Ralph's attitudes appear to have remained relatively consistent. Yet his early years as a logger offer, I think, some important insights into how pasts and presents, economic and cultural needs, come to shape identity. As a young boy, Ralph was taken into the longhouse by elders and taught, among other things, about the spiritual value of trees. Those "teachings," however, had not simply been "passed 110 down" to him with the ease that term implies. Rather, they had come to Ralph through at least two generations of elders that had held onto them fiercely in the face of assimilationist pressures. In taking these "teachings" underground, Ralph's elders (like those before them) had succeeded in resisting some of colonialism's cultural assaults. As a result, they had also succeeded in providing Ralph with a sense of his Native past, and with an understanding of the world that set him apart from his non-Native, and a good many of his Native, peers. At age fourteen, Ralph was forced into logging. With a family to support and with few work options to choose from, logging was a means of survival. However, it also was a source of intense anguish, for this work went "totally against (his) way of life, the way the elders taught (him)." Unlike other "spiritual" loggers, then, Ralph's struggles involved turning against not only a history of domination, but against his own history and all the forms of meaning and the feelings of cultural pride that it had encouraged. In other words, his struggles seemed to emerge not from efforts to take up or shut out traditions, but rather, from his own efforts to renegotiate a place for those traditions in his understandings of self and world. Understanding this, Ralph's struggles again give way to notions of unavoidable antagonism. They evoke an appreciation of how identities are forged out of intense conflicts of interest, and in pain and anguish as much as with pride and joy. More precisely, they highlight how, in efforts to establish meaningful presents and futures, people are often brought into antagonistic relations with their pasts. Proud Loggers Finally, there were those who claimed to have neither a spiritual attachment to the forest nor a desire to acquire it. For these men, spiritual beliefs were possessions of other Native people. They had never been taught that the trees contained spirits, or that they were ancestors who could talk, cry and feel. Instead, as members of families whose involvement in the forest i l l industry spanned several generations, these men viewed trees in economic terms - as livelihood. However, this non-spiritual and economic attachment to trees did not, itself, separate these men from others with whom I had spoken. What did was the apparent ease with which their economic relations with trees were maintained, and non-spiritual relations accepted. Unlike others, they expressed no obvious signs of loss that they were never taught (or had the chance to learn) about the spirituality of trees. That acceptance seemed to be reflected not only in their dismissal of the residential school as a possible influence on cultural beliefs, but more clearly in their expressed lack of interest in learning about "teachings." What they had learned of the forest as loggers took precedence over any "teachings." For them, logging was a source of pride rather than a practice that undermined their cultural identity. But what does this say about who these individuals are and how they claim an identity? To some, men such as Jack Mussell would appear as "non-Indians," living proof that assimilation policies have worked, and that Indians have indeed been made white. Yet in my discussions with these men, I never doubted that they were Native, that they believed themselves to be Native, or that they were proud to be Native. Indeed, the only difference between these men and the others, seemed to lie in the way they forged their Native identity. Unlike those who had spoken of "going back to the old ways" in an effort to reaffirm a Native identity, for Jack and others, their sense of Native identity seemed to lie firmly in the present and what is more, to be situated within rather than against, their work practices. Jack Mussell: The way I look at it is, our culture - people are always talking about our culture, Native culture and stuff: we're living it today. What I'm doing to provide for my family and my life, would be culture now, many years later, right?...It's straight: what we did to survive is culture. Jack's statement contains the sense that forest work produces a cultural identity as it produces economic well-being. He felt that he could remain Native without "reclaiming" a Native past. 112 During discussions of cultural revival he and others stated their unwillingness to learn about "traditional" beliefs. For them, it appears that spiritual and other beliefs belong in the past, to be drawn on only from memory, not relived as a necessary part of being Native. "We're proud of who we are. We know where we came from, but we also know where we're going," Jack said. In reinforcing the importance of their work as the source of their identity there comes an appreciation of how Native identities are forged in unexpected ways - of how Native culture/identity is not forged simply through cultural practice but, as Povinelli (1993) has demonstrated, through economic practice. Similarly, one gains an appreciation not only of the pressures that shape identity, but also of the diverse ways in which people develop their sense of Nativeness ~ how people attempt not only to attach pasts to presents, but new and different presents to ongoing pasts. In other words, one gains a sense of how people create a sense of Nativeness that is not reliant upon notions of a "traditional" Native past. Parting Words In this thesis, I have offered some thoughts about how Stodo identities are forged through relations with the forest and through particular socio-economic pressures. In so doing, I have kept in mind notions of cultural continuity, aware that continuity has been and, in some realms, remains the central yardstick against which the authenticity of Native culture is measured. Yet my aims have not centred upon demonstrating the authenticity or continuity of Stodo identity/culture, but rather on highlighting the discontinuities and contradictions that appear to characterize particular cultural expressions. In this thesis, those discontinuities and contradictions have emerged most notably in people's efforts to reconcile their conflicting views of the forest and of logging practices. In focusing on these conflicting views and practices, I have suggested that, at one level, they spring from people's mixed orientations ~ from a need to establish a measure of both economic security and cultural autonomy. On another level, I have suggested that such discontinuities and the struggles they engender, stem from the particular ways in which people come to incorporate Native pasts into their presents. For most, it appears that Stodo histories are claimed and attached to the present in ways that generate dignity, but also a good deal of anguish. For them, "tradition" leads not to cultural isolation from the dominant society, but rather to a space of dignity and cultural autonomy within that society. For others, I have suggested that pasts are not so must reclaimed as recalled in the generation of identity ~ that Native histories are not always "relived" but inform the present nonetheless through memories and through the feelings of pride such memories generate. Finally, I have suggested that struggles to connect pasts to presents, old ways to new, as well as the contradictions that they generate, are not recent but stem from the encounter, now many generations long, with colonialism. Stodo identities are informed by and cannot be understood separate from a shared colonial history. The colonial era introduced sudden and often destructive change to Stodo lives, and I have argued that contemporary Stodo identity struggles emerge from old ones. The contradictory colonial demands that were imposed upon the Stodo necessarily generated, I suggest, a contradictory set of responses, and a great deal of vulnerability. At the root of both, were Stodo efforts to bridge two opposing pressures: to conform to colonial demands on the one hand, and to meet tribal needs on the other. Today, many Stodo remain caught between these opposing pressures, even as their contexts change. While these pressures once sprang from demands that the Stodo become Europeans, today they are more likely to spring from 114 expectations that the St6:lo be "authentic" Natives. In seeking to obtain a measure of cultural autonomy that the dominant society once attempted to destroy, and that - legally, economically and politically - it continues to undermine, I have suggested that the Storlo are still forced to struggle against a set of contradictory outside pressures, whether they want to or not. Moreover, by showing that the Storlo continue to be torn between, on the one hand, the attractions and the demands of the dominant society and, on the other, their desire to retain a measure of cultural autonomy, I have suggested that their identities necessarily emerge through a series of cultural, political and economic relations, not all-or-nothing conversions or resistances. In suggesting that Storlo identities emerge through struggle, and through the spaces between resisting and embracing accommodation with the dominant society, I have not suggested that the Storlo cannot be "modern." Rather, I hold that as the larger social context shifts, what is possible at the local level must also shift. As new possibilities emerge, and as former ways of life are transformed, so the Storlo must generate their identities through whatever avenues are available. In turn, by arguing that Storlo culture has altered over time, I have not suggested that Storlo identities have disappeared and reemerged according to circumstance. Within the discontinuities and contradictions that I have described, it is clear to me that a sense of Storlo identity has persisted. There have always been people who have recognized themselves to be Storlo. A good many of these people appear to trace their sense of Storloness to a shared, more-or-less continuous set of beliefs. Thus, following Clifford (1976:338), I would suggest that Storlo culture can lose central "organs" without dying ~ that language, land and other cultural 115 markers can be missing or largely transformed, but that Stodo identities can and do remain strong. Perhaps if we can appreciate the breaks as well as the continuities within Stodo culture, the struggles out of which they emerge, and the hopes and fears they generate, we may acquire a more flexible understanding of the Stodo that not only allows them to be modern but also acknowledges their distinctiveness. Perhaps too, if we are aware of the Stodo's colonial past and our own complicity in it - that is, if we recognize that the ambiguities and tensions inherent in Stodo identity are partly of our own making - we may be less inclined to judge the Stodo for not being what we have said they should be. 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