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Work histories of a Coast Salish couple Sparrow, Leona Marie 1976-02-10

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WORK HISTORIES OF A COAST SALISH COUPLE by LEONA MARIE SPARROW B.A., University of British Columbia, 1973 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Anthropology and Sociology) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May, 1976 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 representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia 20 75 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date ftfa, tf% ii ABSTRACT This thesis attempts to depict and analyze an area or time space in the life of two selected Coast Salish informants from the Musqueam Reserve. A series of interviews with the informants produced an extensive and comprehensive account of their work patterns, information on other closely related facets of the life style of the informants, and their relationship to various culture groups. Perhaps the most important features revealed are implicit — the informants' concepts of self in society. Through these texts a Native perspective of recent history can be seen emerging. This perspective is more evident in the verbatim transcripts than it would be in a closely edited text. The analysis attempts to demonstrate the relationship of work history to total life history, the importance of the culturally related patterns and cycles to work. iii TABLE OF CONTENTS Page LIST OF TABLES Chapter 1. INTRODUCTION 1 2. OUTLINE OF METHOD 5 3. INITIAL INTERVIEWS ON WORK HISTORY PROJECT ... 16 3.1 Tape 22: Rose Sparrow 17 3.2 Tape 23: Ed Sparrow 2 8 3.3 Tape 24: Ed Sparrow 46 3.4 Tapes 25 and 26: Ed Sparrow 61 3.5 Tape 27: Rose Sparrow 84 4. INTERVIEWS WITH WORK CHRONOLOGY 105 4.1 Tapes 28 and 29: Ed Sparrow 107 4.2 Tapes 30 and 31: Rose Sparrow 130 5. EARLIER TRANSCRIPTS RELATED TO WORK HISTORY ... 163 Tape 2: Ed and Rose Sparrow 164 Tapes 3, 8, and 9: Rose Sparrow 172 6. ADDITIONAL INTERVIEWS WITH WORK CHRONOLOGIES . . 190 Tape 32, in part: Ed and Rose Sparrow 192 Tape 33, in part: Rose Sparrow 199 7. SUMMARY INTERVIEWS 215 Tape 33, in part: Rose Sparrow 217 Tape 34: Rose Sparrow 220 Tape 35: Ed Sparrow 3 iv Chapter Page 8. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 229 Method Summary 230 Data Summary 3 Conclusions 249 BIBLIOGRAPHY 256 APPENDICES: A-JL WORK CHRONOLOGY — Rose Sparrow 259 A2 WORK CHRONOLOGY — Ed Sparrow 26 3 B WORK SEQUENCE — Rose and Ed Sparrow ... 265 C GENEALOGY 266 V LIST OF TABLES TABLE PAGE I CULTURAL FEATURES INDEX WITH PAGE REFERENCES TO TEXTS OF TAPES 2, 3, 8, 9 188 II MALE AND FEMALE WORK CATEGORIES DERIVED FROM TEXTS 234 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to the Musqueam Band and Band Council for the use of equip ment and facilities utilized while completing this thesis. A special thank you is extended to my family for their encouragement and support throughout the research and writing time. To my grandparents, a special "huychxwqu" to acknow ledge the time and knowledge they have shared with me in preparing this thesis 1 Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION A number of good accounts of Coast Salish culture are available but there is a great deal of knowledge and experience which has either never been documented or which is inaccurate, misunderstood, and not representative of how the people see themselves. Part of the deficiency exists because much infor mation is not considered by the Salish people to be in the realm of general public knowledge. It is private and personal, or a family possession.^" I am a part of, and identify with one of these families. In relating to my paternal grandparents, who have been my informants, I have been very much aware of different categories of information which they will share with me solely because of family ties, and other information which is open. The text of this thesis is directed intentionally away from areas which could disclose knowledge of the first sort which they do not wish to be made public. For several years I have been collecting for my grand parents pieces of information which can later be collated into a dual biography or a partial history of Musqueam. Research for 1 Refer to: Suttles, Wayne P., Private Knowledge, Morality and Social Classes Among the Coast Salish, American Anthropologist n.s. vol. 60, 1958, pp. 497-507, Menasha. 2 this thesis was intended to be of value in furthering either of these original objectives without violating the private/public knowledge distinction which is a fundmanetal part of the culture. Both Rose and Ed Sparrow have been extremely patient and cooperative through the recording, transcription and editing of the materials for this thesis. Neither expects any reward other than to have the information documented and possibly to have a part of it published in the future. They were, however, both becoming eager to move into other areas for recording by the time the last few tapes were made for this thesis. Their knowledge has been exposed and aroused rather than exhausted by this exercise. Studies of Canadian Indians in the labor market, or of their economic development have approached the topic from a number of angles over a period of time. Researchers and statisticians have gone to great lengths to locate the Native population in economic surveys, to analyze and designate their position complete with contributory factors, implications, and 2 proposed alternatives. 2 Refer to: Fields, D. B. and W. T. Stanbury, The Economic Impact of the Public Sector Upon the Indians of British Columbia, submitted to Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Develop ment. Vancouver, The University of British Columbia Press, 1973. Hawthorn, H. B., A Survey of Contemporary Indians of  Canada, a report on economic, political, educational needs and policies. Indian Affairs, Ottawa, 196 8. Hawthorn, H. B., C. S. Belshaw, S. M. Jamieson, The  Indians of British Columbia: a study of contemporary social adjustment, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 195 8. (continued) 3 Implications are generally centered around the Native person's apparent lack of ability and/or desire to adapt to established labor patterns. The emphasis seems to be on degree or rate of assimilation into a predominantly non Indian society. Incomplete absorption into the society and resultant under development of personal potential and available resources appear to be among the leading factors being implicated in the level of attainment realized by Natives in economic development of their region. There is not, to my present knowledge, a current study which investigates in depth, or which incorporates to any great extent the Native views of work. By this, I refer to the complementary aspects taken from the frame of reference of the Native. The meaning of work in itself, or the various forms it may assume in the Native concept are instrumental in unoerstandin-their position relative to work, the labor force, and economy. Valuesplaced on work, and the nature of these values are closely related to meaning. In this respect, values and their nature may emerge together to determine Native concepts of work. There are other examples of areas to consider in investigating Native concepts of work: contributions to work, benefits received from, 2 (continued) Stanbury, W. T., D. B. Fields, D. Stevenson, B. C. Indians in an Urban Environment: income, poverty, education and vocational training. Canada. Department of Manpower and Immigration. Manpower Review, Pacific Region vol. 5 No. 3 (July - September, 1972") pp. II - 33. Stanbury, W. T. and J. H. Siegel, Urban Indians in the Labour Market, Vancouver, 19 73. 4 expectations of work or fellow workers, restrictions felt by being a part of the labor force, periods or seasons when individuals did not work, influence of family members or family life. It is not my intention to discredit information which already exists. The main purpose of this thesis will be an attempt to explore the uses of a life history approach in collecting data, to determine and describe work areas considered to be important. Wejalso hope to clarify possible work patterns established by my grandparents, and through this the nature of Native Indian participation in development of the regional economy. Throughout, we will center around the topics as seen from within the culture. I would only hope in this project to investigate another means of approaching the subject of work. It is through the life history approach to the topic of work that I hope to aid in the establishment of a cultural basis for an understanding of the Native position in Canadian society — their contribution, barriers met, nature of involvement in development, adjustment, and so forth. In this way, it may be possible to understand further what life means to my grandparents, to Native people, what their order of priorities are in life, and how they are moulded. 5 Chapter 2 OUTLINE OF METHODOLOGY Data for this study were collected at Musqueam Reserve, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia. It is a medium sized urban Coast Salish community.1" The tape recordings were made mainly from January to July, 1975, with a few related portions collected in 1972. The informants, my paternal grandparents, are now resident at Musqueam, Ed Sparrow, Sr. being a native of Musqueam, and Rose Sparrow (nee George) originally from Kwaw-kwah-a-pilt (Koh kwaplat) near Sardis, B. C. They are seventy-six and seventy-three years of age respectively. The framework for approaching the goal and aims set was centered on eliciting the work history portion of individual life histories. Both grandparents were encouraged to record infor mation most important to themselves, their family or their community. The interviews uncovered much detail but could not be considered as complete or exhaustive. The order of recorded data is not chronological as far as order of occurrence in my grandparents* lives is concerned. Topic, recording order, and 1 The population, October, 19 75 — approximately 430 registered Band members. It was estimated that 320 Band members were resident on reserve, as well as 100 non Band members (includes non status and those registered with other bands). 6 depth of study were largely determined by their willingness to record and by their recall capacity. The limits of their tolerance for questioning in this area of study were also considered as significant factors in determining the total amount of material collected. For this study, the method of collecting is aa important a part of the exercise as analysis and summation. I have been as thorough as possible in describing the procedures used and reasons for using or discarding them. In the first stage of the study, an attempt was made to record an outline of the work histories of the couple. Further sessions with each grandparent allowed for enlargement of detail, eliciting of specific references, answering of questions, and expression of my grandparents' perspective. The work history spans from the time of first employment or work up to the present. My grandparents describe and define the work, the necessity for work,problems and obstacles encountered, end results or rewards, life style, cost of living, etc. Recorded materials were transcribed verbatim from the tapes, and typed in triplicate. They were then edited minimally, indexed, and ordered in recording order before being worked into taxonomic diagrams or work chronologies. The next phase was verification by my grandparents and analysis by myself. This task was done with the idea of classifying patterns and features within and between the histories while maintaining the richness of the personal accounts. 7 Relationships found in the data require description, classification, and interpretation in regard to the work type and description, the individuals involved and their social/cultural disposition. In effect, this is describing what the category of work means to the individual within his culture. Initially, I had set out to determine involvement of the Coast Salish in the fishing industry on the lower Fraser River, and contributions made by the Natives to the economic development of this region through the fishing industry. Although I did some reading on the history of fishing and Native fishing in the Fraser River area, this was to be an essentially non-library thesis. It would have been unreasonable to forego continuation of field research with the opportunity at hand. My intent was to interview Native fishermen and workers, both female and male over the age of sixty, to survey their involve ment in the different aspects of the fishing industry. I had hoped this would reveal a patterning or ethnic cycle of activity. The informants were to be restricted to Musqueam Band members or Indian people who had lived in the Musqueam-Vancouver area. A thesis proposal was drawn up and submitted to my Committee Chairman. At this point a list of possible informants was drawn up. The topic had to be changed because of difficulty locating enough fishermen and workers at hand for interviewing. Other limiting factors began to emerge. Within the group at hand, the occupational diversity was in such a wide range there was difficulty limiting a survey to the fishing industry alone. 8 Another important feature was the variety of jobs or occupations individuals had attempted in their lifetime. The next phase of development was to consider collecting a series of work histories of Musqueam residents with the intent of determining possible work patterns or cycles within a group of perhaps eight to ten persons at Musqueam. After discussion with a faculty advisor, a preliminary list of possible informants was established. The Chief of the Musqueam Band was informed of the nature and intent of the propose research. With the Chief's approval to conduct a research program with Musqueam people, attempts were made to contact a few of the informants. Some desirable informants were difficult to contact during the available time. A few others displayed some unwillingness to participate in the study primarily because of lack of time or interest. Part of the reluctance to participate was also related to using the information for unversity research. Proximity to U.B.C. has exposed the Musqueam people to many research oriented projects, and resistance or disinterest are easily understood. Primarily because of their own interest in having an accurate record of family history and legends, Rose and Ed Sparrow showed a willingness to work with me. A very positive feature in working with these two is the rapport which exists through a grandparent-grandchild relationship. They have a 9 knowledge of what they realize should be shared, particularly with family. I also have an implicit understanding of some things which would take a person not associated with the family much longer to determine. Another important feature was the understanding they had of what is involved in tape recording. I had recorded both taped and written material from both grandparents periodically over four or five years. Ed Sparrow had also worked as an informant with other people. All factors taken together produced an affable, almost casual atmosphere which would have been difficult to duplicate with a larger group of informants. Also at this time I was reading The Life History in  Anthropological Science2 to determine if possible parallels in method and purpose could be related to collecting thesis data. A taping session with Rose Sparrow was arranged to test the validity of recording work histories and attitudes to work. This first tape was transcribed and partially analyzed before any further data collecting was attempted. With the exception of the last two tapes with Rose, all recording was done in my grandparents* home where they could locate themselves wherever they felt comfortable. Langness, Lewis L., "The Life History in Anthropological Science", Studies in Anthropological Method, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965. ~ ~ 10 There were some problems involved in this initial recording session. I had written out a list of possible questions for my grandmother to respond to. These were very general questions directed at classifying work rather than describing the types of work done by an individual. This was done as a testing stage to determine what information might be obtained and re vealed. The aim of this session was to set out an outline for a series of questions which could be used as a survey basis for a group with varied work experience. The following is a list of tentative questions used to guide the January 15, 19 75 interview; these were rephrased and expanded before and during the interview: -1. In general terms: what types of activity can you identify in Native classifications? leisure-single, group )essential or pleasure ) optional work-single, family, group) 2. Are there different kinds or categories of work? male, female essential, non essential: knitting/wood cutting housework/work for money as examples. seasonal hereditary life sustaining activities material, non-material orientation 3. How or why do you classify certain activities as work? 4. Are these classifications the same now as you can remember them from earlier times? 5. Could you give a brief summary of work you have done in your lifetime work? work season and year location reasons for choice 11 General, open ended questions evoked better response than could specific, survey-like questions. The nature of the questions was reviewed and reorganized to follow this trend in further questioning with both Rose and Ed. Before interviewing Rose further, sessions with grandfather were begun. This was done to test the utility of the revised questions. He was asked to give a brief history or account of the work he had done throughout his life. Questioning was now directed more toward the personal recall approach than to work classification. Grandfather was quite at ease and was un concerned about being tape recorded. His responses were spontaneous. Information seemed very good and precise as to time and location. Very little directed questioning was required at this first session other than to clarify amounts of earnings, employer, or work partners. He ordered his work experience into a recall sequence on his own. This same approach was attempted with another male informant from Musqueam. Again the questioning was directed at a brief synopsis of the work done. This informant was very willing to respond and answer all questions directed to him. However, he was not receptive to having the information tape recorded. During this one interview all data was written down. With these three informants, there seemed to be an ease of recall of personal and family experience. This was not as apparent if the questioning required the informant to categorize even in general terms. 12 After brief analysis of the transcripts from these first interviews, consideration was given to the idea of collecting a complete life history of my grandparents. This idea was rejected for the present time. It appeared that the data already collected was directed at an important area for anthropological research — the narrower work history sector of the lives of my grandparents. It seemed likely that the volume and richness of data which could be obtained from each grandparent would far outweigh sketchy impersonal data obtained through a survey approach with a group of informants. Collection of complete work histories from a group of people required far more time than was available. The decision was made to limit thesis material to data collected from two informants, my grandparents. Rapport, willingness to cooperate, and an initial recording were instrumental in this decision. In discussion with a faculty advisor it was decided that the work histories could be viewed as support for, or a different approach to, obtaining life history data. The areas of work, work cycles, economic disposition, etc. would be investigated to determine a critical sector of life in general. Recording times xvere related to and restricted by the work and activity of both my grandparents and myself. Whenever possible, the time and duration of interviews were left very flexible to avoid placing my grandparents under pressure or obligation to record a specified amount of material. There were 13 days when no recording was attempted. These were times when there was other work or business to be done or days when it seemed more appropriate to visit rather than work. Delays between recording dates were also attributed to other factors. Tapes were generally transcribed and typed before the next recording session. This allowed opportunity to review taped material and to determine the direction following tapes might take. Data was also discussed periodically with a faculty advisor. Since there were some complications experienced in the initial interviews while determining our procedure, it was decided to begin further taping with my grandfather who seemed to respond to questioning more spontaneously than my grandmother. He also related events in an order which stimulated recall of other events. At times, questioning seemed unnecessary and was in fact disruptive to his thought patterns. I attempted to allow him to exhaust his recall at first. When some type of barrier appeared, questions were directed to gaps in the continuity of his data. As more tapes and transcripts were collected, it became necessary to begin setting up an index of what was considered to be important data. Separate detailed chronologies of both work 3 histories were also written out. With the year by year chronologies at hand, information gaps became even more apparent. The chronologies became an invaluable asset to both informant and researcher in recording and ordering data. 3 Refer to Appendices Al, A2 for Condensed Work Chronologies. 14 The data collected from my grandmother was still limited but it seemed necessary to continue recording with Ed while he was available, interested and involved in completing the recording of his information. Extended interruption might have broken the flow and led to omission of pertinent information. It also seemed more rational to work toward completion of one history and chronology as far as possible before becoming too involved with a second chronology. The separateness of these chronologies actually provided a means of validating certain common information. There may have been certain advantages to eliciting information concurrently, but it was felt that dis tractions from consecutive recall may have produced some difficulties and omission of personal data in order to collaborate. When both chronologies had been written out and surveyed, further taping was done. Grandfather went over his chronology year by year, adding, correcting and verifying information as he went along. This also gave an opportunity to question where information was vague or contradictory. He felt more comfortable handling the chronology sheet himself, relating information on a year by year basis. Grandmother, on the other hand, responded more readily if she were shown specific areas where information was missing. I could then ask questions which would relate her work and activity to her family, birth order of her children, husband and his work, or her own previous work. She had seemed uncertain what the chronology was at first, and how to relate to it. 15 After hearing and watching Ed work with his chronology she became more at ease with her own. After interviews guided by the chronologies, a summation interview was arranged to have my grandparents give a synopsis or an evaluation of the materials before full analysis was begun. Basically the same questions were asked of both Rose and Ed. Since data collection had been centered around their interests and references, I considered they should also have an opportunity to analyze in some way. If they did not respond analytically, the line of questioning would at least invite opinions. It is my view that in ethnographic study, analysis should not be left entirely with the researcher. Notes on methodology were made periodically through the period of thesis research. This was done with the expectation it would be useful in the analysis of data and in future data collection with these and other informants. 16 Chapter 3 INITIAL INTERVIEWS ON WORK HISTORY PROJECT 3.1 Tape 22 Rose Sparrow January 15, 1975 Tape 22, as noted above, was an introductory attempt to orient the direction of research, to familiarize both myself and my grandparents with the topic. This original outline of questions (see page lo) was related to general topics and classifications rather than specific personal information. The questions were intended only to provide a guideline for ideas to be re-worded and re-ordered as necessary. No rigid frame work had yet been established. Grandmother began ordering responses to her own concepts and frame of reference very quickly, at times leaving the question apparently unanswered. When possible I related back to the original question list, attempting to integrate the questioning with her response. Grandmother began to explain her concept of work in general, culture oriented terms. She moved quickly from the present to early training, then to personal experiences. This account appears quite disjointed and unrelated to original plans, but the richness of descriptive detail cannot be ignored. Tapes 22 and 23 were originally transcribed verbatim to familiarize me with the responsiveness of my grandparents, and to assure no pertinent information was omitted. 17 Tape 22 Recorded: January 15, 1975 Rose Sparrow Musqueam QUESTIONS RELATED TO WORK HISTORY Question: Can you tell me how you spend your time, how you order your work and spare time? I spend my time during the day first of all I have to clean house the same as anybody else. Ah well, you know all the work I have to do like the bathtub is housework included in it or just the work I do. Question: Any kind of work you do? Well, first of all we had to learn how to clean house, wash clothes everything like that. Learn to be clean. Ed Sparrow: First of all you were a housewife. Rose: When we were single we were taught all that. Taught how to work, go out and work for yourself. Not making money. You learn how to go out and get things to work with. Like you go out and dig roots, cedar tree root for your roots. Bring it home then sit down and split them the length we want to use it for you know. And then we're taught to make them (baskets)}. That's the first lessons we got as we were growing up. Like from seven years up we're taught that, taught how to make baskets. And another thing we have to be clean. First thing in the morning they wake us up early, tell us to go out and bath. Not in the hot water, but in the cold water outside somewhere, in a creek or a slough. Then you come out clean and then you do all your work. That's the first thing we're taught, to be clean. Keep yourself clean, your clothes clean, everything. 1 Entries in parentheses were added by the interviewer after transcription to clarify the text. 18 We enjoy doing all that. You know we used to climb up the mountain, go dig it (roots for baskets). We were happy to do all those things because we knew we'd get some thing out of it. Because we knew when we'd get through making these little baskets we were told to go and sell them. We go sell them. If we wanted cash I guess we'd ask for it, but money didn't mean anything to us when we were children. Nothing, but we used to trade for whatever we thought we needed — clothing and all that for our work you know. When we were little that's how we were ciothed because we didn't work for money. We trade in our work for clothes and every thing like that. If you didn't have this and that you make baskets and you go peddle it. Whatever you ask for, you get it, you trade in. That's how we earned what we needed in the house and clothing and all that. There was no jobs for us. We did have to go to work in the fields weeding. We only used to get very little for working out like that. I used to go out with my great grandfather.2 We used to get up early, get in the canoe and then we'd go out and set net. Go back the next morning, get the fish, bring it home, clean it, smoke it and all that. We didn't have no other way of saving it but smoke it, you know, or salt it. We were taught to go out and work outside. Help with the groundwork, to plant our seeds and that what you need enough of. Plant those and so on. We learned how to do that. When the fall comes you dig it up and put it away. You were taught to help with everything like that, like getting wood. We'd go out and help cut the wood down, little trees you know, cut them down. You need horses. When the first snowfall we used to go out and get the wood. Get great big sleighs and hitch the horses on and load it down, take it home. Get it all cut up ready for the winter. Is that all alright, you can tell all those things? I used to help my great grandfather. He was very old and we went along to do all these things. In the winter we stopped making baskets because it's so cold. You'd have to have water to dip your roots in as you go along making them. That's where I first learned how to do this wool I'm doing now (for Indian sweaters). My great grandmother used to spin and I watched her. She'd teach me how to spin this wool you know and she taught me how to knit socks or something like that. We learned all those things. We were taught everything like that. We used to knit these socks and sell them in the winter and they'd be cheap but we got our living out of it. •^Refer to Appendix C — GENEALOGY for references to names and family members. Question t Everyone contributed to supporting the family? Yes. We done it because we knew we had to do it. We had to do all these things to get along you know....through the years to come. We had to learn it because when we grow up we had to do all these things afterwards. That's why we were taught to do all these things. Just like you going to school. So we were taught all these things to take care of ourselves and our family in years to come. That's why we were doing all these things. I was taught to go fishing. I used to go out alone in a canoe and set my net, and go see it, afterwards when I was old and big enough then to paddle my canoe. I went up and get all these things, fish, then take it home. All those things and you have to know what to do. Another thing I forgot to tell you. I think it's in the fall. I was only a kid, but, they had traps for muskrats then in them days. We used to go set up traps to get these muskrats. We'd get them and I'll start to skin them, take the fur off and put it on the boards, nail it on, dry it. I can skin muskrats, weasels, they were the smallest little animals, the weasels, white ones. I know how to skin them. And I know how to skin mink. Mink are long and thin you know. I knew how to skin all that, put it on a board and dry it. That was another way of making money. We could sell it. The fur buyers used to come along and buy it after. So we knew we had to do this, and we had to learn it. When I got married he (Ed Sparrow) was doing the same thing, he was a trapper. I used to skin whatever he brought home. I'd skin them. He's gone for the day again and I'm home skinning them. Put them on the boards and dry them. Just to keep the children goi-g. Question; Did you have times for relaxing? Oh yes. We'd sit and relax in the evening or in the afternoon. I'd go out and sit down with other ladies and we'd just sit there or go out picking berries. That's something. We'd go out picking wild berries, enjoy ourselves in the woods, picking them. That was our....well, pastime. To go out and get berries and bring it home. If we canned, then we canned them. That's all I can remember. We'd get together and we'd go out to a swimming pool or somewhere, stay there and have lots of fun. We done everything like that. After I was married we used to take the kids out you know. Take them out swimming or go out in the woods with them when the berries are ripe. Teach them how to pick. I used to have all my children with me. I used to go up here (near Musqueam) in the woods when it was all my children. The little boys, they used to love picking berries, wild berries you know. Pick lots and stay up there. That was our pastime work. That's all I can remember now. 20 Question: (not on tape): Is looking after and raising a family work? I'd say it's work looking after your children, cause that's a hard job. You know, first thing in the morning when I had little kids. Get them up, the little ones I'd bathe them; bath them, dress them, change their clothes. Every day I used to have them dressed in the morning, clean clothes you know. And I used to scrub clothes by hand on a scrubbing board. We used to do that. And we had no tap water, nothing. We used to pack our water from over here. The corner over here where Geri (daughter) is, right down to where our house is way down there. In pails, to do our laundry. And I used to wash all day sometimes. Of course when you're washing diapers you have to be washing every day, every morning. You can't miss one morning. Then you have a certain day for washing your clothes, another day for that. And another day for if you have to wash your sheets and blankets and all that, because we had a hard time getting water. The city was far up, up there and we had no money to put in water pipes or anything to get water. Our drinking water was up the spring up here, the spring water up here. In the early evening the boys would go pack water. Send the boys and they'd go up there, get pails of water. We'd always send them up there. That's for cooking and drinking. But for washing clothes we used to come to this well over here. We didn't want to drink that in the well that was up there. We jiust use that for washing. And I scrub my floors. Wooden floor, we didn't have the carpets or anything. Every weekend I'm scrubbing the house. Indians weren't dirtyJ We tried to beat to see who'd have the cleanest floor all down there. Scrub our floors. Now we've got linoleum we don't even think of doing that. I'd get up maybe 6:00 or earlier. I'm on my feet when my children are small till the time they're all in bed. I feed them. About 8:00 I say time to go to bed boys. First of all, you guys got to say your prayers. I told them kneel down on the chesterfield. They all kneel down say their prayers. In a little while Willard would be sneaking back like this. I told him — no, no, you say your prayers now. After that they all go to bed. It was a rest for me then. I sit down. We didn't have no radio, nothing. Well, whatever I wanted to do that evening I would. Bake something, or something for the next day. That was our evening. Then I'd go to bed because I know I have to be up early to start all over again the same routine. Bathe them, change them, wash. 21 I don't know really what kind of work I did after I had my children. I was really just a mother. I done all the housework and the washing. That's all I could handle you know. Question; You don't think of it as being different kinds of work? No. Just to work to take care of your family. How to raise them, healthy. After they grew up I went to work. We used to try and weed to make a little money — you know in the gardens. I don't know if I have to tell that. We done everything. We used to go out the Point (Point Grey) there in the spring, all the women. Pick seaweed, number one seaweed down the Point. We'd pick the seaweed, dry them, and sell them for money. That's work. And another thing we used to go after was the Cascara bark. That's making money, that's work. We used to go peel the trees, take it home, pack it home, the bark. Dry it and after it's dry, we sell them. That was making money for a living too. But Dad (Ed Sparrow), he used to work hard. He cut cordwood because in them days they couldn't get no job nowhere if they wanted to. They wouldn't hire anybody. That's when my kinds were growing up I was doing that. But afterwards when fehey grew up, then I went to work for the cannery. I worked until I was 60. I worked just to keep going you know. Buy clothes for the kids. We weren't making enough to save. We used to be lucky to get by. Question: Your main concern was just to keep the family going? Keep the family going, yes. But after, when I worked in the cannery I saved my money I was making cause all my kids were gone now. They all grew up. Eddy and Geri were the only ones I had. Question: Are you working right now? I'm working right now. Every hour of the day. First thing in the morning I'm spinning wool downstairs then I'm knitting. Question: Is this work, what you're telling me now; the recording? It must be, because I'm working (knitting) and talking both. 22 I was taught to dig roots and make baskets from seven years old up. We had to learn all those things as we were growing up to fourteen or fifteen years. Then we knew every thing what to do then. To dig your root, make your basket, and work on the farm. We learned all that from childhood. We were taught. Question: Where were you raised; what did you do after fourteen or fifteen years of age? Up Chilliwack. Then I got married — sixteen when I got married. I wasn't the first one to get married at that age. Them days, that was the Indian style. Long ago the Indians marry off their children young — the girls. You weren't allowed to go out the way they do now. They stay home, taught to work. First thing you know someone propose to them for their daughter if she was fourteen or fifteen or sixteen. They let them go. I don't know what you call it, if they wanted to have a good name or something, but that was their ways. Marry off their daughter young. In them days it was against their laws I guess or whatever they call it, they tell their daughter when you get married don't you leave your husband. They say it was a disgrace if a girl goes and lives with a guy for so long and leave. It was a disgrace to the family and to the tribe. That was their ways. There was no such thing as divorces in the Indians, nothing. I went to school up Chilliwack for a little while. I didn't go steady to higher grades because my great grandparents was the ones that raised me and they didn't know any better. Well, when you're a child you don't know. They were old. I think I just went to school for a couple of years. Just learned how to write my name and write a little bit. My mother died when I was three years old and I was brought up by /these old people, my( )great grandparents. So I was brought up the hard way; It wasn't easy. My great grandmother used to go to work everyday. She used to go work for the white people and I stayed home. I had to try and do what she did, during the day. Try to do housework and try to help the old man in as many ways as I could...cooking or something...After I was about seven or eight years old you know. But they were my parents, my great grandparents. When my great grandfather would go out fishing he'd take me along. I'd be sitting in the bow of the canoe. I remember, I don't know how old I was. I (don't) quite remember. I had a little bed there...a blanket for me. I'd go to sleep there. When he goes out fishing, I'd be with my great grandfather. Question; What was your great grandmother doing when she was working out? Washing clothes. Every day she'd go work wash clothes for these people. One day she'd be another house, next day she'd be another. You know, keep on like that. My great 23 grandfather couldn't work. He was too old. His job was staying home and looking after the fish. He'd go fishing and bring it home. Then he'd work on the garden — you know, weeding or hoeing the potatoes. Or he'd be cutting wood. Get all the wood cut and he'd pack it home. He'd chop it up and IM pack it in the kitchen, line it all up so my great grandmother would have all that ready when she gets home. Go down the well, and pack water. Two pails, bring it in there all set. We done all that. I'd go home and cook you know. I was brought up in hard way because old people like that. They done the best way they could to bring me up. I didn't have much schooling because nobody told them you better. Nobody was there to tell them you better send her to school I guess, or something like that. I was just brought up at home the best way they brought me up. I was fed good anyways. Question: When you were raising your own family how did you work to make money? Like what I was telling you. We go pick seaweeds, pick the Cascara bark. That's at home here (Musqueam). And then we learned how to spin wool afterwards here. I used to make socks and sell it to the stores in town after we learned how to do the wool. But it took a long time before we found out what to do about making the wool into yarn. It took a long time to get that in my head anyways. That was another way of making money. He (Ed Sparrow) used to fish. Go fishing, and cutting cordwood to sell. That's how we raised our family. There was no steady job anywhere. We had to do whatever you can do just around home here. We never got no relief like what they're getting now. No welfare. If you go to the Indian Department. He got hurt and broke his leg once. We went there (Indian Department) — they wouldn't give him (any money). No way, the government would say. Oh, $3.00 a month is what they gave the old people that can't work no more — $3.50 — Know what they used get (for $3.50)? Little sack of flour, little bag of rice, little bag of white beans, tea. I don't know if they got sugar — oh, a little bag. $3.50, mind you, for a whole month! You had to live on that! And they wouldn't give it to me because he was able to work. But he broke his leg that time. I had the whole family, yeah — I had about seven or eight children. How we got by I don't know. When the kids grew up, about seven or eight years old, they went to thefeboarding school. I just had the little ones with me. But they used to come home every weekend to us or every other week (weekend). Stay with us overnight (probaby 24 Friday night to Saturday night) and go back. They used to try and do little things to help us. Pile wood for their Dad when he was cutting wood. And when the holiday came they used to go out with their Dad and try and help fishing. That was Ronny and them did that — go with their Dad fishing — and I'm home with the rest. That's how they learn how to be fishermen, they went out with their Dad, fishing — Willard and Ronny. So Ronny knows what a tough life he went through. (It was rough?) "3 in them days. There was no such thing as TV or radio. The kids when they get up, they didn't just loaf around, they worked. They helped. If I'm cleaning house they helped. If I'm going to wash the floors they helped. They never just loafed around. They ask what's to be done and they do it. The problem we used to have: pack wood in, boys. The lamps, early in the morning they had to be cleaned, we used coal lamps and they had to wash the globes, get it all ready for the next night. That was their job. Their job was to fix their beds, clean their room . Indian kids were taught like that. They weren't lazy. Not like now. I don»t see anybody do that anymore. No more lamps I guess I But they knew now to keep a house clean. One thing when Dad was fishing we used to go out camping. Leave home here. We'd go to Westham Island or somewhere — Brunswick they call it, way down below Canoe Pass. We used to go that way to fish. We stayed in this cannery shack. Well, that's where I really worked. He (Ed Sparrow) brings the fish in on the weekends. Then I'd cut the fish. Sometimes I'd do a hundred fish in one day — fillet them. And we'd smoke some, and salt some, and I'd can some. If I had any canning I'd do it one day. Then the next time I smoke it — that's another day's work another week. Smoke the fish, get it all hung up and smoke it. Then we do that for about a month or more. Smoking fish, salt it, canning fish, everything like that. That's for our winter supply, when we get that all done and they used to pick potatoes over there and we'd go help the farmers pick potatoes. Sometimes we used to take potatoes home. They'd give us so much. Like, if we didn't want cash we'd get potatoes. We take that home and we don't need much more for our winter supply. Because we didn't have time to do our garden then. He was too busy fishing, and I was over there drying fish. At that time we didn't have a horse or anything to do the ploughing here. So we didn't do farming here right away. But when I was up river I did. But here they didn't, because they had farmers all over here. Chinese, so theydidn' bother doing that. Difficult to hear on tape when questioned. 25 Question; Did you sell any of the fish you smokeSor canned? No, just for ourselves. Keep us going for the winter and spring. We went there in the summer and stayed there till late in the fall. October I guess when we come home, hey Dad, November? We were there all summer till the season closed, then we move home. Question; Did you do that for quite a few years? Oh yeah, many years. We just move from one place to the other. The last place we were at was in Westham Island. We stayed there I don't know how many years — we stay there in the summer and fall and then we come home. Get everything done there too. I'd smoke fish there too, do the same thing. I wasn't idle. He (Ed) used to go hunting. He liked hunting ducks and everything. When we weren't fishing he'd get ducks and he'd go hunting game sometimes. 26 By comparing the list of proposed questions (see page 10 ) with actual questions presented, the flexibility in format even at this point is evident. Rose was obviously more comfortable with responses she could relate to directly. Since she was a little apprehensive about tape recording information, it was an advantage to both of us to allow her this freedom. Grandmother carried this uneasiness about direct questioning throughout the research. The early training referred to was in traditional or aboriginal activities mainly. These included collectingroots, making baskets and socks to trade or sell, gardening, collecting wood, fishing and trapping. The trend in this description is to family oriented and life sustaining work which is not particularly related to earning money or accumulating goods and wealth. Leisure activities are discussed briefly and were family oriented. In her account of work, Grandmother has outlined a daily and weekly routine revolving around the family. She has separated her activity into a pattern: before marriage, raising a family, work after the family. She relates aspects of her personal and family history to work type, location, season, necessity, and earning capacity. A conspicuous feature is the variety of activities introduced an&discussed by Grandmother. The transcript is a brief work history, very much out of sequence, but descriptive enough to be pieced together. After listening to this tape and transcribing the data I decided it would be more feasible and productive to alter the questioning format. By doing this I hoped to find a means of collecting data on work, attitudes to work, work categories, and work histories which an informant could relate to more easily. Questioning which could be utilized in a survey approach seemed irrelevant to my Grandmother. It is possible that this is partially a result of the close predetermined interviewer-informant relationship. Another interviewer may have elicited less subjective responses. 28 3.2 Tape 23 Ed Sparrow February 18, 1975 The approach to recording this tape with Grandfather differs from the first recording with Grandmother. From categories and classifications of work on a broad cultural level, the questioning shifted to a personal level. The stress was to be on recall about self rather than making judgments and setting up classifications. I felt the revised questioning should be tested with him to see if his response would be at all similar to Rose's. If the summary of work history was a successful means of collecting basic data on occupation, division of labor, location and season, etc., it would be used to obtain similar information from a group of informants. At this point the idea of working with eight or ten informants was still a part of the objective. The intention was to gather a series of work history outlines if the work history summary was feasible. Data would then be assimilated to determine possible work patterns, seasonal cycles, division of labor, and contributions to the developing economy. If this evolved, further brief interviews related only to these areas would have followed. Grandfather was asked a day or two before recording this particular tape if he could be prepared to record a brief summary of the work or jobs he had done throughout his life. This would include dates, location, employer, and fellow workers wherever possible. Again, this recording was to be a test of methodology. 29 Grandfather was selected as informant for this session partially because of the family relationship through which rapport for this topic had already been established. Equally as important in selecting him was the fact he was not involved in gardening or other work at this time and had no immediate plans for travelling. He was also well motivated to begin tape recording at least a small part of his history — especially since Grandmother had already begun taping. After the actual recording, Grandfather recalled a great deal more information he thought should be told. He did not however, consider it should necessarily be recorded, and did not want to wait while another tape was set up. Notes were enough. A slightly edited version of these notes is included after the transcript. Grandmother was also present during the recording session. She was busy with her own work, but listening to the interaction. She was not discouraged from being there. It was considered a good means of familiarizing her with the nature of the altered questioning, without giving specific instructions. I anticipated this would also stimulate her recall for events in her own work history. Questioning here was intended to elicit a brief summary of Grandfather's past work, including location, time, duration, employer, and short descriptions. When possible, he was asked to specify how jobs were acquired, what the working or living conditions were, and earning potential. This is essentially the same information sought in the first recording session with Rose, but with fewer restrictions and guidelines. 30 Tape 23 Recorded: February 18, 1975 Mr. Ed Sparrow Musqueam WORK HISTORY OUTLINE I could start back in 1906 and 1907 when I started to work as a kid, you know. I worked in the canneries shooting cans down from the can lofts. Five cents an hour. Question: Where was that? Celtic cannery. We did that for a couple of years (verify from notes) (worked with Joe Peter, Alex and Andrew Peter — we had fun. I was about the youngest). Then later on we were driving logs down the slough here, you know. There was a camp over here just about where the Musqueam Park is now. I used to hold the lights for Dunstan Campbell when they were driving logs down. Every night when the tide was going out we'd be out there driving logs down. Walk along the dyke. I don't know — he gave ae whatever he felt like. Well, I was glad to get the extra odd dollar, you know. I didn't know where I spent it. I don't remember. There was no store or nothing. I kind of think I gave everything I made to my grandmother, you know, because there was no way of me spending money here unless I walked to Vancouver then,, < Then we used to go after cannery work. The grand parents go up Sardis, Chilliwack — pick hops. I'd help them right along picking for a box of popcorn or something. Question: Did you spend avmonth or so up there, or a week? Just about a month, I guess we were up there. Question: Did you go up alone or with the family? You go up on the stern wheeler. I think they called it 'Sampson' then. Every year, well I don't know how long they kept on, but they move right after (fishing season).. 31 They used to close the season down here, you know, ending July or so. Then the 10th of August I think they Used to close the season down, no more fishing from there on. But the ending of August people would move right up to Chilliwack for hop picking. I used to go out, get up the same time as my grand parents would. Go up in the field, 5:00 - 6:00 o'clock in the morning, stay there till just about the same time in the evening, afternoon. I don't know what they were getting. I don't know how much they were getting for it then. Question: That's when you were pretty young, is it? YeahI That's before I went to school we were doing all these, you know. Then in 1909 I went to school. (Coqualeetza) Nothing much from there except school work. Then 1911 I started boat-pulling for my granduncle. Sailboat days then. I started fishing, you know. I'd fish all summer with him. Question: Was that just in the river here? Terra Nova Cannery. It's in the middle arm they call it. I used to fish with him maybe, every holiday I fished with him for a while. Used to buy my clothes and one thing and another. I was satisfied you know. I fished with him about two, three years, I guess. In 1913 I fished with Tommy Cole. There was the biggest run ever I guess, on sockeye at that time. We'd only make one drift, limited to one hundred and fifty sockeye to one boat every day. It was that way for a little over a week there, limited to one hundred and fifty till the run kind of passed over, then they'd open it out again. We'd go out make one drift just when the tides right and when we get in I'd go and work in the cannery. I'd help them tallying fish. I done that for two, three years. Weekends while I was fishing with Tommy I used to go and work at anything I could get in the cannery, you know. Mostly tallying fish or weighing fish. Question: Was it pretty easy to get on there? Well yes, as long as you knew how to read or count, or press the counting machine. Well, they trusted me although I was quite young. I knew the manager pretty well that's the reason why I was getting on, I guess. The year after that 1914, 1915 I fished with the old fella again. Tommy Musqueam, he's a cousin of my grandfather. In 1916 I thought I could handle a boat myself — a sailboat. I kept up with the guys but it got so poor it wasn't worthwhile fishing. That's the last time I went fishing for a long time after that. 32 I went to start working in the logging camps. Question: Was there poor fishing for everybody? Yes. See there was a slide in Hell's Gate and the fish can't get through to spawn. 1913 when that happened. 1914 wasn't too bad, the fish were getting out....It go so bad you'd only get two hundred, three hundred sockeye in the season, whereas you get two, three thousand before, you know. It got so bad it wasn't worthwhile, because you were only getting fifteen or twenty cents a sockeye then. I worked in a logging camp every chance I got, you know. I worked around here for awhile but there was nothing much doing here. I went out in camps and stayed there for two, three months, come home. Gave what I got earned to my grandmother, go back again. I kept doing that until 1918 I started driving a team. Hauling wood out for a wood dealer. I done that for about a year, I guess around here. It was just as well to work at home because you gotta pay board in the logging camps. It's hard to make anything too, you know — very little. Question: What wages did you get in the camps? They only give me $3 a day. It's a ten hour day. You gotta get up at 5:00 and start walking to get to where the work is at 7:00 — when the whistle blows if you're not there, they give you a walking ticket. Question: What kinds of jobs did you do in the camps? I started wood bucking. They had steam donkeys in them days, you know. I used to go out, watch those guys what they're doing. I'd cut a whole bunch of wood, get ahead. Then I'd go out and watch what they're doing. I wanted a living and I was only getting $2.75 a day then as a wood cutter I guess, I don't know. You cut them in short lengths you know, just enough to use for the fireplace. Then I'd go out and watch. Start watching the riggings, how they work it I did that for about a month or so then I quit the job, came back and hired out the chaser. You go along with the log as they pull them out, you know. If they get stuck or hit a stump or something then you change the hold. Roll it or you can bar-buckle the thing and jump it over. I did that for quite a while. Then, later on I went.... it was only about $ 3 a day for that job, you know. We had to pay $1 a day for board. Then I went hooking on the skyline. Get a little more money on there. That's about the) last job I did in that camp. I quit there (Halfmoon Bay) about 1918, I guess. I was all over the coast, you know. I changed camps quite often. You can't stay too long in one place. Some times the food is no good. You only stay till payday then you get out of there. One place I got to on Toba Inlet 33 (1916 or 17), I think I lost about twenty pounds. I couldn't eat nothing they had there. They had no refrigerator or ice box or nothing there. By the time the food got up there it's rotten. That was bacon and eggs. We got out of there — there was three or four of us up there from here, you know. I forgot — the Grants were up there for whistle punk, and Andrew Charles was there with me and Joe Peter. We had a hard time to get out of there. That place was isolated. No boats go in there; we had to hire a boat out to get out. That was kind of a dangerous place there, you know right on the river. I was twenty; before I went to Halfmoon Bay after that. I was all over. I was over on Indian Arm. I was there working about a couple of months, I guess in a logging camp too. I was rigging this thing then. That's a little better job again. I quit then we went back to work in the cannery. I was with my wife then, you know. We worked in Vancouver Can nery for all summer. We made about seventy-five cents per hour, that's all we got. Most of the time we were unloading some fish. When there was noi boats around I go on retorts, go wash cans. Question; Was that cannery right in Vancouver? On Sea Island, the south side of Sea Island. We worked there a couple of seasons, I guess. Then 1920 we went up to Chilliwack. We were working there and we decided to go hop picking. We went up in the gas boat all the way to Chilliwack. We came down after it was all over. What was it, seventy-five cents a box? Rose Sparrow; No, a dollar a box. Ed; I don't know if we made any money, but we got home anyways. The year after that I cut wood around here to make a living. Question; Did you sell wood locally? A wood buyer would come down here. We'd cut all along the bush around here, you know. Well, after I got through driving a team I got a McGregor to cut wood, you know, cut wood for contracting. One guy was with me all the time. A lot of different guys worked with me. I'd pay them a dollar a cord for splitting. I was only getting $3 a cord for the wood. I had different splitters. Every now and then they'd quit. I used to walk all the way to Imperial Road — that's way up about 28th, I guess. Walk there every morning. Then later on there was hardly any more wood to cut up there, you know, and we quit. 34 I started cutting shingle bolts just on this side of UBC. I used to go up there every day on a bicycle. Worked there for two, three months, I guess. Then in the spring of 1920 we left here, we went up Chilliwack. And, stayed there until it started to cap again (winter). I worked in logging camps. For awhile I was just a handyman. Almost anything the boss told me to do you had to do it or else get fired. Swamping; it was a skid road camp, team camp they called it in those days, I guess. They haul logs with a four horse team, they called it. I'd swamp the roads for them and lay the skids for them. I was doing that pretty near all summer and part of the fall and winter. About 1921 I got started working the booms. I stayed with it for a long time. Question: Is there more money in working the booms? Oh yeah, I got $5 a day then for being a head boom man, you know. That was big money I guess in them days. I didn't know. The other guys were getting $3.00, $3.50 a day. I was getting better pay, getting as much as the teamsters were, I guess. I worked at Queen's Island for about a year, I guess. I used to get up at 4:00 in the morning. You can't stay there on account of the freshet. You have to cross over on the boat every morning. We used to get up at 4:00 in the morning, run about a mile on a bike, get on a boat and cross over. Took about an hour to cross over on a gas boat. I did that for a long time, then camp moved to Fairfield Island. That's out side of Rosedale. I stayed on the booms then. I don't know how long we were there. Then it moved to Canal. It was too low for a boom in the canal, too shallow. That's before they dredged it — the Vedder Canal, you know. I had the boom on the outside right on the river. When we first got there in the fall the canal was too low to boom so I had to boom on the outside right in the river. You couldn't control nothing for a long time there. The river catch the tail of the boom and bounce it up and down. We'd drive logs down and the thing would shoot right underneath (out of boom). ... The boss was short of blaming me for it and I couldn't help it. I told him the only thing they could do is let a whole bunch of logs down dogged to gether. Line them all up and dog it together, snub it down. He says you're gonna lose me lots of money if you lose all these logs. Well you've lost lots already, you've gotta try something I says to him. You leave me alone I'll see what I can do, I says to him. He'd already lost about fifteen or twenty logs. I got a whole bunch of logs, laid them abreast and dogged them up. Bind them up tight and you lower it down with a team by block, hit the tail and it stopped bouncing. 35 And we had a snubber there to hold it. That's how we did it for a long time, all winter. In the meantime they dredged the canal and I boomed there for, oh, about a year, I guess, right through the winter, Logs were dumped on top of the ice. You gotta be careful what you do there. Fall overboard if there's ice on your shoe. Must have been about 1926. I got ahead of my story somewhere. In 1924 I went back fishing again in the summer months I started to go up Skeena. When I get back from fishing I'd go back to the camp again, you know. The job was always open for me there on the boom. They give me two months off every year. I did that for 1924 until 1927 then we moved home. Fished every year up Skeena. Question; Did the family go with you to Skeena? Did you use a company boat? a No, I was going up there alone for awhile. I used company boat — sailboat days. There was no gas boats up there then, you know. They were towed up and down there. You never get drifts if there's no wind. A tug boat would be waiting down at the mouth of the river. You gotta line up a whole bunch of guys before he'll tow you back again, because you can't pull (row) against the stream, tide. A whole bunch of .us would come up together. The same thing was happening around Steveston, all along there. They had tug boats waiting for them. No wind and they'd tow them upstream and tey'd all start drifting down again. I was doing that for about three years then I got a company gas boat. They just cut off the old sailboat. Cut down part of the bloody stern, put a shaft and propeller there, five - six horsepower motor. Long as it made noise you thought you were going to beat hell! I did that for a couple of years. Then I got my own boat in 1928. Imagine getting a new boat for $1,180! Engine, everything complete. That's what I paid for the first one I got, you know. We got free nets then. As long as you went up there and worked for the company they gave you free nets. No matter how much lead line you lose, they change it for you, give you some more at no cost. Question; What company was this? Wallace, Tom Wallace (B.C. Packers took over Ed S.) I guess it was 1928 - 29 when the canning companies amalga mated. B. C. Packers, Tom Wallace and some of the other companies. That's when they became B. C. Packers, that's what she's (Rose Sparrow) talking about. I did all right but fish were so poor. Actually a lot of salmon all right, but price was poor. The first year I went up there I was only getting 20? a sockeye, 1924. 36 But we didn't know the place, but I managed to come home with a couple hundred dollars from there. That was quite good money in them days, you know. I think it was 1930 sockeye were only 35* each then. It stayed that way for '35, '36, '37. Finally in '42 it reached 50* apiece. There was a big strike on in 1930 up there (Skeena). We only fished about four weeks. Well, I was onto the river then. I did pretty well, I came home with $400-$500, I guess. Question: Did you get a higher price for your strike? No, we just wasted time tied up for three weeks. The Japanese Association were looking after it then. I mean they were the leaders. Up to today we don't know if they got a better price for their fish or not. Anyways they Ve-v»t b&z.y:ir\^ off and never let us know when they went off, you know. They might have had four to five hundred sockeye before we got out. No warning. I suppose they got settlement of some kind but we didn't get it. I should have told you about 1913. There was a big strike on too, you know. Fifteen cents apiece for sockeye at that time. We were tied up for about a week, week and a half, I guess -I kept fishing year after year, cut wood in the off season, trapped. Did pretty well trapping muskrats, only it's hard work. By time you get through and get home it's 3-4 o'clock in the morning, sometimes daylight when I'd get home. Go over our traps mostly at night time, until about February, then we go at daytime, early in the morning. Question: Did you trap right around here? All over — Sea Island, Lulu Island, go out in the car, and I trapped across there on Iona Island. Your dad (Ron Sparrow, Sr.) used to go trap with me when he first left school. We had to keep going to make a living. Things were kinda hard. It was hard to make money. If you didn't make any more than $400 - $500 a year. We managed to live on about $400 - $500 a year then. As the family increased I had to keep on working. No time to lay off. I kept cutting wood. Sometimes you can't get a buyer, your wood would be laying there for awhile. You wonder how you're going to make your dollar. After, if I got stuck with wood I'd go back trapping again. We did good at times. Other times, I think in 1940 furs were real cheap — 40* apiece for muskrats. I don't know what happened that time. 37 FISHERMEN'S STRIKE: 1913 I think they got 15* ia fish) A buyer came around. When you throw your net off, you know you get four to five hundred sockeyes. What are you going to do with the rest? Some of them just threw it away. Question: Was there a quota on how many you could turn in? Yes, one hundred and fifty. That's all they were allowed to sell per day. It (strike) went on for a week, a little over a week maybe. I don't know what would have happened if we fished right through. During the strike millions and millions of fish went through, you know. When it was open, hell, we just throw out seventy, eighty fathoms (of net) . We'd just throw it out and pick it right up again. We had five hundred I think the first set with a short net. We went to the cannery, they took only one hundred and fifty. We threw away the rest. You couldn't hold it till the next day because it was too warm — they get soft, threw it all away. The next day we played it smart. We outsmarted our selves I guess. The buyer came around and was paying 5C apiece for them. Tommy Cole had about three hundred over the limit, he got 5<= apiece for them. Big deal! $15 for three hundred fish! Question: That was a local fish dealer? Yes, he came from Vancouver I guess. He (Tommy Cole) was glad to get rid of it instead of throwing it away. You get nothing for it when you throw it away. That was a long way back, you know — 1913. It was mostly sailboats — hardly any gas boats, two cycle boats. No mufflers on them, you could hear the damn things bang away for miles. Question: Was there two men on every boat? Oh yes, sail boats you know. One guy would be pulling with the oars and the other guy would be throwing the net out in the stern, you know. You had to heave it out. I used to have a heck of a time the first time I went out with my granduncle. Sometimes you put up the sail a little bit when you get a fair wind when you're throwing out. Let the net out and steer with an oar. You got a roller in the stern, you know and it rolls right out. That's what I did when I was fishing alone in 1916. My cousin John fished with me for awhile. Fish was so poor he got disgusted and quit. He 38 stayed with me about three weeks. We weren't making no money. $150 for a net, and getting 15* a sockeye. I think I got about two hundred sockeyes all season. That's a lot better than some of the guys did, you know. That's about all I could tell you for now unless you want to pay me more. Question: Could you tell me about working when you lived at Chilliwack? LIVING AT CHILLIWACK - Cutting Pulpwood I forgot what we were getting. You cut cottonwood in little better than cordwood length. I was cutting with her (Rose) relations. Three of them worked together. I think we were getting $2 a cord for pulpwood, you know. You gotta peel it, split it and pile it. First of all you fall the tree and cut it up into the right lengths. That's why we only do two - three cords a day. You get a bad day you hardly do anything. Some of the wood is tough, twisted — you can't split it. I used to do that almost every winter when the camps close down. Sometimes we got to lay off from that too, it gets so cold. You can't split the wood, it freezes. Lots of sap in pulpwood. It's wet wood, you know. When I quit I started as a truck swamper working with a guy hauling pulpwood all over the place. We'd load it all, unload it. He bought all the pulpwood people here were cutting. Five - six cords a load we were hauling in a big truck, trailer truck I guess it was. Load it onto box cars or open cars you know — that's hard work. I'd do that for a few years when the camps close. That's when there's a hard freeze up in the winter you know, we just pile the logs up on the bank. When they get so much they just close everything down. Then I'd go and cut. Oh, I did a lot of trapping up there too, you know. When we first moved up there I did well trapping up there. Nobody hardly trapped up there. I sort of started them off I guess. I trapped as soon as I got up there, the first winter we were up there. I didn't know how to skin those things, she (Rose S.) did all that work. I just bring home the muskrat and she did it all for me. I did well there, we made a good living there while we were there. Better than staying home here. Worked right through and trapped. Question: Was it harder to find work down here? (Vancouver - Musqueam)? Yes, unless you were a logger. And then you gotta walk, you know. There was a logging camp about 28th, 29th 39 Avenue there I guess. You gotta get up there, you gotta go to work about 7:00 pretty near all over. There was a logging camp at 51st Avenue, way up past where Magee High School is. now. There was a mill there and logging camp, you„know. It's so far to walk. There was no roads, just trails you know. There was just one road going to New Westminster. You can't even ride a bike on a rough road like that. The buggies, every time they hit a rock, it would bounce right over; wagons same thing. No paved roads then. Year after year after (during) the forties, you know I fished in the summer months and cut wood. If I didn't do good I cut wood just about all winter, and trapped. Made a home and went trapping. I forgot, when Ronny came out of school we trapped together. We'd go to Sea Island, Lulu Island early in the morning before daybreak, go around with a flashlight looking at our traps. Sometimes we'd do good, other times nothing. Make $10 - $15 a day. Then when we'd get home I'd go cut cordwood. She (Rose) did all the skinning. Sometimes we'd get fifteen - twenty a morning we were only getting a dollar apiece, you know. You gotta dry it and take all the fat off. You get an average of a dollar apiece I guess at that time. Later on it came to about $3.50 apiece. When Willard first came out of school we made just about $1,000 by Christmas one year. Nothing but trapping. There were a lot of rats that year too. One day we had forty-two muskrats. We went to Lulu Island, Sea Island. I had just about three hundred traps altogether, you know. We laid them out before the season opened, just stick them out. Then when the season opened, you go through the line and open the traps out. Kept doing that year after year. As I get older....as my children grew up I made headway, you know. I never bothered about cutting wood or trapping no more. Just stayed with fishing till November and I quit, lay around all winter just about. But when they were growing up I couldn't lay around otherwise we'd have a hell of a time. We did everything to live. I even worked in a Chinese garden for 20* an hour weeding and hoeing. Right up until the time I quit (fishing) a couple of years ago, I just took it easy though. Summer months and fall, quit. I never worked in winter no more. I gotta take it easy because I want to live till I'm 1021 Question: Did you have your own boat most of time while you were fishing? Oh, yes. After I got my first boat paid off it was easier for me. When you're starting off you have a heck of a time. Especially with a family you have to pay so much out of your earnings every year. You have a contract - $500 -$600 a year, whatever it takes. That was hard to make at times. Fish was so cheap. My first boat I had to pay $500 40 a year. I was lucky to make $1,000 you know. Pish wasn't that plentiful the way it is now. After the slide in Hell's Gate in 1913, they just went down to nothing. The only place where... it even happened to be poor up north on the Skeena River. We never made nothing, the Fraser was so poor. It was 1930 when it started to pick up, change. The start of Adams run was 1930. You know it was a kind of surprising season. Got a lot of fish, but 30* apiece — you couldn't make money out of that, you had to get so many fish. That was the start. Things started to change, build up after they cleared Hell^sGate, you know. The fish started to come back. They made ladders and everything — it got narrower after the slide you know. I don't know which one of the railroad companies was blasting there; they never told they blocked the river up and the fish can't get by. From 1913 they kept dying off, dying off. Nobody knew what was going on until an American Surveyor went walking around there and happened to see it. The two countries met and agreed to help one another with the expense to clear it providing they divide up the salmon. That's how the Americans get half of the salmon as they were coming in from then on. It started to build up. Well during the war we were limited to fishing days. They did gradually bring them back that way. Some times we only fish one - two days a week. It's been that way as far as I remember from, I guess 1940 or '42 when they started that you know. The Adams run came back in a hurry but the other runs were almost wiped out. Stelakwo, Fraser Lake and others. According to records some of them had only twenty - thirty sockeye return to spawn. The fishermen were making nothing. We didn't get fishing days while they were building up days. The most we got was three days all that time. It's still that way — they're still limiting fishing days. Worse than ever now, I guess, because there's so many fishermen. Question: I guess it was pretty difficult to move around up and down the coast? Nobody ever thought of doing that until they got faster boats. We used to go up in gas boats year after year from 1928 when I bought my boat until 1942 when I quit going to Skeena River. Move my family up there on the boat. When Ronny went up there, he started 1942 I guess when he got his boat. He was just going on sixteen when he first started off you know. He was one of the lucky ones. He paid off his boat the first year he got it. I think he bought it for $1,500, something like that. He paid it off, paid me back what I put down for him. I gave him a good talking to when he got that boat — no fooling around. Somebody had to talk to him. He thought I was being tough but later on he 41 realized I was right, you had to work. If you didn't work you§d never make nothing you know. Lots of them guys here got boats, and easy come easy go back I guess. They lost their boats. They'd go out for a little while, come back in. All my family worked pretty hard to get what they got now. They never fool around like other guys you know. Go there and fish pull into shore, start drinking fooling around. That's the way it ended for a lot of these guys. They lost their boats and everything. Question: Did the companies take their boats back? Oh yes. They didn't pay for them. They didn't show any fish in the fish book. Then there's something going on, you're selling or something. Pretty near all these guys who were younger than I am had boats around here, you know. They all lost it for not taking care of themselves, not working. Question: What companies did you fish for over the years? B. C. Packers mostly. I was fishing Terra Nova or the B. C. Packers. In 1924 I fished Oceanic - that was B. C. Packers. 1925 I moved to Claxton - it was still under Wallace. Wallace Canning Co. I think it was 1929 when they amalgamated with B. C. Packers. It's quite a story about going up and down the coast with gas boats you know. Sometimes we were stranded for two - three days in one spot when it's blowing. Other times we have it good, no wind right through. One time we were going up with the whole family. We got caught in Johnstone Straight; we were there for three days. Crossed over. After we got going we went to Christie Pass to cross the Sound. We got across and another big storm came. We stayed the other side of Namu for two or three days I guess. We had a tent in the stern of the boat for the kids to sleep. » It was quite rough. We had to do it. That's the only way we were getting any money at all was fishing up north. Question: Do you remember the names of the boats you had? The first one I had was Seabird. The next one was Seabird II, before the third boat I had was Seabird III. The last boat I got, I had it for about twenty years. I rebuilt that thing. It was Arctic Prince — that's the last boat I had. I quit after that. I had to rebuild it. It cost me about $4,000 - $5,000 to rebuild it; it's good as new. I made kind of a foolish move there, I sold it so cheap you know. I shouldn't have quit to start with because the prices of licenses and boats have gone sky high after I sold mine. 42 Question; When did you sell that boat? Was that on the government buy-back? In 1972, Roy's boy, Wilfred Wilson bought it. He kept after me, after me. I didn't want to sell it to him. Well, I was only kidding when I told him it would be $7,000 - $8,000. Right away they got me, and I hated to go back on it. I knew it was too cheap. I hated to go back on the price. I should have got $10,000 - $12,000 for that boat you know. Anyway, I don't mind. It don't even bother me now. I don't even think about fishing no more. A lot of guys like to go back to it. If I ever get a boat I'd be fishing for my own self. I don't want to work hard anymore. Question; Could you tell me when you bought your boats? 1928, in B-arch when I bought the first one. Then I had that for ten years. Be '38 or '30 when I sold it. I must have had it for twenty years. 1942 I sold it for $480. I only paid $1,170, $1,180 for it, new. Things were so cheap. Then I bought Seabird II I guess right after I sold that, bought it in 1943 in the spring. That cost me money, over $5,000 for that one. A bigger boat, but I didn't like it. I only kept it for two - three years, and sold it. I bought a little one during the war days. I think it was the second year of the war. I was lucky, I got that one for $1,100. Boats were coming up in price then. I got that one for $1,100. I fished that one for quite a long time until about 1952. I sold thatjsarae boat for $3,500. That's when the Japanese started to come back. In 1953 I got the new one, built. That cost me $5,500, $6,000. I can't recall exactly what I paid for that one. Close to $6,000 by the time I got through. It wasn't too big, just the way I wanted it. I didn't like the great big boats. Mostly river fishing...I did. I kept that until I quit in '72. I got it rebuilt about three - four years before I quit. It was about 32' long, 8' beam. Question; Did you let anyone else fish your boats? No. I tried it one year, tried my grandsons but I never made no money out of it, I go in the hole. I worked in the (Musqueam Band) Office then as business manager and I let Brian run it for me. I went in the hole so I quit the business manager and went fishing again. I didn't intend to quit but the way things were going with my boat I had to. I was just losing money. It was costing too much to keep the gear up. We were only getting $1,100 a year in the office then. That was not enough you know I went back to 43 fishing. I could make more at that, sometimes make it in one night. I went back (to fishing) again until I retired. That's 1972 when I quit. I haven't been on a gas boat since. 44 These tapes reveal the importance of kinship ties in work and life. The principles of learning work and gaining experience were reinforced. Some reasons for taking certain jobs or for changing jobs — money, working conditions, better job, or convenience — have been related by Grandfather. He has summarized his school years, learning to work, teaching children self-support and responsibility; he has mentioned kinship relations and family responsibility associated with his own life. He places parts of his work history in sequences giving personal impressions and evaluations of jobs. Mobility within the labor force and within geographic areas has been introduced. An important feature to note is self evalu ations made by Grandfather. He has mentioned his capacities, job expectations, experiences, motivations and advances or progressions in his jobs. His presentation indicates self confidence and motivation. In addition to these personal events, he has contributed facts on local history and development. From the data so far, a possible year's work cycle can be outlined: spring — garden occasionally logging fishing summer — fishing or logging cannery work in early years fall — fishing logging hop picking, child to early married years cut wood some years winter — trapping logging — variety of jobs here cut, haul wood. Following his job outline, locations, earnings, mobility, etc. could be determined more easily and accurately. Information in the tape is all inter-related, and examining separate sections of the tape could distort information, leading to misrepresentation of Grandfather's life. Interviewing a second male informant was the next phase in testing the work history approach. This informant was willing and cooperative in giving of information. However, he felt uneasy with a tape recorder, and asked that the information not be recorded. Since he had no apprehensions about information being written down, I made notes of his brief but informative account. These notes have not been included in this data. 46 3.3 Tape 2 4 Ed Sparrow February 27, 1975 Conversation after recording Tape 2 3 centered around possible areas of the work history which could be further investigated. Grandfather himself felt he had skipped over several areas and left out a great deal. He seemed dissatisfied with this incompleteness. At his suggestion, we arranged to record another phase of his life which was important to him, and which I felt was relevant to his work history. From 1952 until 19 72 he was involved with organization and administration of the Native Brotherhood of B. C.4 No mention -of this phase of his life has been made in the earlier recording. I was aware of his association with the Native Brotherhood, but not informed of the extent of his involvement. He was well prepared for this interview. He had no notes, relying completely on recall, but no questioning was required to prompt the beginning. I simply advised Grandfather to tell about his involvement with the Native Brotherhood. ^Refer to: Drucker, P., The Native Brotherhoods: Modern Intertribal Organization on the Northwest Coast. Bulletin of the Bureau of  American Ethnology, No. 16 8, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, 1958. Kopas, Leslie, Political Action of the Indians of British Columbia, M. A. Thesis, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B. C. 1972. Gladstone, P. Native Indians and the Fishing Industry of B. C. Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science. Jamieson, S. and P. Gladstone, Unionism in the Fishing Industry of British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science. Vol. 16, No" 1, pp. 1-11, No. 2, pp. 146-171. 47 Questions asked were generally to clarify points brought up by Grandfather. Other questions prompted him to enlarge on details relating to the operation of the Native Brotherhood, or to show how the Native Brotherhood benefited Native fishermen. Recollections eventually brought education into his considerations. From here, his own education and training became important, opening a new line for investigation. 48 Tape 24 Recorded: February 27, 1975 Mr. Ed Sparrow, Sr. WORK HISTORY — NATIVE BROTHERHOOD It was 1952 or 53 when I first took in the Native Brotherhood. For a while I didn't believe in them, you know. I was a member of the Fisherman's Protective Association from the time I started fishing until 1952 or 53. Then I joined the Native Brotherhood. For awhile they didn't want to have anything to do with the Southern people. In 1930 they had a big strike up Skeena and they wouldn't recognize us, you know, wouldn't call us to their meetings and one thing and another. That's the reason why I didn't want to have anything to do with them. Then I started organizing in 1953. They were broke, we had to get some money somewhere. I started signing a whole bunch of guys from Canoe Pass. I got quite a few from here. Pretty near all the fishermen that were heie I guess joined up. Then I went upriver and got them guys all signed up up there — Katzie, some from Langley. I went across to Chemainus and signed them up, Kuper Island. If it wasn't for that I think the Native Brotherhood would have wemt on the skids. We were broke, nothing at all. There were just Northern members, and I don't think they were able to keep up their organization with their fees. It was only $3.50. You can't do business with seven - eight hundred members and hold off at the same time, you know, at $3.50. We had a meeting after and I told them you guys should raise your bloody fees otherwise you'll go flat again- Next time you go flat, I said, I'll never give you one penny. So they raised the fees the following year to $10, I think it was. That still wasn't enough but they were scared to take too much of a jump you know. Maybe the members would quit and join the Protective Association again. Then the Union was just starting then in 1944 you know. Nobody was joining them. Pretty near all (natives?) belonged to the Protective Association but when the Union formed it was a very weak thing you know. They amalgamated with the Protective Association. There was a lot of crooked things going on, you know. They didn't know where the bloody fees were going, so they lost a lot of members. From there on I stayed with them. I had a pretty hard 49 time with them. There was no representatives down here, you know. We kept up with the organization I think, Nahanee (Squamish Band )and a few other guys here. We didn't seem to be getting no help from the Northern group. Anyways 1953, '54 we built right up so we had about the same amount of members as the Union had. We had them on the run for a while. They ... only thing, that organization couldn't get a charter because it was an association. It wasn't under a labour code. They weren't recognized. That was the reason why the Union started to form. They joined the labor congress and they came up stronger than the Native Brotherhood. And they were kicked out again from there in about one or two years because they were communists. And our organization built up. We had a lot of associate members from there on. Then, this went on. I was trying to get them to change their constitution read, you know. They wouldn't do it. They said they were scared of the government. For what, I don't know. I can't figure it out. I was trying to tell them there was nothing to be scared of. But no, they wouldn't listen to me. Anyway I stayed up and worked my head off strike after strike. And a lot of times I'd never get home till two or three o'clock in the morning from the meetings in town. In 1961 or 62 we had a long strike. That's on the Fraser, you know, I quit going up North by now. We lost quite a few members that time. Some of our people started selling fish on the sly. They were breaking the rules of the strike. They were to be fined and they didn't want to pay the fine; they quit the organization. There's nothing much different from there on. Just strikes. It went pretty smooth. Oh, I forgot to mention in the early '40's we got welfare for our fishermen jointly with the Union. This had money built up, you know. The companies were paying so much a case into the fund. That's how that welfare was built up. There was three different parties: Vessel Owners, Native Brotherhood, and the Union negotiated jointly to get this fund started. It took us about three years before the companies finally agreed to it. Then it started to build up. Last I've known of that fund it was about a million and a half. This was about two years ago. The Union got control of it; they invested that money. Now all fishermen, with any one of the three organizations get sick benefit or funeral benefit. I think the widow would get $3,700 - 3,800 now. Hospitalization, I think you get $7.50 a day; something like a present, I guess. They allow you that much whether it's in season or in winter. I used it last spring when I was in hospital. I got $87 — that's the first time I ever benefited with that. They gave me $7 a day. 50 I think it's a good thing; you know a lot of people don't give us credit for that. But we worked hard to get it. There was meeting after meeting. The companies didn't want to have nothing to do with it for a while. If they give in to the organization, it's like a chopping block for us, you know. We can practically get whatever we demand from there on and they didn't want that, you know. They kept opposing it all the time. It's building up right along. I don't know how they're going to make out pretty soon. They've got to start using that money pretty soon otherwise the companies are going to balk. They won't pay into the fund when the time comes. If we don't use that money, it doesn't do no good there. You got to start giving the members more money I think. I mean give them better benefit. That accumulates from year to year, you know, and what good is it going to do you if you got two or three million dollars there and you can't use it. If you don't use it I mean, I think they wouldn't have no problem with membership if they went to work and increased the value of benefit. That's what I was after all the time I was there, you know, increase the benefits. I don't know really what the benefit is now but when I was there, when I quit. I was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1952 until a couple of years ago. I was the oldest member of the board. We were supposed to have two or three there but we couldn't get nobody to go in, to take interest in the welfare. Question: Were you elected to the board? Yeah, I represented the Native Brotherhood. Vessel owners had two members, two (from the) Board of Trustees, Brotherhood had two or three. The Union elect theirs every convention. I was there, nobody else would take my place, so I was there from '52 until '72. Well, we got paid for our time, time lost and one thing and another. When we called for a meeting, they take it off their fund they got there, you know. I don't know where the hell from, it wasn't enough though. I was interested in trying to build up the organi zation. Question: Do you remember any of the people who worked with you in the Native Brotherhood? When I first joined there Ed Nahanee was our business manager. Andy Paull was president and treasurer, I think, and Dan Asu. That's about '52, '53, you know. Something went wrong there. That's the reason why they went broke. Later on, William Scow was elected president, and Nahanee stayed with him as business manager. I agreed with him, William, he didn't want me to quit. He couldn't get nobody else to give him a hand. But since then a lot of people have 51 moved down from North. You got all Northern group working down here again. Cap Mudge, and there's some Alert Bay people living in town and they're members of the Executive Board, I guess. There's a lot of people here they wanted to take an interest in it. They wanted Lyle (Sparrow) and Eddy (Sparrow, Jr.) to go into it. They wanted to train Eddy to be an executive but he won't go. He started and quit. Then later on when William retired — well, he didn't retire, he was outvoted by Bob Clifton, I think. He went on for years and I can't recall exactly what year, you know. But they were getting on to the early '60's then. Then , was elected to business manager and treasurer, secretary — three jobs. That's when we went to pieces. He had full control of everything, you know. Nobody ever knows what happened to the money that was there. We couldn't dig up nothing. And there was a strike on. I can't recall what year. 1962 or '63. I was busy over there looking after food fishing in Steveston. Every time I called their office, you know, I couldn't get no answer. I couldn't leave because I was working. Finally Homer (Stevens) got hold of me one evening. He told me to go in the next day, find out what the hell was going on because nobody was in the office. So I went. I went directly to the meeting then about 11:00 I excused myself. I went up to the office; it was locked, I couldn't get in. So I decided to go look for him, young I went down a couple of blocks, who did I see. I gave him hell, I don't think it sunk, but anyway he rushed off to the office. He was two months rent behind for the office; no lights, no phone. I paid for it. We canned him shortly after that and Nahanee came back. We built up the organization from scratch again. We formed a local in Ladner with the Wilsons, and a few whites joined. They had about thirty-two members or so over there. It went on pretty good for four or five years, I guess, in Ladner. Again, somebody was squandering our money. You can't prove who was doing it. They wouldn't let us look into the books. Although we could have. Seeing as we were the senior members we demand anything we wanted. We were executive members you know. But we didn't want to get anybody in trouble so we dropped it. They didn't like it, I guess, They quit when they didn't know what was going on. They all joined the Union over there from that time on. We only got a few members left over there. That's the old members you know. I guess there's only four left from the old members — Johnny Wilson and Wally (Wilson). Roy 52 (Wilson) I think he quit, a member of the Union now. My own group, you know — Ronny, Lyle, my own family, and a few from here stayed with us. The reason they got weak here is the Indians got weeded out of the fishing industry. They weren't producing. The Japanese came back and they took over. It's building right up again, so I hear. I haven't been in the office to check for a long time — about a year, I guess. They built right up because there's a lot of Northern members living right here in town and Steveston, all over there. They got a local. You've got to have twenty-two members to form a local. They've got a local in Vancouver and they want to form one in Steveston now. I guess they've got quite a few members down there. I never heard no more. They wanted me to go to a meeting a couple of weeks ago. But no notice, they wanted me to go in exactly an hour or two from when the meeting started you know. I didn't want to go so I didn't attend. I think young Ronny went in to the meeting. He wasn't quite satisfied with what happened. They wanted non-herring fishermen to vote, which isn't right. It should be only herring fishermen called (to vote for herring fishing L.S.). Yet they wanted a general meeting. They vote to check the offer, I guess it was. That's how it is right up to now, they (herring fishermen L.S.) are still on strike. That's about all I can tell°you about it now. Question: You've been involved with the Native Brotherhood pretty well since its beginning'around here? No, they started in the early '30's, I guess, pro bably earlier. I got into it about 1950, '53. Question: And you've maintained a contact all the way through from there? Yes, I stayed right from that time on. I did a lot of work for them. One thing I don't like about them. They make you an honorary member, then you still gotta pay your fees. I haven't been able to get in touch with them guys you know. Based on the constitution of the unions, honorary members, I think it's a $5 fee for honorary members, in order to benefit from that welfare. We're only supposed to be paying $3.50 just for that same purpose. That's to get benefit from that welfare. Now they've raised it to $5, and you've also got to take out the Native Voice. It's $10 a year for the Native Voice. Well, I don't believe in that. An honorary member should get the thing for free. He shouldn't have to be paying, because he's retired, he's got no income anymore, you know. I can't see me or all the 53 retired members paying practically $15. You gotta pay $5 for your bloody membership fee and $10 for the paper. They're dictating to you that way,; .• Question: Were you on the trustee committee most of the time you were with the Native Brotherhood? Yes, right from the time I joined the Native organization/Native Brotherhood organization. In the fall, when all fleets come in we have a meeting. Sometimes in November. Then, oh about a couple of weeks before Christmas just so we could help all those that are in need, or that lost someone in the family. We gotta get them all straightened* out before Christmas. Then we meet again in January, once or twice in that month. In February we meet about three times when they're preparing reports for conventions you know. You gotta report to conventions, the Union and the other organi zations how much money you've got left and how much you've spent, and so on, you know. That's all down on the book. I was signing cheques, I was a trustee for about ten years I guess. There was four or five of us doing that right along. Just the Secretary of the organization he's in, and they select from the board to sign cheques. There's got to be two co-signers all the time or the cheques are no good. Question: Where dii you have your various conventions? Oh, sometimes in Cape Mudge, we had a couple in Vancouver, one convention in Victoria, about three or four in Prince Rupert in my time and, uh, two or three in Prince George. Then I can't recall the reserve across Millbank Sound — we had one convention there. Kind of an isolated place, we had a hard time getting in there. We had to go by boat from Port Hardy. Question: Did the Northern and Southern parts of the Native Brotherhood get together finally? Yes, do you mean amalgamated or work together? You had to work together because yoii^re a member of the same group, you know. I represented the southern group most of the time from the time I joined. Whenever there's business to be taken care of down here. Our office is downtown — it was easy for me to go. Nahanee was there or I'd get in touch with him by phone. Then you'd arrange a meeting maybe a week or two after that, and we'd take up the grievances of the members, whatever it is. Question: Does the Native Brotherhood have control over food fishing? Dh yes, each organization has their own. Union 54 (UPAWU) tried to control it, but in 1953 I said we don't want to be under anybody. We're going to do our own food fishing. So we started. I went out just to test them, you know, see what they're going to do. They threatened to saddle my net you know — that's put weight on each end. I said you guys do that — this was in a meeting — you're asking for trouble. You're interfering with private property, you can't do that I says to them. You know they said they could, they will. That's the members; this is a general meeting with the three organizations. I told I'm going out tomorrow. You guys sink that and I'll give you trouble. So I went out the next day. They came around me. I says, you guys keep away from there. I had two, three guys with me. You touch that net I'll blast you, I said. I was just kidding them you know. I didn't have my gun, I was just fooling them. They were circling around us. The next day they called us and they still wanted to control. I said no, we're going to do our own food fishing. We sold fish just to help the strikers you know. We made quite a few dollars that way. It all went to the members. It was quite a long strike the first one we had. We give them money to buy grub you know, that's the members, out of the sale of the salmon. We gave Union members salmon too when they came around; we weren't stingy like them. Finally we agreed to work together on the food fishing. I was one of the guys looking after the strike in '63. That's the reason why I couldn't get into the office when was there, you know. You had to be there all the time because there were people buying salmon. They were selling it for relief purposes. We had to keep track of money coming in, things like that, the members get kind of goofy, you know. You've got to be there because they were drinking and everything else. They didn't know what the hell was going on there, giving fish away. I don't know, some fishermen got paid twice. They were allowing so much a ton, some guys got paid twice. You had to be there to look after them, that's the reason why I couldn't leave. Question; Was there a restriction on the amount of fish each fisherman could bring in? Yes, I think we were allowed two hundred for each fisherman. You only got about $70, $80 out of that, you know, for your time. That's supposed to be volunteer work, but it's for repairing your gear and expenses. That's the reason why they give them so much. They were willing to do it. Later on they got paid by the piece. Some guys made $200 a day. They could all go out one day, then somebody else go out. They made big money. The Union, they divided up what money was over after I guess what you call relief. They gave money to buy 55 groceries you know. We divided it up amongst the three organizations after the strike was over. It was small benefit for the time you lost. A fishermen's strike, I can't see them holding out too long you know. Other industries will go into strike but they don't — they lose their wage, yes, but they can always go back to work. But when fishermen go on strike, you practically lose a season. You can't stop the fish from going up river. I don't believe in long strikes myself, but maybe it done the organization some good. The companies, for a while they practically agreed to anything you'd demand. But I think we've overdone our things myself right now you know, overpriced our salmon. Whether we did or not. But the bloody gear is so high too, you know, kind of even things out again. I think where the money is made is senior companies. They control it and therefore they must make money, much more money than they let on you know. They were blaming wholesalers, but I don't see no wholesale, no middle guys handling fish. Wholesale, they don't handle that. It comes direct from the cannery to the warehouses. From there it goes into the stores. We checked up on that you know, Ridley and I checked up I don't know how many times. Then Alec Gordon. Three or four of us travelled around together. Especially when a strike is on we travel around, go out and watch to see what the hell is going on. We needed too much money for it then. When they question the price of salmon in the store, who gets the money, who's the middle guy, they can't answer that. It goes direct from the cannery to the store you know. They're the wholesaler, they're the one that makes the money, but they deny it all the time. Same way with fish they export, raw fish. Quite a bit of salmon goes to the States. It goes direct to them guys unless there's wholesaling across the line. We don't know, that something we didn't find out. Tons and tons, especially from September on you know. They don't sell raw sockeye, whole sockeye they want to call it, until the season is over. Well, the season expires around the fifteenth, twentieth of September. Then they're allowed to sell sockeye if they wanted to. But the sockeye are kind of old then, the cannery don't want it anymore then. Most of the chums go across there. A few will be salted for the Japanese and Chinese you know, dry salt. But the majority of the ehums go across (to States). That's what they call dog salmon. They have a different name you know. Question; Did the fishing companies continue to object about fishermen being in the Brotherhood? No, they don't object. They want to see the Native 56 Brotherhood improve, or get stronger, get more membership. The reason why we could only — now we can sign breeds, non-status if you want to call them that. As long as a member has, oh three-quarter Indian I guess you'd put it, you can sign him. It's in the constitution now. Oh, even one-eighth with Indian blood in you, you still could be a member of the Native Brotherhood now. I don't know. I haven't seen the constitution. Maybe they're lying to me. I've got to see it to believe it. That's what they told me just before I quit organizing you know. Well, they (Native Brotherhood) solved many Indian problems. They weren't only looking after the fishermen. They had other work to do besides negotiating for their members as fishermen. Time and again they've taken up especially family allowances and one thing and another. It was through the Native Brotherhood that status Indians got that you know. We had senior members going like Peter Kelly and Guy Williams, Bob Clifton and a few others. They went to Ottawa time and again, just to try to get the benefits for our people. It's through the organization that we got that, family allowance, old age pension, welfare and so on, you know. Nothing through any other organization. We fought for it time and again. We even sent our senior members to Ottawa to negotiate. It took us about ten years or so to get this you know. To start with we got the family allowance to our status Indians, regardless of whether they're members (of Brotherhood —L.S.) or not. All Indians got it in British Columbia. We worked on the pension. It took us longer to get. We got welfare before we got old age pension for our people. I think it was about twelve years ago, something like that when we got it for our people. They said we were non-statutory, which is true, but I t^ilnk we're entitled to it. Well, I wouldn't say we were non-statutory because we paid income tax just like everybody else when we were competing outside the reserve. Therefore we should be entitled to it you know. I think the majority of the Indian fishermen paid income taxes. If they worked outside in logging camps, you were taxable same as everybody else. Any work you went to. You're paying taxes on your clothing, hidden taxes. Cigarettes — I think I made the government a lot of money when I was smoking because I was a chain smoker. People gained quite a bit. For a fact there, all those things I mentioned. It was through the Native Brotherhood they got it. It was efforts of the Native Brotherhood that brought this about. Better education. Our organization was the one that was able to get our children into public schools. Before that, as usual, as non-taxpayers they didn't want to have nothing to do with our children in public schools. We kept working on it. Finally they tried it. I think it was much better for our people anyway, instead of having residential schools. Residential school is all right for orphan children, 57 one thing and another, you know. But children with parents, I think they were much further ahead by going to public schools. Residentials, you've got to work. You only have a few hours school each day and the rest of the day you're working for the school whether it was Catholic or Protestant. You had to work because their grants were so small at that time. Not too long ago they increased it from $92 to $132. That's per capita grant for each child in school. It's small you know. We had to work to help along. I mean the children had to work. I did it in my time at school. In spring months after I was about twelve, thirteen years old I hardly go to school. I worked out on the farm all the time plowing, discing, harrowing. In the evenings, I used to go up in the classroom and study, prepare myself for examinations at the end of the year. Question: Most of the day time was spent working on the farm? I did, yes. Quite a few of us did that you know. I did all the ploughing, practically, while I was not going to school. Handy with a team, you know. Question: How many years did you spend up at Coqualeetza? 1909 when I went, came out in 1916. Six years I was there I guess, six and one-half years. It would have been seven. I went to school in September, October after hop picking. I had to work. Yes, 1916 when I came out. Question: Who went to school with you, worked with you at school? I can't recall their names now, it's so long since I left. There was guys from Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands, Skeena River, Cowichan, West Coast. In my time just my sister and I were from here I guess. There was a few went up there from here before my time. Local people from there, I'm speaking of Coqualeetza you know, that's up Sardis, Chilliwack — there was quite a few local people from up there. There was people, children, from all over. There was one hundred and thirty or so there then when I was going. They increased it to over two hundred children after I left. They extended the building. I got no complaint. At least I learned how to work you know. I didn't get much education but I know how to work. I reached eighth grade in the short time I was there. I shouldn't have quit, I guess. I thought I was smart, you know! I came out of school on account of my grandmother. She was getting kind of weak. Pretty near everything I made after I was working out I gave to her to keep up the house. Although, I hardly lived at home. I was going from job to job. 58 I forgot to tell you I worked in sawmills too, you know — Vancouver, Sguamish. Anywhere I could get a job in a mill when I can't get in a camp. Mostly night shift. I used to play lacrosse, and I can't take day work. I was working at night. Start 8:00 after a hard game or something. Quit 7:00 in the morning. I used to walk up to Kerrisdale and take the tram. There was no street cars running then, you know, when I worked in town. There's no mills so I had to work at Red Porter's right in False Creek. I worked quite a while in Squamish loading. All I did was loading cars, rolling timbers on. I was there about four or five months working the same job. You don't get nothing payday — 25* or 30* an hour. But, you've got to do it to live, I guess. 59 No change in method was incorporated here other than to restrict questioning to a minimum. Grandfather had prepared himself for this session, and was able to proceed on his own most of the time. Information on the Native Brotherhood was recorded primarily because of its significance to him. Again, after the recording had stopped, he went on talking. Grandfather knew some information being given was unrelated to his work, but he was telling me facts which he knew I should learn for myself and for his life history. A great deal is revealed in this chapter about Grand father's values and character — his industriousness, leadership and administrative capability, involvement and interest in the fishing industry, and concern for the welfare of Native fishermen and Native peoples in general are very evident. His awareness of economic conditions is also evident. What started out as a recording primarily for his interest and satisfaction actually produced revealing comments indicating some of the recurring problems which have beset the Native Brotherhood — maintaining membership, loss of contact between executive and members, providing benefits and services to members, negotiations and strike work. Problems encountered by Native Indians in the fishing industry have also been brought forth — increased competition, equipment costs, technological advances. A delay until the next interview was novi7 necessary. Method, procedures, choice of informants and goals of the study required re-evaluation. During this time the three tapes were 60 transcribed verbatim and typed along with notes from the third informant. Cursory content analysis of these three sets of material brought some interesting possibilities to the surface. The most obvious, but at this time most unattainable alternative was to continue collecting an in depth life history for each of the listed informants because of the ease with which rich collections could be attained. A workable approach required limiting the number of informants and the scope of the data if detailed information was to be collected. Here the decision to restrict the research to collecting the work histories of Rose and Ed Sparrow was finalized and approved. As these transcripts were reviewed several common features became apparent. Both grandparents related very well and easily to a recollection of their past. In addition to the specific work history references, they were voluntarily and perhaps unconsciously relating ethnographic details. These details were not being asked for but were nevertheless pertinent to their history and relevant to the forthcoming analysis. No attempt was made to curtail this information since it seemed such an integral part of the recall pattern. 3.4 Tapes 25, 26 Ed Sparrow March 5, 1975 Interviewing with Ed was continued, primarily because of his availability and interest perhaps stimulated by concern over incompleteness of his earlier tapes. Before the interview a list of possible questions centered around fishing and the fishing industry was drawn up. I hoped that in answering these, addi tional recollections would be stimulated providing enough explicit detail to build on sequences of work and activity. Grandfather spoke when he pleased and for as long as he wanted to. There were pauses during the interview when the recorder was turned off in order that he had time to order his recollections before continuing. We digressed from the subject matter many times throughout the interviews, especially if Grandfather seemed to be tiring or distracted. Copies of the tape transcripts were compiled and given to my grandparents as the transcripts became available. This was to encourage them to read the material for accuracy and content, to keep them familiar with the materials already covered while urging them to disclose additional information. 62 Tape 25 Recorded: March 5, 1975 Mr. Ed Sparrow, Sr. Musqueam WORK HISTORY — FISHING LOCATIONS AND COMPANIES Question: Who did you fish for, where did you fish? Terra Nova cannery, that's when I fished with my granduncle, but I didn't even get a place. I fished two - three years with my granduncle. I think it was 1916, '17 when we last fished there. Things got so bad then I went in the camps for a few years and forgot about fishing. I went to fish with Mike (Wilson) 1915, '16 I guess for one season. It was bad, I never made no money. I gave it up and went to logging camps. In 1924 the first cannery I went to was Oceanic in Skeena. 1925 I moved to Claxton. I fished there from 1925 till 1942, I think, when I quit going up there. Question: Where did you fish in the Fraser? Sometimes right out here (off Musqueam). Wherever the old fella felt like going. Sometimes outside the dropoff, sometimes we were fishing outside the lookout. It used to be a good place there you know. Sometimes it used to be at the sturgeon traps; there was a kind of a hole in the sandbanks, with a little slough going by. I didn't even know but the old guy knew. He just felt around with his oar then we'd anchor till the tide goes low then we'd throw our net out. The fish get caught in there you know. It's shallow all around except that 'lake' when the tide goes out. Sometimes we'd go to Steveston, sail over there. Wait for the tide and chuck out. When we'd come back, maybe make a drift or two out in the Gulf on evening set. We never worked like you do now days you know. There was so much fish you didn't have to work as hard as you do now. Later on I was fishing with Tommy Cole. He used to 63 go all over too, you know. He had a gas boat. There used to be good sockeye fishing over on Spanish Banks. Come all the way from Terra Nova, out that way and fish over there. We did exactly the same thing, fished around out here on the flats when the tide is right. Most of the time there's a broken tide at night. You don't go out too low. You fish there practically all night you know. Question; Did you fish around the end of Point Grey? Yes. We used to drift out from the river. Anywhere around the flats. Where there's kind of a river going out from just outside where the treatment plant is. The old fella used to fish right on the drop from where the dirty water is out. The nets then were too coarse, you don't fish in clean water then. We didn't go down Canoe Pass way with sailboats, mostly just around the flats here. Just when we hear there's fish somewhere else then we go. Follow the fleet. Question: Were other people fishing at Canoe Pass? A lot of people go there. From Musqueam some go to Canoe Pass, some to Deas Island above the tunnel. Quite a few people used to go there. They used to scatter all over. Some would be in Acme Cannery across from Terra Nova; a few go to Steveston. In the fall when I was fishing with Tommy Cole we used to go up Squamish to fish dog salmon. Sometimes we'd stay there for almost a week. Question: Were you fishing at the mouth of the river or in Howe Sound at Squamish? There was a boundary there. You can't go up the river you know. There's a boundary about two miles out from the wharf. You can't go inside of it. We used to go up there. I don't know, Tommy liked it. There wasn't too much money made but I just went along. Coho and dog salmon is about all you get up there at that time of year. That's about the only places we went to you know when we fished around here. Question: When you fished with Mike Wilson? We fished at Canoe Pass then in the fall. In the fall I was working at Scottish Canadian cannery when they asked me to go fish with him. That's after I give up, started fishing for myself. Things were so bad. I fished with him for over a month I guess. I don't remember how much I made, it wasn't very much anyway. Up and down the Canoe Pass River, you know. Mike was living with his 64 parents then, where Andy is staying now. There was a lot of fish there in the fall but they were so cheap. That time of the year .... buy white springs for any money. A lot of guys were throwing their white springs away, also their humpback. This is in the fall you know, middle of October. Question; Did you fish with other boats or alone? Did boats travel together anywhere? You don't travel with anybody. You go mostly individual anywhere. You plan your fishing days ahead of time, where you're going to go. Practically the same thing up north. It's just when you're moving from one fishing ground to the other you travel with two, three other boats most of the time. But here three - four days you stay wherever you want to go to fish. Sometimes quite interesting to see them. Question; Did you have specific areas you 'claimed* in order to fish? There's some areas where you gotta wait your turn you know. But nobody was going to claim a spot anywhere. At least they won't be. I guess when the Indians were fishing before the canneries came, you can't interfere. One place where you fish. Commercial fishing, anywhere you go, I guess as long as you don't interfere with one another. But in most places you change drifts. People wait for their turn. When their turn comes they drift downstream; They still do it now, wait for their turn. That hasn't changed, it's still that way.. Take another man's drift, well the war will start. Question; Were there certain areas on the river where you could catch fish better than in other areas? It all depends. It's all according to the way the fish move. Sometimes you go out between spots where they raise the surface of water or come out over the bar, or right at the mouth of the river where you wait. You still have to wait your bloody turn at that time. It seems you could fish anywhere you threw your net after when the tide is right. There was so many fish. We used to anchor. Like when we were at Terra Nova fishing with my granduncle you know, used to anchor behind a point. Just before the tide turned he'd throw his net right behind the point of the sandbar. The fish would seem to come along there. He'd load up and go back again. Never fished too long. Half the time we were walking around the cannery at the camp. Question; Did you have to take your own fish into the cannery? 65 Oh, yes then. Deliver in Terra Nova they didh't have no collector going around then you know. They had scows at the wharf. You get a chance, you go right to the front of the cannery. Conveyor, I guess they call it, the chute where they pick up the fish. Shoots right up inside the cannery. Them days we didn't have no collectors. I seen them throw fish onto a scow anchored in Steveston. No collector going around except a scow would be towed by a tug boat and he anchored there. A tally man would be aboard. It's the only different system I seen there when I was a kid. Seems to me everybody came home after the tide was over then you know. You never stayed out all hours of the day like you do now. Question; Were you paid cash directly for your fish? No. You get paid after the end of the season unless you were independent. I didn't think it would pay anybody to be independent. Hardly any cash buyers them days. Question; When you started fishing around Claxton (in the Skeena River) what areas did you fish? Were you fishing just in the river? All over there. At night we used to go out. If there was no fish in the river we'd go outside, same as we do here. Go outside Laurier lights I guess it would be. It's quite a ways down below, about ten, fifteen miles away from the river. We went quite regular. When there's no fish in the river you have to keep moving around. Sometimes we go to Eddy's Pass — that's behind Stephens Island, when there's no fish above. Mostly in the early part of the season when we was doing that you know. But when the fish gets in the river, well you don't have to go on no more. That's at least we didn't, most of our Fraser River gang never run all over the place. Of course, it's harder work to be doing that. Once in a while I'd run out after I get tired you know and sleep there for a while. When the fish is in the river we back up to the gap they call it .... Kenny's Island. All the way up then we pick up and cross over. Anyway around Claxton we back up to Point Lambert. If you're too early you pick it up again for high water and chuck it out again. We travelled about five - six miles an hour up there when we were backing up. Same way as when the tide is going out. We'd go quite a long ways up the river before they moved the boundary. We used to go right up to a place they called Port Essington. The boundary was about eight - ten miles above that at one time. As time went along they kept moving it you know. Just before the last year I was up there7 the last couple of years the boundary was way down below Port Essington. It was a place, Point Mowich I guess you'd call it. Then I'd sight Point Lambert. They were getting down pretty low you know. Only about five - six miles away from the mouth of the river then. I guess the reason why is they were getting too many fishermen up there then. The?! started putting restriction on. Gas boats and what not were getting around too fast. Sailboat; days, well, when you're done drifting, you anchor somewhere at the side of the river. You don't drift no more because you're never able to get (back). It's quite quiet after you get past Point Lambert and Point Mowich you know. Take you a long time to get ashore there. You can drift a long way too before you get ashore. Question: Were there more boats going up from Vancouver areas as the years went on? For a while. I guess Jo Kipp was one of the early ones that went up Skeena. We didn't bother about going up there you know. We knew there was a lot of fish but the thing is they were cheap. As time went on there was quite a few fishermen from here started to move up there every summer, just for the season. They used mostly rental boats them days. They used to go up on a steam boat and rent a boat up there. When the season was finished, well they just tie the boat up and leave it. It was dififerent with us. We had our own boats. A lot of guvs go up there from the Fraser during the regular (season • : 5. We started go up there in the early part of June then you know. The season used to open about the twentieth of June. We'd get up there for the opening. There was fishermen from all over. I knew quite a few guys from Langley used to go up there. Mostly breeds and whites. Not very many Indians go up Skeena you know. They mostly go to Rivers Inlet. They scattered all over. They had a lot of bloody canneries up there. There was N. P. — Northern Pacific, B. C. Packers, Canadian Fish, well toward the end, Nelson Brothers got in there with a little cannery in Port Edwards. There was some other companies there. We scattered all over you know. Only the main companies are active now, the big companies. First year when I went up was 1924. I was with B. C. Packers. Then I switched to Tom Wallace, Wallace Canning Company I guess they called them. A year or two after I was at Claxton they amalgamated with B. C. Packers. Quite a few other small companies joined b. C. Packers you know. They bought the little fellows out I guess. They bought Wallace Fishing Co. Not too long ago, Tom Wallace was telling me they never got all their money when they sold out to B. C. Packers. Question: Did you ever go fishing at Rivers Inlet? 67 Yes. I went there one season after I quit Skeena. Lyle and John Cook heard rumors there was great big run up there. I didn't want to go up there. I had enough of travelling back .and forth. I think it was 1950 when they went up. They had a rental boat from Imperial (B. C. Packers). They were quite young. They got excited, they wanted to go up there. A whole bunch of guys. I told them — you guys will be up there too damn late. It might have been '50. A . whole bunch started off. Mostly B. C. Packers boats as I remember. I didn't want to go, but the old lady told me to go along with the boys. So I went up. Bill McDonald and Ed Peterson, a whole bunch. About ten or fifteen boats started off for Rivers Inlet. We went running after them, the fish was already canned. We did all right though for the short time we were there. I got eight hundred sockeye; I forgot what John and them got. Roy (Wilson) happened to be home that year too, and he went tearing up. We were late; the main run was finished when we got up there. I just happened to be lucky; I got more than the other guys that went up. Running after canned salmon, you know! I figured it would be that way because that run up there never lasts very long. One or two weeks, that's it. Only stragglers after. I guess if we'd made it. We couldn't make it across the sound when we got there Sunday morning. We wanted to get up there for the opening. We didn't get up there till the Monday. This about the tenth of July when we started going up there. Late you know. That's the only time I was ever in Rivers Inlet. I made up my mind to quit going up and down the coast long before that. That's only once I was up Rivers Inlet. Never bothered no more, although they had some good seasons after that. I thought I better stay put at home. Question: Did you fish anywhere on your way up to Skeena? No. Just went straight up. When things got bad in Skeena River I started fishing on the Banks Island. Mink-trap Bay all around there. I fished there for about five, six years I guess. Skeena was just — well our main camp was at Claxton, but there was a camp in Minktrap. We stayed there pretty near all summer. They had no bath or nothing out there. We used to get on a packer and go up to Claxton, get cleaned up every other week. Whole bunch ' started fish ing out there. We'd get a packer to go up, come back early Sunday morning. We gotta be there for opening Sunday, 6:00 (P.M. ) you know. We used to fish up to Friday, 6:00 in the afternoon. Get home and get to the camp, pull your net on the rack. Then get on a packer and travel all night just to get to the camp. I did well there. Question: Is there no limit on the number of fish caught? 68 1930 is the only time I remember. There was a big run in 1930 and they limited fishermen for a while to about two hundred for one or two days, that was all; that's the only time I remember them limiting up there. There was so many canneries all over you know. There was canneries all over Inverness Slough I guess. I can't recall how many, I only went through there a few times, just travelling. Port Essington, there was canneries all over there the same way as they were in Steveston you know. It started to peter out too, the same way as what happened here. The slide in Babine — Babine must have been one of the main spawning grounds. Nobody kiew there was a slide there too. The river was blocked off for quite a few years before they found out. I think the really bad year: was 1938 or *39. There was nothing. I had maybe six, seven, eight hundred sockeye for the season. That was pretty close to the tops. At 50* a piece, my God, you can't pay for expenses up (Skeena) — gasoline, nets, living up there. I just never made nothing. In fact I was about $300 - $400 in debt. I had to borrow money from Granny (Rose) to get down, to buy gas. Question: Was she (Rose Sparrow) working up there? Yes, she worked up there. She worked up there — well, not every year. Sometimes she stayed home you know. The last few years I went up there she .... she worked until 1926, I guess. Oh, she went up there in 1927. I went up early that year. Build a cannery wing. I think that was the first year she went up. She went up in '25, that's right.... I went up there to work on the cannery repairs. We went up in March. They were starting to rebuild the cannery. I'd do that for two or three years. I used to go up early. I think 1930 she didn't go. I can't recall the other years she stayed home. I didn't want to go up with kids. She'd insist to go after that. So I'd have to take her along. Sometimes you go up on the steamboat and other times you want to travel on the boat. You can't make money travelling on the steamboat all the time, too many kids. I don't know how many years she worked up there. She knows herself. 1928 when I bought my first new boat, you know. Question: Did you fish other than in the river? When we got home from Skeena we used to fish out here. We travelled up and down the coast from 1927 up until the time I quit. Mike and them kept going up there for five - six years after I quit going up. 1942 the last year I went up. Ronny went up in 1943, Mike and Ronny went up there 69 a few times after I quit going you know, with Mike and them. I can't recall how many times he went up, but he travelled with Mike and them for a few times up there. When he (Ronny) quit he started fishing Rivers Inlet. I think Mike went up there for six, seven years after I quit. I just didn't like to run around with my family on board the boat you know. That's the only way you make money going up there when the fish are so damn cheap. You count your expenses from the time you leave here. There's gas and groceries; if you break down somewhere along the way, §?ou gotta stop and repair your engine. You get up there you got a net to pay for. They started to restrict the lines and one thing and another. One time they used to give us the net for nothing, and the lines for nothing. They repair your net when you snag and don't charge you nothing, replace your lead lines if you lost it — no charge. That's the last four or five years up there. They made everybody pay for everything we got. For a while everything was good — free. In fact they gave me a net sometimes when I came down when I got a bum season up there. They helped, they were pretty good to me up there you know. I broke down one year. I guess it was about '36, '37. I lost about two weeks fishing. They never had no spare boat up there. I got used to a gas boat. I tried sailboat; and I couldn't make a go of it. Finally they got an engine sent up. It took about two weeks before I got going again, they give me the engine for nothing; they never charged me for it. I guess they figure I lost too much time. Sometimes they'give me a net to start with down here. When you're paying for a boat, and your gear and everything else you don't have much money coming through in them days. When you get down here you gotta start to use different kinds of nets down here. Nets you used up there were oiled you know, finer. It doesn't stand up here for any length of time. It breaks much easier. Linen nets they have over here — flax, made of flax. Stronger, but they're coarser. Early in the season, I went one year to Nass River. That's outside of Port Simpson. Sometimes you do pretty well there on sockeyes you know. It takes about five - six hours to get there from Claxton. That's before we started going out Banks Island. I kind of think Ronny went there two or three times after, the same place where we used to go. Mostly the early part. There's never any fish in Skeena as far as I could remember in the opening. 1930 was the only time. It opened on the twentieth (of June? L.S.). I got up late that year. I bumped a kid (with the car) in town and had to stay there to find out how he was. At least I was told to stay around. The same day I was supposed to be moving up north. When that happened I took some guys that were going to Skeena from here to Union Wharf. They were going to go up on a boat. On my way back a kid crossed me on a bicycle at the old Georgia Viaduct. 70 I was one week behind Mike and them. They were waiting for me down the Point (Point Grey ). There was no radiophones or nothing in them days. They stayed there till 4:00 that day and finally they left. When I got up there, I was a week and two days behind the other guys you know. It was Tuesday when I got up there, Mike already had eight hundred sockeye. In just a week and a half he had eight hundred sockeye. I guess Mike had four thousand, eight hundred. I had four thousand, four hundred for the year, for the season after getting up late. Pretty near caught up to Mike. I don't think he had that many -- only two hundred difference anyway. Mike was high boat and I came second for the season. I guess we were lucky. Year after year we were doing the same thing you know. If Mike don't come high boat, I came high boat. Very seldom somebody else beats us. Well, we worked hard, hardly even sleep. Question: How did the other people who went from Musqueam do up there? They were mostly on rental boats you know. You can't go up there and expect to make money in Skeena River right off the bat. You've got to learn the places. It's a hard place to fish. Take you four, five years to get onto that place. ' Over here, chuck out your net in the gulf at night, well you're lucky you get a bunch of fish. Up there it's something different. You've got to be on the job the whole bloody time you know. You've got to learn, study the tides and what not. I don't think they done very good. Eddy Guierin went up there, Bus, old Jack — Walker's father, Billy Grant, Tony Point, there's a bunch of them went up there. But they didn't last long. I think Ed Guerin only went up one season up there. Tony went up there for a few years, oh — Sammy Grant went up there several times. Al Peters, Isaac Williams from Tsawwassen went up three, four times, Bill Jacob from Tsawwassen, Peter Jacob. They all give up in time. If you didn't know how to work that place v/ell you're just wasting time you know. Question: How did you learn how to fish up there — just by trying or did you have someone to show you? Well, I studied the place. Study the tides. Some guys would go out any old time. Well, you're just wasting your time then. It's not like this place you know. You think the Fraser River is fast but Skeena is twice as fast. If you go out too early your net floats. Leadline wouldn't stay down. Quite interesting to watch a lot of guys work to beat hell, all the time you say they shouldn't even be out but they try. I never told you about the Norwegians they brought 71 up there. They brought a bunch of guys up there you know. I think it was during the war days — Claxton. Well, they had no business — a man with a bloody sailboat had no business going up there. But they did, they brought them up there. We had gas boats then you know. They sent a lot of them back. They couldn't risk their lives when they didn't know how to work. About four or five boats — George Junenson, Jacobson, Jetmundson, and I guess two or three other guys. There was four or five boats, that's all. Two men to a crew then. It looked comical when they took them out at slack water and trained them you know. They'd pull and the bloody oars would come way up out of the water and they'd fall down. We'd watch on the Weekend when they're training them. Kind of foolish to bring them guys up there. No experience of any kind. But those that were kept up there turned out to be good fishermen after a bit. Jacobson, and Jetmundson, George Junenson and his brother, Elmer, Olaf Jensen. They made good up there, but it took them a long time to make good. Old Tom Wallace had faith in those guys, he kept them. Turned out to be good fishermen later on. One guy was drifting up. We'd already finished with the tide but he came drifting up. Pretty soon he stopped. I was saying you watch that guy, he's going to hit that bloody snag on the point of that bloody bar. Sure enough, when he got there the bloody boat swung around the other way I said — he got the snag. Sure he had it. He was picked up when he got to that place. He couldn't have had very much (to pick up ). We had no binoculars or nothing on the boats in them days you know. I guess he took the block off the boom. The mast. You want to use it all up when you want to sail. He tied it onto the bloody net. He figured he was going to pull his net off the snag that way. Pretty soon his bloody boat went over and laid on its side. Dropped his mast. We didn't know what the heck was going on. We were watching him all that time. A whole bunch of us guys were tied up waiting for the tide to slack down before we go again. When he got to the camp we asked what happened, Chris. That's what we used to call him. He wouldn't tell. We saw him chopping his bloody mast when he was snagged, you know. He couldn't free it, well the damn thing got so damn far away it went and tipped. The lines went that way and he was over here. Then it was laying over on its side. Chopped the bloody mast and the boat sat up again, full of water you know. It was comical. Trying to tease him. The Langley bunch were up theret ~. . a bunch o^ breeds. Every weekend they go into Rupert and I guess they were all drinkers. At night one time they started shooting from the windows out. I don't know what the hell they were shooting at. Guys were scattering, hiding. We were out mending our nets in the evening when they were doing that you know. There were wharfs out on the flats. Joe Kip, 72 and I were close together, we were mending our nets. Pretty-soon they started shooting. Well they were quarrelling I guess. I could hear them all the time. Bullets were flying all over. We ran behind the bluestone tanks. Question: How often do you have to bluestone your net? Every weekend when you get in, you know, you gotta re-bluestone it. Sometimes we bluestone it as we come in then we go and have supper or a bath. We come back and rack it. Only thing you gotta wash it real clean to take all that bluestone off. Most of the time we rack it, wash it, mend it, bluestone it and haul it right into the boat after. So it wouldn't burn that way, you know. Your net could burn from bluestone if you don't get it off. Some places — it's a rough place to fish, you know. On a great big tide at Point-Lambert we'd go along from Claxton. Sort of a rip would form right from the point you know. You couldn't get over it. You stick along the bloody rip; some guys' net would climb over the bloody point. You see the bloody net drag over the bloody rocks like that. A lot of guys got caught that way; they lose every darn thing. Try to pick up their net after, well there's nothing left of it, you know, it goes to pieces dragging over. Oh, doubt if I could remember everything. I should make notes. I guess it was late '30's. We were waiting for the tide to slacken up. It was backing up for them. Close to high water before we move. Somebody said, there was a fire at Claxton. We were anchored at the Glory Hole. All the fish were gone then. We were behind the point — we couldn't see Claxton. I don't know who came down to the boat to let us know. We had about four or five miles to run I guess from the camp to the cannery. We got scared. The boiler room caught on fire. They said the tank might explode, and they scared everybody away from the camp you know. I couldn't find my family when I got to the cannery. They were all up in the bush. Nobody around. They packed everything we had and headed toward the slough real quick. All our junk was down there at the edge of the creek down below. I don't know how; Granny packed all those things I guess. People from up there packed everything down. The whole camp almost emptied their shacks and ran away. It was quite a ways. The boys were all hell and gone up the trail toward Carlyle Cannery when I caught up to them you know — Willard and Ronny and the whole bunch of them. All the young boys from camp, run away. I went and asked the man, what the heck you scare all the people for. Gee whiz, they run all over heck. Some of them could hardly walk when we caught up to them. Them 73 Northern people had some old ladies there you know. We told them to go back, the bloody fire was out. I quit fishing for the day then. We had a heck of a .time packing them things back. I don't know how the heck your Granny packed them out. She was scared I guess. It started a fire in our shack. The wind was blowing pretty good you know; west wind blowing right from the cannery to our shack. The shacks were lined up. The cannery was way off on the bloody flats, you know. Yeah, it started a fire on our roof. Question: Did the cannery provide housing or did you have to rent them? They supplied the houses for fishermen and cannery workers. No rent then. Same way in Steveston, you didn't have to rent till Ken Fraser and them got there and they started that rental business. Everybody paying rent in the cannery shacks. Question: Did the boys ever go out fishing with you at Skeena? (Willard and Ron) Oh yeah, they fished with me. The whole family was up. All the time I was going to Banks Island they were fishing with me. They were quite small then you know. I give up having a partner; I was having so much trouble with partners. Weekends they get a packer and go to Rupert, get plastered. You never see them no more you know. Sometimes they get home late, you never get out to opening on Sunday. So, I gave up having partners. The boys started fishing with me every summer till Ronny got his own boat. Then he went on his own. Johnny was fishing with him then. Willard used to fish with me. But before that both of them used to fish with me in Banks Island. Then I was going to quit up there and Johnny and Lyle started fishing with me over here. That was just for company you know. I quit Skeena altogether for about six — eight years. Before I quit going up there I used to go up Banks Island. At times it used to get rough up there. No rushing like you do in Skeena. You don't need a partner then. All hand picking, no drums. They had a bloody niggerhead to pull your net around. You face away from the stern when you're picking up. Take one wind on this thing. This turns. We did well up there you know. There was no fish in '42, but '41 we did well up there. We fished, Ronny and I, we fished over towards Eddy's Pass. We didn't fish the river at all, we stayed outside fishing all the time. Ronny did good. He was just going on sixteen, you know, he wouldn't be sixteen until September that year. But he knew how to fish that place. He was with me from 74 when he was about ten years old till he got his own boat. Well, he worked. He did well over here when they got down in '42. Fishing used to be good one time you know. He got a whole bunch of fish just down below here one time (Musqueam L.S.). Then when it slackened off — we fished here for about a week — we went to the main river over by Steveston. He did well there. In fact everybody did well, I guess. That year there were a lot of fish. That's one of the biggest seasons I had, I guess, the Adam's River run. That's when the price begin to change from that time on — 1942. That year we got 50*. From that time on it started to come up a little bit every year. Question: Were the fish increasing or decreasing in number? Well, that's a really big run (1942). It was every four years, the Adams run. It was kind of surprising you know. 1930 I guess was the beginning of that, or 1926. That's the year I went with Mike after I came back from Skeena. A lot of sockeye showed up in September over there in Canoe Pass. That was the beginning of that. Tape 26 Recorded: March 5, 1975 Mr. Ed Sparrow WORK HISTORY We were talking about 1942. No, 1930. 1926 was when I first noted the change in the late run sockeye you know, that's what fhey call the Adams River run. 1934, still bigger but it was so cheap. Then ending of September you're getting next to nothing for sockeye, 15* or so apiece. The company says they didn't want them, there's not sale for them. Number two grade they call them. So we believe them and accepted just a few cents. Then 1938 it's still the same way. Their excuse is there's no sale for them. They never did limit, they just cut you off. Say we don't want your fish. In 1930 they cut us off about fifteenth of September, I guess. We didn't even fish until the sockeye cleared off from the river. It was November I guess when we started fishing again. All the time the company didn't want the sockeye. The same thing 75 happened well, every year. 1938 they offered a nickel apiece if we wanted to fish you know. They were going to ship it across the line is what they said. Everybody quit. I tried one night, and to heck with it, I give up. They dressed what they got. Finally the fisheries department stepped in and closed it down. We lose pretty near all our fall fishing then. 1942, one day both Mike and I had about one thousand, six hundred for the day you know. Two deliveries (50* apiece). Then they dropped it right after. The tenth of September I think when they dropped the price down again to 25* apiece then to 15* again. Finally they said they didn't want them. If you want to fish we'll give you a nickel apiece and we'll dress and ship it across the line. But the Fisheries Department says no and closed it. And it was closed again. And from there on the price started to change, improve, you know. Then both countries' governments, the United States government and Canada got together. They started this infor mation program. They started tagging fish to start with. It wasn't too strict you know, we were still getting three, four days a week fishing. It was poor in the summer months. Nothing at all. There was one good year of summer sockeye. I can't recall that year. There was a mixed run -- Chilco, Stelako and all them — Fraser. Fraser Lake sockeye petered right out for some reason. They started building other runs. There was a restriction put on — one or two days a week in 1943 or '44. It kept on and on and on till I quit fishing. One, two days a week. It got real bad so you couldn't make a living out of it you know. It started to build up. Different runs built up. They made fish ladders and so on you know. Build up. There's all kinds of different places they (salmon) go on the lakes in the interior. I can't recall just what cycle there we had a pretty good season out of it you know. Two, three days a week — we made money out of it. Other following cycles in the following years, it wasn't too good. Stuart, and I can't recall the other places that built up. By'the time they come in, the Northern fishermen used to get back. A lot of times we wished they'd never get back for awhile. They get back and cut us off you know. Sometimes I stayed right in Spring fishing instead of putting on a sockeye net you know. I did well at times while the other guys were fishing sockeye. Pretty soon everybody started doing the same thing. No sockeye, they fish springs. The price of fish was getting pretty good then you know; started to come up, improve. It paid us to fish springs. Just when the main run of sockeye was on I'd fish them. Other times I'd just stay with spring nets — do better that way. A lot of people didn't realize I was doing much better than they were for a long time. They started doing the same thing. 76 Question; When did you start fishing with the old fellow, Tommy Musqueam? I must have been eleven, I think. I was useless. He just wanted me for company. I could hardly move the boat you know. Two great big oars Columbia built boats in them days, sail boats. You got to throw the net off. You didn't have no drums or nothing then. You gotta kind of spread it as you throw it out. Keep the lines parted. I was kind of small for my age you know. I didn't mind. He'd buy me clothes at the end of the season you know. I used to stay out till about the tenth of August I guess. I was supposed to be back at school the end of July, but they used to let me stay out because I worked. Get my clothes and a little spending money, I was happy. Go back to school. I did that for two, three years, with him. I fished with Tommy Cole in 1913, then I started fishing with the old fella again. Then I started getting my third share as I got older you know, he gave me a third. From there on, it wasn't the price, but the fish just petered out. That slide in 1913, nobody knew anything about it you know. It blocked the river so the fish couldn't get up, they just died off. Question; Was the old fellow fishing for a long time before you went out with him? Oh yes, he kept fishing by himself. He fished for a long time after you know. He kept trying and trying. Well, his wife was working in one of the canneries and he was fishing. He was a good fisherman. I guess it was in his blood; he never quit till he got old, then he quit altogether. I don't know, he never worked, but he just knew the spots, different places at a certain time,. Broken tide we'd be away all night. He never went on the other side like Tommy Cole did on Spanish Banks. They had their nets oiled. They were woven finer and they were real tight. Tight twist I guess you'd call it. They'd oil it. When they put it in bluestone it kind of turns greeny-black. Pretty near match the water out there. The same thing up the Skeena, but the nets don't last too long. The majority of people never did that to their nets you know on account of the heat, I guess, from the sun. When you put it out to mend it, it kind of burns. A lot of people didn't bother to oil their nets. And you have to have a certain kind of twist on your net. It costs more I guess. The oil lasts — well, you're lucky to get through one season. Used to get pretty soft by the time you get through with it.,up Skeena. you know. You start maybe twentieth June and quit about tenth of August. Your net was getting pretty soft by the time you quit, on account of heat, I guess, or laying in the boats you know, bunched up. When there's no oil on, well it'll last you a couple of seasons down here. Question: Did anyone else in your family go into fishing; cousins, etc., those about your age? 77 No. I was the only boy of the family you know. Do you mean in our whole family? I don't think so, not for quite awhile after I started again in 1924. Then they all seemed to start again going up River's Inlet from here you know. A whole bunch used to go up Rivers Inlet you know. Just one particular spot. They were all sail boat days too up there. They used skiffs or something up there, and they couldn't move it down. They used to go up there for the summer, and when they're finished, they're finished. They used to make big money up there you know. A lot of fish I guess were caught up there. Vic (Guerin) and a whole bunch of them used to go up there. Ed Guerin, Steve August, Pat Johnny, Cornelius Johnny, well practically the whole bunch of people from here, the younger fellows you know. It was all sailboats then, skiffs. They're a little bit lighter than the Columbia built boats. They pull around pretty easy I guess, they're lighter. They had tug boats up there towing them around, the same as they did other places. Get to a spot where you think you're going to fish for the day, and you drop out from a tow. You let the bov; out loose first, then you hang on the stern and swing the boat. It shoots you right clear. If you didn't know how, well you could get tangled up and tip over. The tug boat never stopped you know. You just let go when you find a spot to fish in. We got quite towed up and scared quite a few times that way. Miserable, oh, it was a miserable place to fish you know. It rains lots of times up there. Much more than it does here in the summer. When Bill Baker was up there with me it did pretty near the whole summer till the end of July before it got like this. Everything was so damn wet there. I never laid in the bloody bunk — we had a little bunk up in the head of the bloody boat, a little bit higher than the floor of the boat. It used to get wet. I never even bothered to go in there. I used to just stand by the mast in my rain outfit. Then the rain would go down your bloody neck you know and you'd get wet just the same. In time you'd get wet. I used to stay in camp and dry our clothes there. Other guys would go and make high water. We'd stay right there. Finally the camp man told us to move everything there and we slept in his cabin! Yeah, a miserable life that Skeena River. I think that's how Andy Wilson got that arthritis or rheumatism or whatever he got you know. It's through going up there. He v/as playing it tough, he wouldn't put on a rain hat. He'd put on a little short raincoat that's all, at times. Most of the time he hasn't got it on. Everybody was warning him about it. No, he'd just laugh it off. I'm sure that's what happened with him, you know. Question: The old fellow you went out with first — that was your uncle? 78 Grand uncle. He's my grandfather's cousin. He'd be grand uncle to me, I guess. My grandfather did some fishing too, but he quit. He wanted to buy another sailboat after his went haywire you know, and he started working in the cannery. I guess he made 35* an hour. He worked in the cannery instead of fishing. He was hiring. I don't know what he was getting per head hiring people to go to work. They used to send him all over the place you know. Same thing when he was at the Vancouver Cannery. He used to hire for a company there you know — Millards then. He must have made good money because he went all over hiring people to come and work in the cannery. I never asked him, I never found out what he was making. Question: Did he go back to this job year after year? Oh heck, yes! He was hiring for Scottish Canadian Cannery for a long time. When that went, he came to Vancouver Cannery and he hired people there, cannery workers. He was all over. There must have been money in it for him. 0 Question: Was he hiring a lot of people from Musqueam? Pretty near all the people used to go there, work for the cannery where he hired. There was a few canneries thinned out after a bit. No fish. Millard had the only cannery on the whole river. All the fish from the main river and part ways up north came to one cannery. People would have a lot of work that way. Same way it happened in Steveston. All them little canneries, company canneries, formed one big cannery. Imperial is the one where they brought the fish to. They had Atlas, quite a few; that camp over by Pacific Coast camp. They all closed that down and had just the one cannery going. They had Canoe Pass going, the Brunswick. That closed down and all the fish caught from their fishermen were coming to Imperial then you know. Other companies did the same thing. They got faster machines I suppose. No more hand work. When they were hand working you know, they had to have a lot of canneries to put up the canned salmon. Quite interesting to see them guys working before the machining came on. You gotta be handy with a butcher knife. Men were the ones who head and gut the fish you know. Women folks they washed, do the canning — can filling I guess. Granny did quite a bit of that you know. Everything was hand work, hand work, hand work. Pitching fish you had to pitch/them up from the bloody fish hold you know, up to the deck. From the deck they went right up to the wharf. We used to do that too. In the fall that was hard work you know — dog salmon. I don't know where they were getting them. Every now and then a big load would get to Vancouver Cannery. 79 Question: You mentioned about making nets. How was that done? This was before my time. The older people used to do that you know. I can't recall, I was reading about it myself. They furnish them with the twine. My grandfather was telling me all about it and Vic Guerin's mother. Some times they never come home after fishing season you know. There was canneries all over the main river. They stay right there and they start making nets. All needle work you know. I didn't get to find out how much they were making, but I guess they were making a l±ving out of it. They were there all winter making nets. When they get through doing that, they start putting on the lines for the fisherman. In most cases, they were working by day — the fishermen you know — according to what I learned from my grandfather and the old guy I used to fish with. They'd give them $3 a day each. Two men to a crew, that's $6 a day. For a while they were getting it cheaper than that. I didn't get to find out. But my grandfather said the most they got before they started contracting by piece was $3 a day. They furnished their net and boat and they did that, living was so damn cheap in them days I guess. Well, you had to work to survive I guess. . They did a lot of hand made nets. They were paid by the pound according to my grandfather — so much for each pound of twine you matched into a net. I don't know how much they were making. Some of them pretty fast; some of them did well according to my grandfather, some didn't. They say Vic Guerin's mother was fast making nets. That's about the tail end of net making then you know. Started getting factory made nets shipped here then. I tried once just for the fun of it. I didn't make a very long net, about thirty fathoms was enough for me. My hands were all cut up. I used to do that just for the fun of it in my spare time fishing. Mike Wilson did that too, once. I used to help him when I was visiting over there. Should have had a movie camera the way things were going in them days you know. How the people fished you know, sailed. I used to go down to the wharf and watch them when they'd sail up. When it was blowing say like it is today, it was a good day for the fishermen. Pick up and sail up, pick up and sail up. When there's no wind you're done. You could see a whole bunch of bloody masts coming up when they get towed up you know. The tug boat would pick them up down the mouth of the river and tow them up. Question: Did you have a wharf down here — at Musqueam? No, Celtic was the nearest place over here, you know. These people used to bring their boats into the slough here, before they diverted the slough there. Yeah, boats all in the slough, tied up. I used to bring my boat home every year for awhile, till I started losing things out of it. I 80 kept it in Steveston after. Some of them guys are crazy you know, untie the rope, steal the rope. Your boat is dangling there. Pretty soon it's on the bank and tips over. Mine tipped over three, four times and I thought it was enough. I left it in Steveston after. Everytime that thing tips over it costs you a couple hundred dollars to get going you know. Batteries and everything get ruined. There were a lot of boats for awhile down there. Sail boats when I was a kid, you know. I used to see them tied around the flats here, anchored for the winter after they get through fishing. Each family had one or two or three boats. That's all they did when they were fishing. Well, they started to log towards the end, that's just about the time I was going to school. They started to log around the reserve for awhile. Things started to pick up for them, I guess. John Cook did well there, one opening in Port Kells. John Cook got five - six hundred one opening. Willard... I used to go into Port Kells. I was the first one started with them Katzie boys. Pretty soon everybody started to go up there. That's a funny place you know, them guys up there in Port Kells Slough. Everybody had a spot. They'd go and put their buoys all along there on the side there. They put their buoy or flag there, that's his spot. Then he goes home and comes out on the opening Monday morning. Yau can't interfere with that. They get mad at you if you're there. I didn't know that until Joe Pierre told me you know. He was the one who brought me there. I had to throw behind him — I didn't have no spot, I used to just go up there. I did pretty well there for awhile. When I quit I started fishing Douglas Island. Too much trouble there (Port Kells) claiming your spot. Then after the first drift well it's free, you can throw anywhere at all. But they go and claim a spot for the opening Monday morning on the day before. Put their buoy there on a boom or wherever they're going to start from. You can't interfere. Well, I remember John and Willard doing good there one opening. The most I got out of there was about two hundred in Port Kells Slough. But you fish continuously the whole day and it builds up quite a bit. After the day's over well, there's no more. Once I remember we stood up — that's when the Japanese first come back I guess, there was a few Japanese boats up Douglas Island — it was good for about three, four days. The whole week we were there anyways. 81 Only a few direct questions were required before Grandfather was able to carry the recording fairly well on his own. The knowledge and skill necessary to be a successful fisherman is apparent in his emphasis on learning aboriginal fishing sites, as well as experimenting with new areas, methods and equipment. It is also evident that he made it his business to know about fish cycles, fish movements, and tides. He carries in his mind and related such information to earnings, good and bad fishing years, strikes, or who was fishing. The emphasis on family involvement and dependence on fishing must not be overlooked. Ed describes how children learned and helped with work. They gained confidence and experience, learned to cooperate and assume responsibilities within the family. He learned from his grand uncle, and taught his sons in turn. The life style, working and living conditions associated with fishing are seen in incidents both on and off the fishing grounds. Changes in the industry have been mentioned also, specifically mechanization in canneries leading to a decrease in number, and advances in boats and equipment requiring greater investment, changes in maintenance or operation. These factors along with fisheries controls have significantly altered the original Native involvement in the fishing industry. A significant reduction in the number of workers and fishermen can be directly attributed to advances in cannery technology and the size and efficiency of boats. Increased non-Indian competitors with ready capital have been better 82 suited to cope with increased expenses in owning, operating, and equipping fish boats of ever increasing size, and also to travel to the more productive fishing areas. Many local, well known areas have been closed off to the Native fishermen by Department of Fisheries regulations or have been depleted of fish through overfishing and industry. The capacity or necessity for hard work and its rewards has become evident. The tone of the text suggests self confidence and adaptiveness to changing social and economic conditions. His sense of humor is also revealed here, and in several places throughout the text. By the end of this session both of us were temporarily quite drained of ideas. Neither of us had definite concepts for continuation or summation. We had become overwhelmed by the volume of data and its diversity. There was difficulty compre hending, and remembering, what had been included or where information was lacking. Grandfather's recall seemed temporarily exhausted. Some means of ordering and assessing information had to be established before any thought could be given to continuing. Grandfather was beginning to feel frustrated. He knew he had left out pertinent information. His reaction was to constructively criticize the method. In his opinion we should have sat down together and written an annotated outline before tape recording was initiated. Grandfather himself states he should make notes to remember facts and details when he refers to specific incidents, events, and outcomes. 83 As the tape transcripts became available, copies of each tape were presented to both grandparents, in order to show them what they had accomplished in recording and I in interviewing and transcribing. I thought this would also encourage them to read the data over and so assist me in verifying transcription, and possibly encourage both of them to offer additional information. Discussion of Grandfather's suggestions with my advisor produced two solutions. First, an index of the transcripts was begun. Listings of the content were references which I con sidered related to the research aims. This would be an aid to me in referring back to the texts to locate and clarify related data. It was not intended to be a complete index or to be an integral part of the written analysis. The second device proved to be a key factor in completing the research. A detailed year by year chronology of both grandparents' work history was drawn up. The transcripts were closely analyzed with all relevant work history data transferred in abbreviated form to the pre liminary chronologies. (See Work History Chronologies, Appendices Al' V Grandmother's chronology of course was limited since only one tape had been collected so far. On hers, I began filling in birth dates of children by referring to the list of registered Musqueam Band members, and a previously recorded genealogy. Grandfather's chronology had areas with fairly complete infor mation which began to form sequences. Areas of several years with no documentation were immediately apparent. The next stage obviously would be to fill these information blanks as system-matically as possible through questioning. 84 3.5 Tape 27 Rose Sparrow May 29, 1975 Grandmother was asked a few days before the following interview if she could be prepared to tell more about the work she had done in her life, or the jobs she had had. No other directives were given, except that I suggested she try remembering from her early life to the present. Building on experience with Ed, our method had been adapted again. With the framework of a chronology set up, I intended to add specific events, descrip tion and detail. In preparing for this interview, consideration was given to Grandmother's uneasiness about direct questioning for specific information, and to her awareness of the tape recorder. Grandmother was prepared for this session, and asked that we begin as soon as I arrived. While I was preparing the tape recorder, she started working on an Indian sweater and continued knitting through most of the interview. Her position made locating the microphone difficult. As a result, a few of the questions are not well recorded and have been taken from notes made before the interview, with re-wording for the transcript. Grandmother had established in her mind what she was going to tell, so I let her proceed on her own. Through the recording I attempted to relate the questioning to what she was telling, trying to maintain some order in her data. Once she was a little more relaxed, questioning became more specific and relevant to areas I had outlined for myself before the interview. 85 It seems a part of her commentary had been influenced by the UBCIC^ decision to accept no government funding. I was curious to determine her reactions and what she felt the impact would be for herself and Native people. She expressed her thoughts on this matter while providing her work history data. Another technique applied at this time, was questioning about places of residence., Recall of where she was living at a specific time might enable an association between type of work and time. Rationales for moving might possibly be determined as well, and this in turn might be associated with jobs and work. A brief dialogue between both grandparents was prompted by a newspaper article and photo of old Marpole, an area near Musqueam. I had no intention of using the photo in collecting data. It was shown only because I thought it would be interesting. Since it produced a response with historical reference the dialogue was recorded. Ed was prompted to recall facts about living conditions as they used to be. 5 UBCIC — Union of B. C. Indian Chiefs and reached agreement at its general assembly in late April, 1975 not to accept any further government funding and advised all Indian people in B. C. to follow suit until the question of Aboriginal Land Claims is resolved. 86 Grandmother was always aware of the tape recorder during interview sessions, and was at times inhibited by it. To ease her apprehension I allowed her to control the microphone at times, or used the recorder without a microphone. In both cases the quality of the recordings was affected. On this one tape in particular, when she controlled the microphone, questions or the first few words of statements were not recorded. Variations in volume and clarity were also noted at times, making transcription of the tape more difficult. Occasionally, questions were repeated after the statement had been given. The best recording results were obtained when no microphone was used, relying on the built in microphone of the machine. When transcription of the tapes was completed, information was transferred to Rose's chronology as accurately as possible. This was difficult because of a lack of specific dates. In some areas I pencilled in a sequence of events without reference to time. Assistance from Grandmother was required to correctly locate information. But even without the dates, writing of the sequences showed up areas where further detail was required. 87 Tape 27 Recorded: May 29, 1975 Mrs. Rose Sparrow EARLY LIFE HISTORY, WORK HISTORY This is all my life history I'm going to tell now. When I was a little girl about three years old, my mother died. And um, my great grandparents took over, raised me. They were all of seventy or eighty years old then. Them days the bid people never got no help from the government. My great grandmother was about seventy or eighty, she still went to town and washed clothes for the white people for her living. That way she kept us alive. There was no help from the government whatever for old age people or orphan children. I was an orphan. My mother died but my father remarried, and I was left with my great grandparents, for them to keep. We had hard times. Most of the times we just barely get by by what she earns working out every day. My great grandfather, he goes on the canoe to set net to catch salmon. I used to go along, I quite remember. He used to have a little place for me in the bow in the canoe and I'd lay there and fall asleep in that canoe. Whatever he did he took me along in this canoe. By the evening he goes pick up his net, see if there's any fish there and takes it home. I never knew, like other kids used to go in the house and the meal would be prepared for them. 'Cause my granny was out working we'd just grab whatever we could grab on the table and eat. That's the life I went through. And as I was growing up, oh, I was about, oh, nine or ten years old before somebody come along and asked the old people why I wasn't in school. But we were far out in the ranch home that old people didn't know any better what to do about it, you know. So they wanted to take me to Mission. But the old people wouldn't part with me because they raised me and they didn't want to let go. So I didn't get to go to school. When they built a school in Chilliwack for the Indian children I was about nine or ten years old, maybe older before I got to school. I only reached Grade Three and the old people didn't want me to go back to school. They didn't believe in it. They said girls go to school and they never learn nothing but bad things. So that's as far as I got. I followed other women that had children. My aunt, she had girls. We all went to school together, but seems like we all graduated ourselves together! She got to taking us out digging roots, whatever she thought was best. Taught us to split roots and make baskets. I told that before. Whatever she did, pick berries, we were there. (She) taught us how to preserve, how to pick and preserve our berries. Everything like that, and taught us how to work in the farm. When we were able to work, we used to walk to this farmer and work for maybe ten cents a day or ten cents an hour, I don't know what it was. Anyways it was very cheap. We didn't even know if we got paid or not. But, that's the life I went through. There was no way you could get help from anywhere. No, kept on like that you know. When my granny would get home, then she managed to get hold of wool somehow and she'd spin the wool. She used to get me to card it for her. I'd card wool till I got tired, and quit. Then she'd spin the wool, then she'd make socks. Then she taught me how to knit. So I tried knitting, then I managed to learn from her how to knit. Question; Was that after you went to school? It was after, yeah, and before. We used to sit down in the evenings, you know, and they teach me how to knit. I learned how to knit and make basket. That way we managed to get what we need, clothing or whatever it was. Well, I don't think I have any more to tell about that. That was really a sad story as far as the Indians were concerned. There was no help from the government whatever. Most of the old people you go see had nothing to eat. Not even a crumb of bread in the house. My granny used to get home and she'd make bread or my grandfather bring fish and my granny would cut it up and pass it around to these people that had nothing to eat. See how bad it was them days. The government got nothing to brag about. They did nothing for the Indians. It's just now the people getting welfare. But how are they getting that? Through tax money. That's how they got this welfare. But before that the government wouldn't step in and help. But they steal the lands from the people. That's all they did. There was land right through, an Indian Reserve where my mother comes from, they call it Shwayhala. The railroad cuts right through. I wonder if the Indians got something for that. The CNR went through that land. I don't think the Indians — and=they never ask permission or nothing. The old chief was too old, I don't think he knew any better. They just cut through the land and that was it. Question; Who was the Chief at that time? Chief Joe from KohKwaplat.7 Yeah, that's all they did was steal from the Indians but never made a move to come and see how they were living. No way they'd come near the 6^Now Indian Reserve 7, listed as SKwala or Squi-a-ala. 7 Now Indian Reserve 6, listed as koquapilt or Kw awkw aw ap i 11. 89 Indian people — never. So that's all I can remember so far as that life I went through. Hardship. Not only for me but the older people, and many other orphan children — starving. Never got no help from anybody. Question: Could you tell me your grandfather's name? f v His Indian name or what? His Indian name was Exwamtan., That's the one Eddy got. My great grandmother's name was Kwelastenai but her English name was Mary. The old man was Charlie KohKwaplat. They used to call him Charlie KohKwaplat. That's the name of the reserve. Question: Were you living there (at KohKwaplat)? That's where I was living. They brought me up from three years old there at that KohKwaplat Reserve, in a little ranch home. Question: Do you remember where your grandmother would go out to work? She went to work, oh, she had to walk for about two, three miles from the house to Chilliwack. The little town there. But I didn't really know, but she was just going every day from house to house, that I remember. Question: Do you recall anyone she worked for? The ones she worked for? The only one, old people I remember is Mr. Jackson. His house is still there, but the rest I kind of forgot. You know I think of it when I go up there and see. Is that all? Question: (Did you live in Chilliwack when you were married?)" After I left home, I got married, and I went back to visit my great grandparents because they were very old. I got there and the old man was sick in bed and the old lady was just about getting around. They were both too old and sick. So I stayed there. When I got there, the old lady, my great grandmother, she had a bin where they used to keep the flour. And they run out of flour and everything, and there she was trying to scrape up the flour that dropped, that was scattered in the bottom of this crock, whatever it was, to make bread to eat. They had nothing, and nobody On this tape some questions are not on tape or are very difficult to hear on the tape — especially those in parentheses therefore some are worded according to my notes and questions made before the taping. 90 would dare go and see how they were in that reserve. Nobody, Chief or anybody never bothered. They wouldn't even miss them. But they were sick in bed, had nothing to eat. Question; Did you fish in the river? Yeah, when my great grandfather took me we went out to the Fraser River. That's where he used to set net. And he used to set sturgeon lines too, and get sturgeon. He used to get those real big ones. That was their living. Sometimes they'd dry it. They fillet and dry it up for the winter. Question: Was any of that fish sold? No, they weren't allowed to sell anything. Yeah, I used to wonder why they weren't allowed to sell any fish. Because if you sell fish you go to jail. But why is it they wouldn't come give them money for food or anything like that. I wonder how the Indian Department and the Indian fisheries think they'd live on if they didn't get any cash. They couldn't buy anything because they weren't allowed to sell any fish. And they were too old to work. Question; Did you do any fishing yourself? I did go out myself after because my husband, Ed Sparrow was up north fishing. I went up there (KohK^aplat) and stayed with them when I heard they were sick. So I used to go out and set net myself. Get on the canoe and go set my net. I used to get fish to eat and bring it home. I had two children then, Myrtle and Eddy. I used to just leave them home with the old man you know, the old people. That way we get fish to eat. Question; Did your great grandparents do any gardening to raise their own food? Oh yeah. As old as they were my great grandfather gardened. Plant potatoes, vegetables, everything like that. He used to get his own wood. They wouldn't give him no wood. He was so old, he must have been about eighty or ninety. He used to go and cut wood in the bush. Wood that's not too heavy to cut down, birch wood and alder. And then he'd pack it down mind you, one at a time, and then he'd cut it up with a little hand saw. They wouldn't bring old people wood because they had no money. You gotta buy the wood before you get it. But he did that all his life till he was barely moving around. Ques:tlon; Were you the only one who was helping them? Well, I was the only one that got there and stayed with them towards the end, yeah. Because they brought me up, so me and Dad (Ed Sparrow) when he got home he went up 91 and stayed up. We stayed up there with them about seven years till my great grandmother died, and then my great grandfather died after. Question: Do you remember when it was they died? I don't remember the dates. I think about that time Myrtle must have been about two years and she's fifty-six or something. That's a long time ago. Myrtle must have been about two or three, three years old I'd say. Yeah, that's a long time ago. Question: Were you expected to do any work while you were at school? We never was taught how to do any kind of homework or cooking or anything when we were in school. Nothing at all, just reading and arithmetic, yeah that was all. Question: (Did you or your great grandparents do any gardening while you were up at Chilliwack?) They made their own gardens, had everything to eat as far as they were concerned about gardening. But what little she (great grandmother) earned she bought lard or tea or sugar and all that you know, and coffee and things like that. That's about all we could afford to buy, nothing else. Question: Was clothing bought with those earnings? No, we couldn't even afford to buy clothes. She used to get clothing from the white people she was working for. I didn't know what it was to wear new shoes or a new dress, nothing like that. We used to get the clothing from the white people. They used to give it to her, the people she worked for give her clothing for her and her husband. Anything they didn't like they'd give it to her. That's how we were clothed. We couldn't buy it no way. Sometimes I used to wear shoes ten times bigger than my feet. Anything we could get a hold of you know. That's how poor the Indians were. Not only us, the whole valley up there get used clothing from the white people for their children to go to school. They used to make baskets, the mothers, and trade in for clothes for their children so they'd have clothes to go to school in the day school they had there. Question: Can you recall where the houses you have lived in are located? After we were married we lived here in Musqueam. Then we went back home, we went to Chilliwack. I used to call it my home yet you know. So we stayed there, that's the time I was telling you about, seven years, huh, Dad (Ed Sparrow) we stayed up there?> 'Cause that's the only place he got a job. There's no job here. This place was a really 92 bad place. You couldn't get work anywhere! The people here, just whoever is willing to cut cord wood, they're the only ones that made a little money for their living here. But he went up Chilliwack and he got on a logging camp. That's how we stayed up there. And for seven years then we came back here again to live. We've been back and forth camping all over. Fishing grounds where he was fishing. In Brunswick Cannery, we were there just below Ladner, we were there I don't know how many years. But we come home in the winter. And then we got to Canoe Pass, and we stayed there too. And from there B. C. Packers built him a little shack outside at Westham Island. The B. C. Packers built him (Ed Sparrow) that shack outside the dyke there behind Mike's (Mike Wilson) place. That was built for us, so we stayed there for I don't know how many years. But we used to come home in the winter, but during the fishing season we'd stay there because that was the handiest place for him to fish. Question: What kinds of work were you able to find at Chilliwack? Me, well really I didn't do much. After I had my children I couldn't leave them. There was no work but weeding in the gardens you know. I was picking strawberries there that's all. But I really just stayed home, looked after my children and made baskets while I was home and cook for him. (Ed) Question: Were you collecting cascara bark or anything like that? Not here (Musqueam), no, no. Up Chilliwack he did that for awhile. We used to go out, all of us. Even my great grandparents; that's the only way they made their living too was to go pick cascara bark. They were old, they used to just drag around and they go peel this. The old man used to knock it down, they pack it home, dry it and sell it. Question: Did you do that as well while you were staying at Chilliwack? Oh yeah, we went and do the same me and Dad and we all just helped one another. That's the only way they made the money, little spending money. Not much. If you got $5, boy, you thought you were rich them days. Yeah, because you never see money coming in anywhere. Indians never had no jobs. They wouldn't give them no job! No way! The white people so prejudiced they wouldn't even look at you if you try to go look for a job. That's the way they were. They're still the same I think. Question: Where did you sell the bark? 93 A wholesaler used to buy it in town somewhere. They used to send it to Vancouver, I guess. Question; In Chilliwack (KohKwaplat) did you and Ed live with your great grandparents? Oh yeah, we had to, yeah. We lived with them because we just went up there to stay with them to help them out a little bit. But we used to move to a little logging camp. When they were strong yet, when they were able to look after themselves, get wood in summer we used to move to a little logging camp. They used to have shacks there for their people in Queens Island they call it. It's an island way out across the river. They had shacks for all the working men there, Indians, and they take their families and they live there during the summer you know. We used to go live there, lived in shacks there too. Question; Was there anything that you could do there in the logging camp? Well, it's where we used to dig roots. All the women, not only me go out and dig roots and come down and split them. All sit outside and make baskets. Everyone did that. And I was saying that's the only way they got their clothing for themselves and their children. Question: Did you sell any of the baskets you made? Oh yeah, we trade it in for clothes. We never ask cash. Some way or another we didn't. I don't know if we were afraid to ask for money or what. But we just ask for clothes because we needed them, badly. We couldn't afford to buy it from a store, no way. Question: (Did you work up at Skeena while Ed was fishing there?) Myrtle is the oldest, and she must have been about twelve years old. Then Dad used to go up Skeena to fish, so I thought I better go along. He didn't want me to go but I wanted to go. And I think I had Willard, Johnny, yeah and Myrtle. I had three children. So Myrtle babysit and I worked in the cannery. Prom then on we went up every year. Travel on the gas boat to get to Skeena from here. And then I worked and Myrtle babysit you know. But Lyle was born up there at Skeena River. I worked right up to the last hour and went home. And that night Lyle was born, in Skeena River. He was born just before 12:00 and I left work, oh about 8:00 I guess. I used to work overtime there. I went home about that time and he was born before 12:00. I stayed home just a week, and I went back to work again. Myrtle babysit for Lyle when he was a little baby. All I had to do was bathe him in the morning. She took over looking after him. Change him, 94 give him bottle — no, I used to run home and feed him, breastfed. They used to allow me to do that because we weren't far from the cannery. Did that for years. Most of my kids were born here. Two were born in Chilliwack. Myrtle and Ronny born up Chilliwack, your Dad. But I wasn't working yet at that time. But the rest of the kids were all born at Musqueam, in the hospital. Myrtle was born at home, Lyle was born in a cannery shack. Ronny was born at hospital. Oh, Willard was born at home, willard was born in Chilliwack. I was up there, Dad went up Skeena River and I stayed with my great grandfather. He was alone then. That's when my great grandmother died so I stayed up there with him and Willard was born up there. Not in a hospital but at home. Question; What jobs did you do in the cannery at Skeena? Worked in the cannery washing salmon. Sometimes they make us hand fill, everything like that. Question; Was anyone else from Musqueam working up there in cannery? Not too much. It was the Wilsons from Ladner. Emma and Mike, all the Wilsons used to go up there. Hardly anybody from here, they didn't go up. Question: Did you work in canneries at other places? When we quit going up Skeena I started in Imperial in Steveston, and I worked seventeen years there at the Imperial plant. Question: You stayed there, did you? Yeah, stayed there. Seventeen years, I was retired when I was sixty-six. Kind of cheated on my age! I was all around there. I was experienced — even to the last year they had me working on the line checking the bad cans and the good cans you know. Can used to come through the line there, through the machine getting, put lids on. And we pick them up before they put the lids on. There used to be two hundred cans a minute and I had to watch that. Four of us, we pick it and we fill it and pick it and we put it back. I was still on that on my last year, I was sixty-six years old. You had to be fast and know how to handle the fish. Question: You did quite a few different jobs then? Oh everything. I even worked in the fresh fish for awhile off and on. And during the winter we did tuna all winter from September fifteenth up till May, we did the tuna all winter. But in between that is when we used to get 95 oysters and clams to do too. They used to divide us up, experienced ones with your non-experienced. That's the only way they could do the work there, clams and everything, divide the women up. Question; Did you work all year? All year round. I worked Imperial. Not right from the start, but, oh, about five years I worked steady. But I never got rich just the same. I just — you know, well fishing wasn't so good, it was bad. My kids were going to school, I buy them clothes. The government didn't help us. Buy the kids clothes to go to school and all that you know. The wages were cheap at first. It was just the last two years I worked that the wages come up. Prom the first time I worked I used to get twenty-five cents an hour for years. Then thirty cents, then thirty-five. We thought we was getting a lot of money when used to get thirty-five cents raise in Imperial Cannery here an hour. Question: How long did you work in a day? We worked eight hours and overtime if the fish, salmon summertime, salmon we worked overtime. But I don't know if we got overtime money at that time. That was before the union stepped in. We got a little more after. Question: Where were your children while you were working? Well, we had to send our kids to North Vancouver to the boarding school. That's the boys. Every two weeks we'd take them home on the weekends. Bring them back again. But we furnished their clothing. The government didn't help. Question: (Was Ed working at Chilliwack also?) Yes, he was working but in the wintertime sometimes it gets so cold you can't work (logging). But he was trapping and getting muskrats, and he'd bring it home. I'd skin the muskrats and he'd go out and look at his trapline again while I'm skinning them, putting them on boards to dry. Question: Was he working on the trapline by himself up in Chilliwack? Yes, uhuh. He used to go all over trapping. Question: Did you go hop picking while you were at Chilliwack? Oh yeah. We went hop picking. I picked hops every day. Even when the old people were alive yet we used to all go together and camp there, stay there in the camping grounds. Hulbert's camp in Sardis. We used to pick hops every day from early in the morning. Take my baby up there too. And we'd 96 take a lunch and eat up there, we never come home. Pick all day till just about dark then we'd come home. That's during the hop picking. Question: Was this in the late summer? In September. Last week of August I think and all of September before they finish I think. 'Cause they used to all pick by hand. Questiont Was this while Ed was in the logging camps? No, he worked in the hop yard too. He used to work in the kiln drying hops. I picked. Yeah, we used to get a dollar a box, big box maybe hundred pounds. We'd get a dollar to fill that, a big box of hops! Question; Did you go with other people from Chilliwack? Oh, people from all over were there at the hop yard. From Pemberton, all over the place. Oh, a lot of people from all over the place. We used to live there during the hop picking time. Question; Did you enjoy the time? Oh yeah, good times on weekends you know. They play lahal on the weekends, you know. There wasn't much drinking them days. It would be a strange thing to see a man drunk you know. Never see them Indians drinking them days, never. If you went to a dance you never see anybody drunk in a dance. If they see one happen to come in they throw him out. 'Cause Indians never drink that much in my days. They never drink or smoke. You never see a woman with a cigarette in her hand, nothing. It would be a disgrace if she drank, and very few men drink. Question: Did you go to Skeena on the boat with Ed? Well, we went up by gas boat but when I started working steady they paid my fare — the Company did, B. C. Packers paid our fare to go up there and back. That's the women that's working up there. Question: How did you find your job at Skeena? How did I find a job? Well, I just went up with Dad, (Ed Sparrow), and there's so much work anybody can get on. Any woman who is able to work can get on and work in the cannery. It wasn't like now, you have to go by the union. You have to wait for your chance. Not them days. Soon as you get there they put you on to work if you went in the cannery. They tell you come on and work. You didn't have to wait another hour. Soon as you get there you go and see the boss, they tell you to go to work. Question; You worked right through the season? 97 Yeah, right through the season. Que stion; The company provided you with a house too? Oh yeah. They had old shacks there. Well, every cannery had camps for working people. Que stion: Which camp did you work at in Skeena? Claxton Cannery. That was the biggest cannery in Claxton. They had the Aiyansh there, Kitkatla, Metlakatla, Port Simpson, Hartley Bays and Greenville, Hazelton. All them people were at that cannery, and it was the biggest camp there. So that's why I know a lot of them people up north. Each group had their own town like their own camp was separated, you know. It's been like that I guess for years. They had a church there and a big hotel like where the big businessmen sleep in there you know. They had an old church there and there was an Indian principal there at that time. He was from Nass River. What was his name — Pierce or something like that. Forgot his first name. Anyways he was an Indian preacher from Nass River. And they had a school there 'cause some people stayed there all year round, look after the cannery you know. The Nass people and the Aiyansh and the Greenville, they had a village of their own. And the people from Hartley Bay they had a village of their own; and the Skidegate people they were there too. Then us, we lived next to them, the Skidegate people. The Greenville people lived next to the Nass and Kitkatla people and Aiyansh and the Greenville. They're all together there. See, that was the biggest camp there was in the cannery. Big fishing group there from all over, north and south. Question; (Who was there from South, ie. around Vancouver? You mentioned Wilsons*) Oh, the Wilsons were there, yeah. Mike Wilson, Frank Wilson, Ivan Wilson and Andrew Wilson, and, oh what you call — Larry Wilson. They were all there. Question; Not very many people from Musqueam? No, just us. We got in there was through Mike. He was hiring you know. He was hiring for the fishermen there. He was hiring for the company. He gets all the fishermen for the company, that * s how come we got in there. Question; Was there anyone hiring for the cannery workers? 98 No, no. You just go there and they put you on to work right there. You didn't have to wait till you're called. But after you work, they know. If you say you're going back next year, well then they pay your fare see. And if you went up on your own, they pay back your money what you paid on your fare. The Company did that, because they need workers badly. They used to hire lots of girls from Vancouver, just gather them up from anywhere and bring them up there, make them work. Questiont Can you tell me in what order you started moving from different places, where Grandpa was working? You lived in Chilliwack.... We lived in Chilliwack because he was logging. Moved home here after he got into fishing business. When we start going up North. And after he quit going up North, then we came down. He fished for Imperial Cannery in the Fraser. Question; Where abouts did you live when he was fishing there? Right in Steveston, that little house I had there. That was the B. C. Packers house. We rented that for $20 a month. You remember that house there where I used to live? Question; Did you start working in the cannery right away? Yeah, I started working right away, soon as I got there jmoved there. Because my name was on the list all time as being working up Skeena. Soon as I went apply for work they took me. And I worked right through till I was retired. 'Cause I worked pretty near all my life for the B. C. Packers. Question; When was it that you were living at Westham, and you moved to Iona Island and things like that? Harriet is over forty now and she was a baby when we went to Brunswick Cannery. They had a camp there. The cannery was working yet at Brunswick but I didn't work because I had a baby. And all my children were going to school, I had no babysitter. So I just stayed at home. And that was before I started working, come back to Imperial you know. And then from then on we went and lived in Canoe Pass. He was fishing. And then to Westham Island. He was still fishing but I didn't work yet, till we come back Steveston. Then I went back to work. Question: Did you do any gardening or....? No. Question: Were you making baskets? 99 No, because I just had my family to look after. But I used to go pick berries in Westham Island. Raspberries — you know, to make my spending money. Question; Where did you find berries? We just picked for the farmers and they paid us to pick for them. Question; Did the children help too? Well, they were all in school. I just had the little ones — Harriet and Priscilla and Geri, and Eddy was a baby. He was just a little tot, you know, about eight months old when we lived at Westham Island, Eddy was. He was just a baby. Geri must have been about three years old. And Geri used to play under the house in her little canoe. She used to sing under there, she was singing there. So I brought all my children up all over the place, everywhere we went, you know. We didn't really stay in Musqueam 'cause there was nothing to stay in Musqueam for. No jobs or anything. We had to go out, go to earn our living, to raise our children. All our life we worked hard to bring our kids and never asked for welfare, never got anything from the government to help. We're still like that as old as we are. We never went on welfare not once that I remember, and I never will. Question: Were there any times (seasons, years, short times) when you didn't want to work or couldn't work because of Indian events like Indian dances....? I used to be crying, running behind this wagon waiting to go too! (to Indian dances) No, they chase me back with a stick! (Laughter) Then we'd get together us kids left behind. Never allowed kids to go to Indian dances, never, no matter how old you were. So we stayed home and then we'd do our own dancing. Get together and we'd have our own Indian dance. We used to have lots of fun anyways. My grandaunt and (grand uncle?) get home, my, you guys must have been dancing again! She'd find lot of things we're not supposed to have, you know. Some feathers and odds and ends. Rose: (not taped) My grandmother could speak English but most of the time she used to speak Chinook to white people. Ed Sparrow: This road was really rough from here to 49th, 51st, I guess, yeah. Rocks, sometimes the bloody wheel would be up there and the bloody buggy would drop again (laughter). Going up (New) Westminster, one of the worst roads there was, I guess. I don't know how they did it with them bloody wagons. We used to go up there (New Westminster) for exhi bition, you know. Stay there for a whole bloody week. I used to travel along with my grandparents several times. One time 100 we went up on the sail boat. Celebration. The whole family was (there) you know. Cousins, in-laws, brother-in-laws. They all bring their own (tents). When they get up there they pitch their tents up all around. One big fire in the middle. They get drunk and sing. Rose; The old people, huh. Ed: Yeah. They were playing. Grand old time. Question: What exhibition was this? We used to build our tents below that hill, you know. Just about where — what store is that, one of the big stores there — Eaton's, is it, in New Westminster? Rose: I guess so. Ed: Right below it anyway. Come up the steps up the hill. There was a big drop off like that one time there. Walk all the way up to Queen's Park from there. We used to anyway. The older people, I think they got on a streetcar. Streetcars going up there, you know. We didn't sleep. They did that in Vancouver for awhile but they quit it again. Heck, there was no bloody excitement in that, just the bloody clowns. Yet the people would go. Some of them stopped on the way home from hop picking. They pitched up their tents there. Rich, about $30 - $40 from hop picking! (laughter) That was money in them days, you know! Goodness sake, a sack of flour was thirty-five cents a bag. Big sack, you know. Rose: How much was the booze? Ed: Darned if I know. Good booze was about sixty-five cents a bottle, good booze. Not bad, something like that, you know. Rose: They used to be great ones to buy those little flasks, isn't it? I seen a lot of them. Ed: Used to live on grub at the fairgrounds, some buy booze I guess on the way home (to camp). Sit around the fire and nobody bothers them. No police come. They sing and play. Good times, that's what you call a good time. Women folk, I didn't see hardly anybody drink, you know. Rose: I never see any women drink or smoke. Not much men too. Ed: My granny never drank or smoke. Paddy Johnny's grand mother, she never drank. She was with her uncle all the time though. 101 Rose; Once in awhile you'd see a man drunk and you'd be just scared stiff. My granduncle was the only one that drank but that was after us. How he start drinking was he was a musician. He played violin. He'd be hired to go play for the white people's dance and that's how he learned how to drink at them doos. 102 During this interview Grandmother was not as aware of the tape recorder as she had been previously. She was keenly motivated to express her opinions and relate her past life to current topical issues. Knitting was also a diversion; she had something other than the recording to think about. During taping of the dialogue she was completely unaware of the recorder. Ed became the subject while she had almost reversed her position to become the interviewer and her interest was in obtaining information rather than thinking what to tell. This could be a valuable technique for data collection as well as for increasing an informant's self confidence with tape recording. Another point to note is the great improvement in her narrative style. Much better flow and direction, more integrated statements can be found. Perhaps these are a product of earlier recording and discussion, and a more comfortable feeling. This suggests another research approach utilizing preparatory sessions, then a shorter final recording session. The spontaneous reaction to the newspaper photo and article confirm that questioning is not the only means of collecting data. Other devices should be introduced to stimulate recall, to motivate and interest informants. Grandmother's reactions probably are not unlike feelings of other persons about the UBCIC proposals. This incident made her reflect on her own independence, living condition, and attitudes to government agencies. It would have been pointless to pursue directed questioning without allowing her to relate these obviously important and relevant feelings. The necessity for allowing informants freedom to express their opinions has 103 become more evident. Restrictions increase inhibition and frustration which could lead to boredom or disinterest. Part of the data here is repetition from Grandmother's earlier tape. Events or facts which are repeated are probably what is most important to her, what her life is based upon. Her recall pattern and associations can be seen and compared with the transcription in Tape 22. It is also possible she felt this to be what I wanted to hear. At any rate, repetition can be useful in verifying events and times for chronological analysis. Relating her work or residence to Ed's work is signifi cant. In the text, cooperation and adaptation to situations in their marriage and work were obvious. At the same time, their independence also is evident. This can be classed as self independence where the spouse's work does not confine work choice, and cultural independence where neither felt uncomfortable working on their own. Even without reference it would be possible to determine these features from the text. Setting up a simple table of seasonal activities is effective in checking basic seasonal cycles. The pattern for Rose on this tape was as follows: spring - skin and dry pelts dig roots collect bark summer - cannery — salmon, travel sometimes cut wood, make baskets when not in cannery, berries fall - cannery pick hops winter - skin and dry pelts knit or make baskets (Compare with Ed's cycle, p. 44) 104 This transcript demonstrates the acceptance and necessity of mobility. Both grandparents and large numbers of Native people generally were involved in work patterns with a high mobility both within the labor force itself, and in geographic location. A wide range of experience and skill levels are obvious concomitant factors, as are social adaptability, industriousness and early training. All these factors increase the ease with which mobility was achieved. Much information given by Grandmother is the same type as Grandfather's. Eliciting the work history has entailed collecting a wide range of values and activities. In this tape for example, she refers to her early life when she learned to work, reasons for and variety of work, rewards of work. Responsibility to family and kin, social interaction, and residence have been discussed in terms of jobs and work. Grand mother has made direct reference to the birth order and age of her children. She did this in relation to the type and amount of work she could do. Her statements also implied where responsibilities lay, outlining an order of priorities in life. After transcription from the tape, data was transferred to the chronology and index for analysis and preparation of further interviews with each grandparent. 10 5 Chapter 4 INTERVIEWS WITH WORK CHRONOLOGY 4.1 Tapes 2 8 and 29 Ed Sparrow May 29, 1975 Both chronologies were examined and compared before the tapes in this chapter were recorded. Grandfather's chronology was far more complete and more exact in time references, but gaps existed and questions were listed to fill them. It was possible to add some information as a result of the comparison, and in consistencies were also picked up. In order to facilitate completion of the work histories, the chronologies were used directly now. A short time prior to this interview, Grandfather was given the rough draft of his chronology to study. It consisted of a long sheet with a year by year listing of recorded information. He studied the chronology for some time before deciding to proceed with recording. Areas requiring correction were pointed out by him for notation to facilitate recall during the interview. Questioning was begun with reference to a span of several years which was barely documented. He then proceeded through the years on his own time, telling what he could recall, correcting several points. No attempt was made to write corrections or additions on the chronology. These were added after this recording had been fully transcribed. Grandmother was present during this session, but she was not directly involved at first. She was aware of what was going 106 on, and began contributing information without prompting. What she was saying about herself was also related to his comments. In the dialogue (Tape 2 8) they again verified and questioned each other. Grandfather went through the entire chronology year by year during one session and nearly two tapes were completed. Short breaks were taken periodically to allow him to recall certain facts, to talk about other things, or to give a diversion from the detail of the chronology. 107 Tape 28 Recorded: May 29, 1975 Mr. Ed Sparrow Musqueam QUESTIONS RELATED TO PRELIMINARY OUTLINE OP WORK CHRONOLOGY — AN ATTEMPT TO FILL IN YEARS WHERE INFORMATION IS MISSING OR CONFLICTING. 1932: Oh '32, yeah, well, we went up (to Skeena) you know. The whole family went up on gas boat. Same old routine, fished up Skeena and she worked in the cannery. 1933 was the same; '34 same thing, up Skeena and back again with the whole family. 1934 was the beginning of Adams Run, I guess. First real big run, you know. 1930 it showed up but it wasn't, you know, it was really late run. Sockeyes were dark and black, the companies didn't want them. You got things kind of mixed up there, huh? (Reference to chronology). On the years, I mean. Question: You tell me which years are mixed up then and I * 11 fix it. Ed: You got it right, 1934, you're right. What happened in ~'5? Where is it now? Nothing but fishing at Skeena. I forgot how many years I went up early worked in the canneries and hang nets. What years or where I mean, I always worked up there every year. '36, yeah, we were up there. Same old thing, went up there with the family '35, '36. Fished up there. And '37 same old thing, no change. 1938, that was when Willard and Ronny (sons) started to fish with me. I gave up getting partners because it was too much trouble. Sometimes (partners) keep hounding you over money and sometimes there's no money made. Not that much money made and they still come after it so I quit. The boys fished with me from '38, '39, '40, '41. Ronny got a boat of his own in '42. '42 was the last year I went up Skeena, I guess. You got it here (on the chronology). 10 8 '33 was a real bad season up there (Skeena). Did I tell you that? A real bad one. Nobody was .... yeah, '33. 1940 was a bad one too, I think. She (Rose) paid my way down, gasoline and everything I guess, everything is pretty well there now except '44. •42, '44, yeah, I think the Union (U.F.A.W.U.) formed in '42, I think. Started to do something, I don't know what they were doing. You've got '44. '42 was a big run, '46 was Adams. What is this? We're kind of mixed up here, '42 was a big Adams run here, you know, one of the biggest ever. '46 again. We didn't get the welfare (through Native Brotherhood) for quite some time. In other words when we started negotiating with the union I can't recall just what year we did finally win out, you know. Question: You said the Fishermen's Union wasn't formed in "r4~4? I don't think so. There was, what you call it now, Fraser River Gillnetters Association, but what year they sort of amalgamated and then the union took over I can't recall just what year. But in '42 the union was trying to dicker over that Gillnetters Association then, but how far they got I don't know. I was a member but it's hard to keep track of all that. I was a member of that Gillnetters Association for quite some time before I joined Native Brotherhood. '46, I don't know, well, there was a big Adams run. '43 was a bad year on the Fraser, a real bad one. Didn't make nothing, no money till fall. Restrictions started to come on then, you know. Right after '42 they started to work on it, but I think they really started to come into effect about '44, '45. Question: Were you limited to a couple of days a week? It wasn't quite that bad, but you know, we were getting three, four days a week. But they started cutting the fishermen down. Chinese gardens, I don't know what you've got there. Question: You mentioned somewhere on the tape that you had worked on the Chinese gardens but I didn't know when or where. Oh, every now and then, you know. I used to work out in the big fields where the golf course is (at Musqueam). Just hoeing and gathering their vegetables in, I guess, that was all. 109 Question; Was that earlier on (in your life) , a few years before? You've got it questioned there betv/een '46 and '47. That's the only place I worked, but it was earlier than that, you know. I think it was shortly after we got back from Chilliwack when I worked there. I was working in the cannery after fishing time all during the war days and from sometimes after New Year's making lead lines, preparing nets, cleaning, sweeping out the net loft and one thing and another. Then sometimes when somebody was in a hurry they get me to hang net for awhile, you know. Then when they catch up to their work again, I go back to my own work. Moulding lines is what they really called it. Moulding lead line. And besides that we thread the corks onto the cork line, pretty near all spring till I feel like quitting. Then I go spring fishing; sometimes I stay right with it till pretty near sockeye time, you know. That's starting from about '42 right on till, oh, every year. I don't know how many years I did that for the spring. That's working with Imperial Cannery -(B. C. Packers), you know. That's where we were moulding lines, threading lines and sorting nets as they come in from wholesalers. Question: Were you living over at Steveston right then? No, I was living here. I used to go there. We didn't move to Steveston till '48, '46, '47, I think something like that. Let's see now, no, we were still at Westham Island. We were living there but our camp was in Westham. We moved there after Skeena River fishing. I can't recall when we moved. '48, I think, something like that. 1953: Strike Both sockeye time and fall we had hardly any fishing time. The fishermen wanted a raise. I think we were getting thirty-two, thirty-three cents a pound then. For chums they were only offering us, hmm. We wanted, I can't recall what we wanted, you know, on chums. But they started buying chums by the pound then. I guess it was about six or eight cents a pound, something like that. We had a long, bloody strike one season but I can't recall what year. Question: Did Willard fish with you in 1942? Yeah, he stayed right with me till he stayed out of school till the end of September before he went back. And after that, yeah, a couple of years he fished with me, I guess. Then he went on his own after. Maybe 3 years, I can't recall. 110 Anyways, Lyle and Johnny started to fish with me year after year. In the Fraser, you know, I never go anywheres no more. Sometimes I have a good season, other times they're kind of bad. There's so much restriction. We never know when we're gonna be, when they're gonna close the river down. They never put it on a bulletin board. This welfare you've got here, you've got a question mark on (1944). That was brought up along with our fish prices negotiation but we never succeeded. We never did get it till somewheres around 1954 something like that before it came into effect, yeah. But that was brought up year after year. From 1944 on or '45 I can't recall the exact year. 1947, I can't recall what happened in 1947. I was just fishing around....I did well all the time I was fishing though, you know. Except '43 was a bad one. I didn't make no big money, but I made enough to live on. A little bit to put away besides, we never used up, you know. '48 would be a big Adams run again. It was advertised. I think it started to die down it was advertised too much. (Laughter) That's what really happened. Oh, yeah, they all come down from Skeena River. Couldn't get your net out if you were a little bit late. You gotta have your net out about just like this. If you were a little bit late you'd never get it out. It's dark, you know. The whole bunch of them (Northern people) were down in 1948, I think. 1950 they had a good season up Rivers Inlet. That's when we went. I didn't want to go but Lyle (son) and John were fishing together. I got a rental boat for them you know — John Cook. It was Ace High I guess, their boat. They did pretty well. Not bad for young guys. I can't recall what year I tried to g&t Lyle started. I think Willard got his boat — when was it the war ended? '48, '46, '45? Well, he had his boat then I guess, '45. Fishing by himself then and he was only sixteen years old. Quit school before he was sixteen. I don't know what you had on trapping really, you know. I can't recall what I said. (I was trapping) every thing. Muskrats and minks. I used to track coons all over, Chilliwack and here. I didn't mention I guess that I was trapping up Chilliwack. Yeah, I was trapping all over the valley in a horse and buggy going around sloughs. Question: This was between your jobs in logging camps I guess? Yeah, well sometimes the camp closes down you know, you gotta do something else. It would get so damn cold, close down. Sometimes they don't work for, no sale and they close down. You know things weren't as valued as now. A lot of times they get two or three booms and they can't get rid of it. Ill You gotta close the camp down. This was in between times (that I trapped). Question: Did you have a big trapline? No, no. In sloughs and one thing and another. Over here when we were trapping here we used to trap around where the airport's now, you know. And I trapped all around here, look at my traps early in the evening or early in the morning. Then I'd go across to Dinsmore Island at nights and look at your traps with lights. The only chance you got was when the tide was low. Otherwise during the day it's half tide you know, you can't see the traps. Sometimes you get home about three, four o'clock in the morning. Sea Island, Lulu Island, I trapped all around there. Big ditches you know, all along the flats. I did the same thing up Chilliwack. Anywhere you know where. Rose: The most I ever skinned one day was thirty. Ed: Forty something one day, you skinned it all. I couldn't pack it all home. I had to go and make another trip. Hard work though. Rose: Skin them and put them on the boards. I used to know how to do that. If you didn't well they'd shrink up. He had all the boards made, and I'd slide them in, put the little stick in both sides so they wouldn't get stuck. Then you nail it on the bottom. Question: Did you trap right up until about when, the 1950s? Ed: Yeah, it was '49 I think when I quit trapping. '49 or "•"^O. I had all the boys trapping with me for awhile, Ronny. It was so damn cold one morning when we were going out winter time, Ronny had a lantern to heat up our windshield. Hold the lantern up there so it wouldn't freeze. It was still dark when we leave to go to Sea Island yom know. We gotta get up there before the tide gets up. You couldn't heat your windshield no way then. The cars weren't rigged that way. You used to hold the bloody lantern up. Well, they had heat coming through but not going up your windshield. Ice was forming from your breath. Ronny used to hold the lantern there. That's after he quit school, isn't it? Rose: I guess so. That poor kid really worked hard. Ed: Sometimes he'd go out alone to look at the traps. I used to trust him with the car. Sea Island was the best place for traps. We did well there on the reserve and outside the dike. Nobody knew anything about trapping outside the dike, you know. We did well, the price is good. We lost big money one time, me and Ronny. We thought we'd get a 112 raise, we was holding it (furs)back. It was three and a half dollars a pelt then, you know and coming up right along. I told Ronny I don't think we'll sell ours till the price gets higher. And the following week they went down (laughter), went down to about two dollars apiece. T,Te lost out. I used to trap, go across here to Iona. I trapped there too, you know. Sometimes I'd go across and come back, get in the car, go to Sea Island. I never hardly sleep for a month while the trapping was good. Question: T,Then was the best time for trapping? Anytime after November. Used to open fifteenth. Rose: You get a trap, I'll show you how to trap. I used to trap when I was a kid. Ed: Yeah, we did well. I made a living out of it. 19 what T?8, '29, it was down to forty cents apiece for some reason. I don't know why, yet I trapped. x<!e had to, yeah, it was '43 I guess where we had a bad year (fishing). Then pelts went down too, forty cents apiece. I kept doing it. Rose: I wonder why it's still cheap? Ed: I guess the market went haywire in Europe. That's where most of the pelts were going, you know. Question: Did you do pretty well just fishing after about 1950? Yeah, I did all right, right through. I didn't make no big money but I was pretty near high boat every year up on the Fraser. Question: Fere you fishing springs and sockeye? Yeah, sometimes I go spring fishing and other times I don't. If I know it's poor I don't bother (spring fishing). Soon as I hear a good report I go right away. One time, I can't recall it may be '44, I fished right here. I used to go to Canoe Pass to fish springs and that year I didn't feel like going there. I fished around here and I made more money than them guys in Canoe Pass right at home here. I did all spring. That was about the last time the river was any good. 1942 was good right here when sockeye went up. Ronny did good here after we got back from Skeena, right here. Then we moved to Steveston after awhile. Then there was another thing here (on the chronology) 1952, '53. I organized for Native Brotherhood for two years or so. Then later, I became an executive member after that. Question: After 1953? 113 Yes. Then I was elected to Board of Trustees. That's when they were first starting (in south??) Yeah, I was an executive member after two years. I believe it was '54 when we finally won out on the welfare. That same year I was elected to the Board of Trustees representing the Brotherhood. From that year on until 1972 before I was retired from it. Question: Did you go fishing every year while you were working with the Brotherhood? Yeah, yeah. We have meetings after fishing (season), or sometimes in the evening or weekends. I only organized around here, I didn't want to spend no time out away from home because you never know when they're going to open the season in the river. It was short notice. They wanted me to travel in the Interior b,ut I wouldn't do it. It wasn't worth my while. You've got some empty spaces here. It's hard to recall each year you've got there. Question: Part of that time in the later years, were you workingfor the band office here at Musqueam? Well, it must have been 1942 I guess when the old Chief died and I took over. Question: What Chief was that? Chief Jack Stogan. I took over for one year, act as Chief. That's when the band first started to go. See they like their money because they were fiat broke when I took over. Well, they had $292 or$298 in the band fund. I did everything, started a booming ground here. We got not too much money for it. The year after that we boost it up, and I sold whatever I could get hold of, wood, you know. People used to accuse me. I sold that and all the money went into a bloody revenue account. I was losing money on it when we were travelling. Sold all the wood, beach wood and everything on Seal Island and over here. I never took nothing for my expenses. We got two or three booms to come in, at a pretty low rate for a while. Then finally they got interested and we boosted it up. We used to get about $11,000, $12,000 a year out of it. We kept building it up until 19.., we must have built it up until about 1956 (or'66??) We had $132,000. The people were getting kind of leary about it. They want to use it, they want to see if the money was there. They wouldn't believe me when I make my reports they thought I was getting rich. Then they found out they had money there and they start wanting everything on the reserve. 114 We started to help old people out of it. For a year or two we were taking, oh, they were only building one or two houses. 1956 I became Chief until, I can't recall, '56. No, later than that, I'm making a mistake. James Point was Chief for ten years I guess and I was his secretary. From '43 until — When did our late son (John) become Chief? He was the first one after James, but what year? Anyway James got on '43 I know that for sure. He was on for ten years I think. I got it marked down in a book. Then Dominic (Point) I guess. I can't recall how many guys took over. Then Johnny became a Chief after. Who was Chief when I ran for it? (asks Rose). Oh, Dominic (Point) I guess. I was on for four years. That's when I'm trying to figure out (when). Four years, 1968 when I was beaten by Gerty (Guerin) I guess. Must have been 1964 (when I got into office) I can't recall, you could get it from the office I guess, properly. But it's '68 when Gerty took over you know. No! Earlier than that. There's something wrong here, I got mixed up. Chief after Gerty. Dominic came on, he was on for two years, '67. Fifty-eight when I retired, that's right, not '68, because Dominic lost out and then Percy (Charles) I think. So Percy was Chief when my late son, Willard died, you know. That's right, '58 when somebody beat me to it you know. Must have been 1954 when I became Chief. Johnny was Chief in '52. I remember '52 when they wanted to get rid. of James (Point) you know. People voted to go on a new system, elect every two years. Then all the young kids got on. Johnny was Chief, Billy Guerin was a councillor and Smitty was a councillor. They didn't know what the hell they were doing! I used to go out there to help them. Question: Were you on the council for awhile too? Oh yeah, that was the old style. I never bothered to run when this new system was called for. Too busy, I didn't want to be involved in anything you know. Chiefs were really the boss, boss the people around. I never did run for Council, I did run once not too long ago and I got defeated again by two points or so. And I never bothered. Now I get interested when thing are going haywire. I might run this time again for council. Question: You mentioned a big strike about 1963? 1963, sockeye, yeah. Fraser River and all over the coast. We didn't get our demands. I can't recall quite. I just burned my fish books not too long ago. I think they'd give everything, you know. You know what you make each year then you know, and what went on. Everytime we lose with a strike it's marked in my book, in the black one you know. 115 Even the tides were marked in my book so I know. From year to year I used the same books. Study, study the tides. That's how we used to make a go of it. Ronny did the same thing. Everybody wondered why we were always on time but we had it marked down, you know. That's the only way you have to do it. Even Skeena River we did the same thing. I kept a sort of log book, I guess they call it. What date you catch a certain amount of fish and what kind of tides. You know, how many feet tides. We never keep track of high tides, one thing and another, we keep track 6f low tides. When we got our catches you know. Even if it's a poor tide, poor day well it went down. Just the same bloody book you know. You had to be one day, well we'd catch our bloody fish a day before delivery all the time you know, and you've got to back log all the time. And the time, when the tide was right, when it was low. It worked like that the same way in Skeena. You had to keep track of every tide and what sort of tide it was, when you made your catch. Well we didn't hardly miss from year to year. You look at your book and you know. You probably miss a day or so. Sometimes the fish are a little bit late. You get it the next tide. You don't quit then, you keep trying. We had this river down pat you know. That's all we did up Skeena that's why v/e were always high (boat — highest earnings) too you know. Had it pretty well down pat. Only thing that beat us there was snags! Question: You sold your boat (Arctic Prince) about 1972? Yeah, *72 when I sold it I think, yeah. Question: I got confused about when you bought your first boat? 1928. I sold it in 1942. Question: And in 1942 you bought another boat? I bought a small one, the Seabird II. Then, when did I get my new boat, Arctic Prince? 1953. I had that thing for — yeah, I got that in '43, the little one, that's Seabird II that was. Question: Did you keep that one until you got the Arctic Prince? Yeah, I rebuilt it and made it do. I sold it in '51, I guess. I didn't get my boat until, I think it's the wrong year. I got my boat in '52 I think, the new one. You've got '53 here. I bought another boat after the Seabird II. It should have been named Seabird III. I paid $5,200 for the Seabird IV, which was built by Kishi Brothers (Boat Builders). I only kept it for two years. I sold it for $4,800 I think. 116 (It was) too deep for river fishing. I'd get grounded while the other guys were still afloat. It's still going. The Japanese (who bought it) said there's nothing wrong with it. It makes a good trawler. The Japanese used to season their material one or two years before they build with it. When I rebuilt the Arctic Prince the ribs were starting to go. It (wood) wasn't seasoned. We all got our boats there (Kishi Brothers). Mike (Wilson), Roy (Wilson), even your Dad (Ron Sparrow, Sr.) got his first boat there. About $1,500 I think, and it was only two years old I think (when Ron bought it). Dan Thomas (living at Duncan) bought Ron's second boat. Question: What was your position with the Native Brotherhood when you became a member? An executive member. Later on I became Vice-President of all the Southern District. You're next to the Vice-President there you know. Whenever you decide on your district well, it's brought up to the board. I was Vice-President for, up to the time I quit anyway from the time I was elected in '54 I think up to '72. Yeah. There's nothing in it you know just a headache that's all. Got my expenses paid and meals and what not. Someone had to do it, so. I enjoyed it. The union always tried to swallow us and we were fighting back at them you know. Question: While you were on the band council here you were still fishing too, were you? Yeah, then I can't recall what year I was business manager now, '68. Yeah, '68 - '70. I started in '68 and I quit '70, in July or August. I had Brian running my boat. He wasn't making no money for me, and there wasn't much pay in the bloody office then you know. So I quit it and I went fishing. Question: Can I go back to when you first started working? You went to a logging camp on Saltspring Island. You said that was your first logging? It was about 1916 I think. Question: And that's where your father worked was it? Yeah, he was the foreman. That's the reason why I got on! (Laughter) My dad was foreman there in the logging camp in Saltspring. Question: Can you recall your jobs in order after that? Oh, I went to, hmm, I can't recall the name of it. Toby's Inlet, yeah, we were there for quite awhile. Can't 117 get out. Question: Do you remember about what year that would be? About 1917, I guess. Then I went to, after that I went to Halfmoon Bay. Then, I went to Bidwell Bay, that's up in the inlet (Burrard Inlet). I can't recall how long I stayed there. You don't stay in a camp for too long. The grub was bad at tiroes you know. Sometimes you stay there for a couple of months or so, then you get a rotten meal you want to quit right away. Things were bad in Toby's Inlet. You couldn't have a decent meal there, we couldn't get out. We had to row across to a little settler there you know. He had a little boat and we paid him to take us out to the steamboat line. The only thing we were eating was bacon and eggs, which were getting rotten. Because they had no refrigerator of any kind there you know. Bacon most of the times. They'd go after supplies, but you know they'd go bad in a week. By the weekend you've got haywire meals. We had a heck of a time. There was a cannery at the north end of Toby's Inlet. We had to stay there for about eight, ten hours, nothing to eat. (Laugh) We just had enough money to get on the steamboat and no money to buy a meal on the steamboat. We had time cheques, you know, they didn't issue no real cheques, redeemable cheques I mean. Time cheques — you collect your money in the office in town or in (New Westminster), wherever their office is. We had nothing to eat all day coming down from there. Vancouver before we eat. Question: Where abouts is that, Toby's Inlet? It's on the other side of Lund, first inlet after you pass Lund. Rose: Where did you get your money to go eat when you got to town? Oh, I borrowed from somebody. I forgot who the hell gave me some money. We went to Westminster to try and get our cheque. We couldn't get it for a week or two, you know. Had to get a lawyer before we could get our money. He didn't want to pay us because wequit I guess and no warning. We didn't warn them when we quit because everything was so haywire. We packed up and walked down. We didn't know if we were going to get away or not. There was no boats were running there. We had to come out to the mouth of the inlet to — there's no settlers in that inlet then you know. Only one or two. There was one, there was a reserve there but nobody was living there. There was a settler across, two or three houses. We went and borrowed a boat from that reserve and we rowed across with it about four or five miles to get in touch with a guy with a gas boat. There was eight or ten of us with this little boat! (Laughter) We had to travel 118 night time, when we came out toward the mouth you know, nothing but straight wall like that, the bloody mountains. If we tipped over we'd never be able to hang onto nothing. Bad place. We heard bears and everything. You hear them making a hell of a racket at night you know, by the river. Quite a big river up there. And Bidwell Bay, that's in what they call the North Arm of Inlet you know. I went there for quite awhile. And then, Pitt Lake, that's way up there too. That's another haywire place. The food's a little better but you know, it used to get bad in the summer. I quit and came home. Question: You mentioned working in the sawmills around Vancouver? Oh yeah, that's way back in 1916, '17 when I worked there. Yeah, it must be 1916, '11. I worked night shift there. I worked day shift for awhile and switched to night. I worked in sawmills all over too you know whenever I get a chance. I was loading open cars in Squamish, timber, for a sawmill there. I must have worked there for two, three months, I guess. Question: Was that right after you'd been working in Vancouver? This was 1917, 'l8 I guess, '17 I guess. Oh yeah, well, yeah that's right. Oh, I drove teams over here hauling wood. That's after we were married I guess, 1918. Question: During the winter or the summer? Time like this. I used to have to walk to Kerrisdale where the yard is to feed the horses and harness them. Be on the road by 7:00. Walked from here you know. No streetcar, didn't run till about 7:00 I guess. I'd be ready to come out by the time the thing started to come down the road. They'd switch from the main line from False Creek to Marpole, Steveston. You could hear them when they're switching off the farm, where I was working. Question: You mentioned working at Halfmoon Bay also? Yeah, I was there a couple of times. There was a good camp, but. I went with one friend from Saltspring Island. It's so damn lonesome you can't stay there too long you know. 119 Weekends, Sunday what the hell you gonna do? You walk along the bloody bush, you get homesick! (Laughter) We went down from Halfmoon Bay with that guy, I can't recall his name, he was from Saltspring. He was just about the same age or maybe just a little bit older than I was. He was a whistle punk. We went down towards the beach, walk about three miles to where the main camp was, the railroad camp. While we were in the bush picking salmon berries a bloody eclipse came on! Got dark! (Laugh) We dicfh't know what the hell was going on! We didn't know, we got no newspaper or radio or nothing you know. All we know, the place got dark. Gives you a funny feeling you know. He says what the hell's going on, he says, am I getting blind, he says. I don't know, I says to him. I crawled out of the bloody bushes in a hurry and turned around on the bloody road. I never thought of anything. I got kind of scared! Real dark for a couple of minutes I guess. It was kind of cloudy when I came down. It was so damn lonesome. There was a whole bunch of us, we were all parted. Some went looking at the booms down there you know. Question: When did you say that was? 19.., let's see now. That'd be 1917 because we got together (married) in 1918. I went up there early and I had to quit, come down to play lacrosse. They wanted me home, so I came down and played lacrosse. And I went back again after. Tape 29 Recorded: May 29, 1975 Mr. Ed Sparrov; REFERENCE TO PRELIMINARY CHRONOLOGY OF WORK HISTORY Question: Do you remember when you were building nets with Mike Wilson? You mean hanging nets. That's in Skeena River, some time before the forties we used to go up there. I think I mentioned that before. Well, I'm trying to recall. We used to go up early. 1924, '25, '26, '27, '28, all those years we were up there working early before fishing season, preparing nets and what not. Making, threading rope with floats. Helping around; if they were behind on their work they'd ask 120 you to hang nets to catch up. All canneries hung their nets for their fishermen. If they had three hundred fishermen they had to have three hundred nets ready for them for the season. Most canneries had over a hundred fishermen I guess. Claxton had well over a hundred the last few yeais I was there. It kept increasing, increasing every year. They got a bunch of Swedes up there in — I've got to look to recall — I kind of think it was during the last war days when they brought them there. They returned a lot of guys home who couldn't handle a sailboat. They made them practice out in front of the cannery before they got axed. I don't know why they brought them out, they had a lot of fishermen. I guess they wanted probably their fourth stake, these guys. There were a lot of Norwegians and Swedes in the logging camps, Italians. There was a few of them stayed up, I mean made it, you know. And, they became good fishermen. A lot of guys were sent back. Oh, they had a whole bunch up there. What else (did you want to ask)? Question: Do you recall when (; ,< at what time) you were fishing at Banks Island? I fished for quite a long time there, you know. When did Ronny get his boat — "42, isn't it?c I must have started about '35 or '36 there because the Fraser, I mean the Skeena run was gradually dying out from that slide they had. They didn't know it, there was slide in Babine. Babine River I guess, below Babine Lake. It died off the same way as the Fraser did in 1913 — there was a slide there, you know. I was one of the first ones that went out there with the bunch out there. The first year I got there I didn't make — done very well, but better than staying in Skeena. Question: You didn't fish the Skeena those years you went to Banks Island? No. Sometimes towards the end of the season when it dies off quicker out there you probably fish one or two weeks up Skeena at the end of the season before heading for home. We went out in '42 when Ronny got his boat. It was no good so we came back to the Skeena and fished out in Eddy's Pass, I guess. You've got it here (on the chronology). Question: There was a few years wjhen you fished at Port Kells (on Fraser), wasn't there? We used to go up for opening day. As soon as it dies off we drift down to Steveston again. We did well up there at times. Got so many boats going up there after a bit, got so I give it up. I never (?) went up there the last few years I was fishing. 121 Eddy's Pass was inside of Stephens Island. I don't know whether you got it here or not. It's inside. The channel goes round to the northwest, right clean around Stephens Island out to the south. It's an island, you know, we did well there. We didn't fish in Skeena. We fished outside all the time. Ronny was just about a couple of hundred yards away from me all the time. Fish try to get ashore all the time, hardly move. You gotta pick up your net every now and then, to kind of clean it up, you know, then throx-/ out again. Question: Do you recall which years you fished at Port Kells, or Douglas Island? First time I went there I went broke. We must have started going up there — a whole bunch of us going, we used to go up Sunday nights from maybe '61 - '62 or '63 when we started. We go up for the opening say and usually Mondays every time right along. We fish all day. As soon as the fish slackens off up there, we head down. We must have started either one of them years. We started earlier than that! When did the Japanese first come down from the interior, 1953, 1954? We must have started way before that you know, because some of the Japanese started going up there too. We'd usually just go up for the one day, the opening that's all because the fish used to school up around Douglas Island. Port Kells, I went into Port Kells two or three times; there's too many people there, too many fishermen. There's hardly anybody at Douglas Island then, you know. I made some big catches there. But towards the end well, a lot of people from down below used to go up there. I mean from down Steveston, all over, started moving up for the opening. It wasn't worthwhile towards the end, everybody quit. I was the last v one to try it, I guess. I think it was 1970 when I went up. there last — 1971 or '70. Nothing, it wasn't worth my while. Too many boats. You're lucky if you get (any fish). If you miss it you don't get nothing. Some guys get quite a few, you know, the lucky ones. So, I quit it altogether. Question: While you were living at Chilliwack where or at what camps did you work? I was booming on the (Vedder) Canal for a long time, maybe a couple years, I guess, there. Same company you know, tteymust move around. Question: You worked for the....pretty well the same company for the whole time you were at Chilliwack? Never too far away from Chilliwack? Yes. Well, there was a camp there; I'd go home every Saturday. Vedder Canal, you know. Well, it was about six, seven miles away from Chilliwack I guess. Something like that, maybe not that far. We used to walk on the railroad to 122 go home. Taxi was hard to get, you know. You call a taxi, wait all day. Never get there sometimes. So we walked. They closed the camp down when a blizzard came on. They close the camp down, you have a hell of a time getting home. We'd blow up and down. We'd have a rest, turn around, get your wind and start again. I got home, she (Rose) went to town, try and get supplies. Walking the railroad tooj her. Finding her way home, you know. Real blizzard. Closed the camp down for four (?) months, I guess that year. Can't get going, too cold. Still ice on the little ponds and lakes in March up there. One of the worst winters I ever seen. The whole river was frozen across the Fraser. Guys were walking across. Ice chunks, you know, jammed in there. Drift down, I guess. Just like waves on the bloody river. I would never x^alk across; them guys walked across. Guys holding the bloody poles coming across in case they fall through I guess. I'd never do that. They did that when they were working at (Queen's?) Island too. I came home when the river started to freeze. They told me they were going to close down anytime. No more boom work for me so I came home. Quite a few fallers and buckers and swampers were still there working. Overnight the river froze, they got stuck there. Some guys had to go down to Mission, cross over. I don't know how the hell they got home from Abbotsford. Real blizzard sometimes up there then. No more of that kind of weather. Funny. I guess there's too many factories and one thing and another there keeps it warm or times are changing, I guess. I had to find something to do at home. I used to cut cordwood here and sell. When things get bad you can't get nothing. Well, you couldn't find work if you did go out, too much discrimination then, you know. Logging camps and mills was about the only place you could get on. I was kind of lucky when I was up Chilliwack. I got on well. The reason why I could get on at anything up there was I used to play soccer and baseball and lacrosse with them. Well, I grew up there. When I was at school up there I got pretty v/ell acquainted with white and Indians up there. I was the only Indian runner on the relay team they had. Chilliwack was one of the best in B. C. then, you know. I never was stuck for a job up there. Over here (Vancouver area), really rough. You couldn't get no work here hardly. As soon as they find out you're a fishermen, they won't look at you. They know you're not going to go on steady. I tried time and again around here in the mills. They told me you'll never find no work, the government will look after you! Well, I started beachcombing and working on my own, you know. I made a go of it. I made pretty good on beach combing even after they licensed it. I picked up several booms, kept quite a few boys from here working for me. I paid them seventy-five cents an hour, they were only getting 123 thirty, forty cents an hour elsewhere. Just to help them out. I don't know if it done any good. We used to have a' great big boom over here, and I gotta get help from three or four local boys to boom the logs, to move the boom. Still, you're ready, the same as you do in logging camp. You put swifters on every boom. Chained up so they wouldn't break then you tow it away. Question: At the time you broke your leg, were you off work for awhile? Well, I couldn't work, I didn't work till March, I guess. I broke it in September. I couldn't fish, I had to quit. I only had a little over a hundred dollars that year. We had a lot of ducks to eat. We had a few things that the old lady (Rose) put up. Jam and well, bottled salmon, a few salt salmon. We managed. In February we tried to get relief but they wouldn't give it to us. 1929 when I broke my leg. 1930 I was kind of limping around yet when I went up north. I broke it a second time — I fell in the hatch out in the gulf after I came back from north. I got, what the hell did they give us — $10 or something? I had to pay it back, the relief that time I broke my leg. $10 worth, or $10.50, something like that. Rose: A sack of flour, five pounds of sugar and rice. Just that once, ain't it? We had about six or seven kids to feed, more than that, I guess. Ed: I started to cut cork balls they call it, make new floats you know.- . . Rose: Then the Indian agents were sitting in the office getting all the money and the people hungry. Ed: Vic (Guerin) and I were doin' that. He was helping me Tmake floats). Rose: Agents and secretaries and everything. Ed: I used to sit down on a box and cut while he split. We delivered it to a Vancouver Cannery, Acme. We made pretty good on that you know, enough for the winter. Rose: The poor Indians didn't think that the Indian agents and their secretaries were getting all the money from the government instead of coming through the Indians. They weren't doing anything, isn't it? Ed: I don't know, I don't ask! Well,.... Rose: I wonder what they were- sitting there for as agents. I always wonder. What were the agents for? They never look after the Indians. 124 Ed: Sure! They gave us $3.20 a month relief! (Laughter) That's what they got, you know, $3.20 worth. Rose: That's for the people that can't hardly move. Ed: Destitute people and old people. We never got any cash. A little sugar, about that much in a bag, a little rice, a little brown beans, baking powder, little sugar. What else — that's about all, I guess, maybe a little flour. You gotta live on that for a month. Huh! Well, things were cheap then. Rose: Now the Indians is just now waking up. And most of the agents don't want to help these people that's trying to break that. White people getting paid big salaries every year when it should be going to the Indians. It's going to the white people that's working in the parliament buildings all over. For what I wonder? Ed: Well, mama, it sort of works two ways you know. When tEey started funding Indians, well what the hell were they doing? They were drawing big salaries, the Indians that worked. That Paull guy, $22,000 every year. These guys (UBCIC) were getting $12,000, $15,000 in town; their secretaries were getting $6,000, $7,000 a year. Accountants $16,000 a year. What the hell good did they do? Rose: Nothing. Ed: They got field staff, field officers going around asking you questions about land claims. What the hell! The band should look after that. That was a bloody farce that thing was. Sending out people to ask you questions about how much land you lost. What the hell! We know how much land we lost. We lost the whole of B. C. as far as I know! They had a whole bunch of people going around doing that. Too much. I wonder how many bloody secretaries they have up there? They all draw $6,000, $7,000, $8,000 a,year. We should have kicked them out long ago. Kick them out the same as they do the Indian Department officials. I wonder what they'd say if it was brought up to them like that. Question: Were there any times when you didn't, couldn't or didn't want to work....during winter dances, for sports or other reasons? Well, I never really took interest in Indian dances before that, (before Rose became a dancer). I used to go and 125 watch, but I only took interest in the dances after she became one. But, they're mostly in the winter and it's off season for fishermen and I never bothered to look for a job anywhere else. I was hopping (hop kilns) and one •thing, you know. Cut wood at home. Make a few dollars cutting wood. Rose; It was so nice here long ago. Not like now. Old people had a lot of fun. Danced every night from house to house. They never used to call outsiders, Lummi's or anybody. Just dance here, have a good time amongst them selves. Ed; There was no jobs outside the reserve hardly, you Know. I never, I wouldn't leave a job if there was sports you know. If I had something to work on I'd work, make a dollar for myself instead of wasting it. A lot of times they tried to call me off work, or even if I was working for myself I wouldn't. That's the reason why I quit from pulling in the canoes. Too much waste time. You're away from one or two weeks at a time. I could be making a dollar or two just even cutting wood here. Later on I'd go up Skeena. I did all right cutting wood for these Chinese before they started using oil. Does that answer your question? Not quite?! I'd be crazy to run my car all the way down to Coupville on the American side somewhere. Leave my job, with a chance of getting fired? No. Just stay right there, stay working. They even sent for me to come down and play lacrosse in the Indian Sports. I wouldn't come down. That's my work, making my living. Fooling around, that's all it is you know. They wouldn't pay my expenses, I'm not going to travel on my own. Share my expenses, well, I might think it over, but I doubt if I ever .. Well, when you're raising a family you can't afford to leave your job. A lot of guys think I'm foolish for not coming down when they asked me. I don't think it was that foolish. My family needed the extra dollar. Question: The type of jobs you've had, you had a lot of contact with your family and with friends all along? Oh, I did everything else. I didn't give it all (information about work). I've got to read over what you've got printed before I give it all. I worked for the City of Chilliwack, worked for trucking people — swamper they call them — hauling pulpwood. Many others — when I was up Chilliwack. Well, I worked on the farms too! (laugh) Next to nothing there when you work for a farmer. They say they don't make money, but gee, they get to go for a big holiday after the season's over. The guy who's supposed to seed for us (Musqueam land in Ladner) is down in California and we're waiting for him to seed. He lives in Lulu Island. 126 Yeah, I worked building a big septic tank right there in the city (Chilliwack). Seventy-five cents an hour, that's more than they were getting in the logging camp. I was laying sewer pipes. All shovel or pick work. I went back to the camp after that was over though. The guy took me back. Can't let go of a good boom man. I only did that because they give you more money. They give you fifty cents an hour in the City of Chilliwack. I was working with Jack Chenoir, Francis James and a whole bunch of us working up there working for the city. I quit booming that time. He didn't like that, kind of said you're not going to work for me no more. Okay, there's a lot of other jobs, I says to him. I went back there looking for a job. Sure, sure. He used to call me 'Head', he don't call me 'Ed'. Frenchman - Gauthier, he can't say 'Ed*, he used to call me 'Head'. Everybody started calling me 'Head* after. Question: What you haven't told me about is your farming in the last few years since you sold your boat? I thought maybe if I could make a dollar well, it would help me because I don't know how long I'll live. Well, we lived on it (cattle raising) anyways, and helped my children whenever they needed it out of the meat. I never even figured out what I made. I got all my bills and what not. I haven't even checked whether I was ahead or behind. I think I was a little bit ahead. If I had my own feed and my own place to work, well, there's money in it you know. Even if you got your feed cheaper than what you get from Co-ops and one thing and another—Buckerfield's. They're hitting the farmers. Not only me. It got too bad in the end and I thought I better get out of that. I sold it, practically gave my last seven (cattle) away. I kept three, and I sold seven. We had a fridge full and we gave Priscilla one. If I was able to look after it myself and stay right there, I would have been able to raise better meat you know, I mean cattle. But I had little Mikey (grandson) looking after it. Sometimes I don't think they got watered. It seemed to me they got stunned one time, you know. Good breed of cattle like that, it should be easy to help fatten them up. At times I worked overtime to bring them up. Water was one of the main things when you're raising cattle. If you don't give it to them they won't gain weight. You gotta give them a lot of salt so they drink water. What the hell's the use of giving salt when there's no water. I had minerals there. I thought Al was giving it to them all the time. I went and he had a big bunch in the sack yet. I said what the hell's that? Oh, that's the minerals you picked up, he says. How come you haven't been giving it to them? Oh, I guess I forgot it, or Mike forgot it, he says. That's something they should have, you know. Towards the end they started chewing up his apple trees and took the bark off I That's the lack of mineral they didn't have, you know. Any cattle would do that. In the interior when they're getting the salt and grain you know. 127 If I could get it (the land at Ladner) cheap enough, I think I'd buy (cattle). If I get a good chance at cattle. Like there was a bunch, thirty head all calving in April and May for $135 apiece. Well, you get double that much in four or five months you know, six months. I thought what the heck's the use of buying it. You get that many head of cattle you've got to have two ~ three hundred acres to look after them properly. So I didn't bother. Then I thought I should have went and asked the council what kind of deal I could make. I still could do it. I'm just waiting for things to change you know. Heck, I could rent the Tsawwassen land there (Tsawwassen Reserve). Pearl (Williams) gets $1,000 for eight acres. Heck, if I paid that much out I could make money, you know. Won't hardly cost you nothing to feed them, great big pasture like that. $1,000, gee, that's cheap. 12 8 Content of these two tapes covers subjects skipped over in earlier sessions. Ed added information where he considered it necessary, beginning with the first large gap. He related his information to specific activities, year, and location more than to place of residence or family composition. A striking feature is the volume of material recorded in one session by each grandparent — this was one of the most productive sessions. Once again, the variety of work is very evident, con firming the resourcefulness and industry of my grandparents' work pattern. Both emphasized the scarcity of jobs and income which necessitated the hard work their previous training and life style prepared them for. The chronologies, which had been drawn up primarily to assist in analyzing data, proved invaluable assets in assisting Ed and Rose with recall. Ed commented, saying they were a good idea, enabling him to draw from past events and fill the infor mation gaps. This method of recall also aided in producing a firmer sequential foundation for further questioning and analysis. The chronology was instrumental in drawing him into closer involvement with the ultimate direction of research. Questioning became less frequent and less directive. At this point I was necessary only to record the information and ask basic questions to clarify or relate material, and determine significant details. Grandfather had actually assumed control of the interview format. He became more positive of the outcome, and more confident about giving additional information. Information from his chronology was cross-referenced 129 with Grandmother's before interviewing her with her chronology. This was done to date and verify information, to detect areas with similar information which could be expanded, to find leads for more explicit questioning of her history. 130 4.2 Tapes 30 and 31 Rose Sparrow June 25, 19 75 On the same day, just before Ed was interviewed with his chronology, I had recorded a tape with Rose (Tape 27). Her chronology was not used at this time for not enough data had been collected to make it workable. I felt also that she should be given an opportunity to recall more information on her own before introducing the chronology. She had seemed uncertain what the chronology was for at first, and how to relate to it when I mentioned at some point that I was writing up a list of jobs and work taken from the tape recordings. Since she had been present while Grandfather was using his- chronology, she had become at least slightly familiar with the idea of relating to her own chronology. She now seemed quite at ease with her own, and interested in deciphering what I had written. Grandmother and I sat with her chronology spread out in front of us while she looked over the entire chronology before any questions were asked. I explained how the chronology would be useful for checking information and dates as I had done with Ed during the preceding session. We worked together with her chronology, since she seemed to respond more readily if specific areas where information was missing were pointed out. I could then ask questions which would relate her work and activity to her family, birth order of children, Ed and his work, or her own previous work as indicated on the chronology. Questioning was directed to her chronology first, with expansion of detail wherever possible. At times we discussed certain areas and information briefly either before recording 131 question and response, or after recording the question. Reference to use of questions listed during analysis of her transcripts and chronology occurred whenever she stopped volunteering information. Grandfather's chronology was also kept close at hand, but for my reference only. Specific questions were directed first to types, locations and duration of work during earlier years. Questioning then shifted from direct reference to work to places of residence. This was done with the idea of introducing a new reference point which could stimulate another area of recall relating to work. I also speculated on the possibility of relating Grandmother's information on places and events with Ed's sequence of time and place. 132 Tape 30 Recorded: June 25, 1975 Mrs. Rose Sparrow Musqueam QUESTIONS RELATED TO PRELIMINARY OUTLINE OF WORK CHRONOLOGY Question: (Could you tell me about the different canneries you have worked at, and when you worked?) Let's see now, we worked in this cannery there. It was first year I went to work there, that was before Myrtle was born. You got it (recorder) on now? And I don't know what year. I think it was 1919, we worked at a cannery at Sea Island. I think that cannery used to be Millard's Cannery where I worked. Everything was done by hand. There wasn't any iron chink or anything like that, you know. The Chinese used to just cut the heads off and open the stomach of the fish and throw it in our bins, you know, big bins. And we had to gut the darn things, take the guts off, and clean it then shove it into the next tank. Then we clean it, take guts off, and scrape it, clean it. We had to do all that. There wasn't any machinery. It was all done by hand. That was very hard work. I don't know if we were getting twenty-five cents an hour, must have been twenty-five cents because we used to work for hours and hours you know. No matter what fish, how big they were, we did take the guts out ourselves. There wasn't any too much of machinery, most of the filling was done by hand. Question: Was that cans for the fish? Yeah, by the Japanese. There wasn't much Indians there that liked to hand fill because you had to contract on that. You get punches for that. So none of us went in for that. Question: Were you just washing fish then? Just washing fish, yeah. Cleaning them and washing them, that was a very awkward job. We worked all hours from morning and go back again after suppertime. There was no overtime. Straight time right through. 133 Question; Could you work pretty well any hours you want then? Yeah, we worked all hours of the day, you know, along till about eight or nine o'clock at night, I guess then we quit. Question: Could you tell me again about your work in the cannery at New Westminster? I worked in New Westminster, I forgot the name. I don*t even know the name of the cannery there. I was just goofy yet. Question; Was that your first job? First job in a cannery, away from home. And, uh I came with a aunt of mine. Her people were working there and we stopped by that (cannery). And so we weren't hired, we just went to visit. But it was, then she stayed there, she got a chance to work you know. So they hired anybody, didn't go by age. As long as you was able to wash fish or do some thing. So at first this, he was an Indian boss, he put me on as a hand filling and I was too slow. So he changed me to washing fish. I don't know, I didn't have any sense or nothing. Nobody told me I had to have boots to wash fish. So I was washing fish with just my ordinary shoes and I was soaking wet, washing fish. They never told me you have to go and get boots and apron you know. It was very foolish and I didn't know any better because I was just a kid. Never been to work before in my life. So I worked there for awhile. And one fella there, worked there, he came along gave me apron. I was all right then, but my feet was always wet. So, it was in the fall. Must have been September I guess, October, something like that. It was in the fall, getting cold. So I got, I used to have tonsils. So both of my tonsils swole up, got cold. And I was so sick I couldn't swallow water or nothing. So they put me in the hospital in (New) Westminster, St. Mary's. I was there, they waited till it went down before they cut my tonsils out. I don't know, I was there till just before Christmas in that hospital. I was just put there and forgotten that I was in there. Just stayed there. Well they didn't mind keeping me there; the nurses, I got to know them. They used to make me help them pass trays around in the hospital, you know. They give me, and I used to look after this old priest. They used to call him Father Lamontin I think or was it Lamonting, he was an old, old priest. He was just bed ridden in there. I think he must have had cancer because he had a hole in the side of the stomach. And I used to bring his food in there, and take his tray out you know. I was there for, it was just about a week or so before Christmas before they came after me. And for some reason, what I made in the cannery I didn't get it. I guess the lady that was taking care of me took it, 'cause you know for my board or my fare or whatever it was. I didn't get nothing after I got 134 better you know, so I went home. And that was the end of that cannery workI (laughter) Question: Did you go home to Chilliwack? Did you go by yourself? Went home to Chilliwack, yeah. She came after me, this woman (who had brought me down to New Westminster). Yeah, she's my grand aunt. She came picked me up, took me home. Question; Is that the same lady who brought you down to New Westminster? Yeah, the same lady that came down with me, to see her people working in that cannery. She was Mrs. Alec Charley. Yeah, she lived there (Chilliwack area, Kohkaplat). It was my grandparents' daughter-in-law. Mhm, it was their daughter-in-law, So I got home. Question: (Was there mainly Indians working at that cannery?) It was all Japanese. It was quite a little bunch. Question: (That was your first cannery job?) Yeah, I never got a job because I was too young to go out, I worked helping them with housework a little bit and everything. But in the summer we used to work out. Work out in the farm you know, weeding. Weeding for farmers you know. That was all in the summertime. 'Cause, uh, I was going to school then, but I used to work after holidays. I used to go to school at a little school at Chilliwack. That's an old little school they had there. Question: Do you remember what years that was or how old you were? Well, I started school when I was about, oh, nine or ten years old, I guess. I was quite old when I started school there at that. And I left maybe when I was twelve or thirteen. In that picture there (refers to photograph on mantle) -— and I left school again when them old people took me out. They didn't want to send me back again. See, really had no regular guardian them days. Whoever once said don't send her to school that was it. Nobody was behind me that knew any better to keep sending me to school. You know, I was just on my own, and they didn't care less as long as I was alive that's all. Then no future. But after I got a little older I began go looking for jobs. Like what I was telling you, farm work and all that. Question; Did you go looking with someone or on your own? All us girls went working together. Work at the farm 135 'cause there was no jobs for us around at that time. It was during the war. Well, the war was on you know, but we wasn't hired to go do heavy jobs or anything like that, you know. We did get on the working for a plant there that was drying vegetables, like carrots, turnips, potatoes. They were drying it in that hop kiln there, where they dry the hops. And they used that plant, and they had machinery there, and we worked there. They used to put the potatoes through these big peelers, big round things. Runs by machine and peel potatoes. Then they come out from there along a wide belt you know and we kind of clean them little spots, you know that the machine didn't get off. And from there it goes through the cutter, about just like the size of these, what you — the; fryers (potato chips) they make now, you see them in the sacks. Like that. Then we put them on the trays. Trays there stacked up, trays you know, about four layers high, and you spread the potatoes there and then you shove them in a dryer. And they go there, and they dry in there. And when they come out, they're just dry, you could almost see through the potatoes. It's dried up and it's just like it's kind of yellow, you know. It's dried right through. It doesn't shrink or anything, it's just nice and glossy looking, about the size of these fryers you buy them. You go to the factory and buy a bag of fryers if you want to sell at a concession store. You want a bag of fryers, well that's the way they used to be, only difference is they're dryer. And when they come out from there we put them in five pound cans by hand. And we send — we fill it up, weigh it and then go through a machine, get lids on and they ship them away, ship them away to the overseas to the war, army. That's what we were doing that was just three different kind of vegetable. We worked all, pretty near all winter and all summer that time. That's the same year I came down here. That wasn't, well, that wasn't too bad. We were getting $2 an hour up there. Oh, $2 a day I Oh, we thought it was a big money you know. Mhm. That was the last job I did up at Chilliwack. Question; Who were you working with at this farm or plant? Oh, just a bunch of people. Girls you know, white girls and Indian girls, but just a few I knew by heart the names of. Emma Joe and Maggie and Sarah Jimmy, and one old lady there, she was Louisa. What's her name now, Charlie, I guess. Margaret, I don't know, Dan or something. So many of them, I only knew the ones that were my relations. But there was a lot of women working there because there1 were .no ,rmen around to do the work. Even the field when you go, just old, old men that couldn * t go to war. They were the only ones driving team you know, to go pick up the potatoes and turnips and things like, from farmers, they bought it from farmers. All the farmers sold their potatoes, carrots and turnips to this plant to prepare to send overseas. I don't know how many years it run, that plant. That's the only way they could get their food out there, the can. 136 Question; It was just the one year you worked there? Yeah, just the one winter and spring. Question; Then you came down to Vancouver. Was that when you were married? Yeah. Yeah, I came over here. That's the same year we started working in the cannery. Question; Millard's Cannery? Yeah. But after that, and after that I went to live up Chilliwack you know. When I had Myrtle I lived up there and the old folks. Both me and Dad (Ed). He done, he was on logging camps up there. And I went from one camp to the other with him. The people had little shacks here and there where they lived right close together. The woman worked, cooked for their husbands. That's what I was saying there, we all sit outside and we make baskets. Or we wanted to go dig roots, we all go up together. Question; Did you take the family along? No, no baby-sitters. Wherever we went we packed our babies on our backs. (Laugh) That's the way we used to do it. Question: Did you know other people in the camp when you went in there? Oh, I knew them all. They were all old timers up there. They're all gone and dead now, we're the only two that's left from the bunch that we used to go camping with, used to go work with. They're all gone. We're the only two that's left of that gang. That was an Indian logging camp. It was run by just one white man but the land belonged to the Indians. It was on, what you call that, that's Queen's Island they call it. Just around Deroche there, belonged to the Indians that island. But they used to cut timber there. Question; Was that people from around Chilliwack who worked there? Just from Chilliwack, uhuh, worked there. Yeah, the boss was French and he was married to an Indian woman. And his brother-in-laws were kind of the straw bosses there, you know. They're from Pemberton. Question: Can you remember the name? Gee, I can't remember their names! I forgot, it's so long. However. The Frenchman's name is Bouchet I remember. And they must have been breeds these people because they're all fair. This woman he was married to was a fair woman. 137 Question; You stayed up around Chilliwack for about seven years, did you? Yeah, uhuh. Question: Were you back and forth from Chilliwack to Musqueam? No, we stayed up there for a good seven years till they threatened to sign Grandpa (Ed) off (the band list) from here, then we had to come home. And we come here and we were flat broke. Up there we were okay, he was working. He was working and we had pigs and he had two horses, and we had lots of chickens. You know, we were well away. When they threatened to kick us out from here we sold everything in one day and came home here, went broke, nothing. It was a very sad thing we did that time. Question; Did you have your own house here? No, just a shack down there, staying with his (Ed Sparrow) grandfather. They used to have a house right over there where Ann's (Ann Point) house is. And just one old, his old house over there. Yeah, it was awful, it was pitiful. Nothing to do. He was lucky to cut cord wood off and on you know. If we had stayed in Chilliwack I think we'd have been way better off than we were now. Question: Did you continue making baskets after you came back to Musqueam? Yeah, I was making baskets all the time here. We used to go trading for clothing, sell it around the white people just around here from home to home. Question: Just right close by here? Yeah, all over, Kerrisdale all over here. Me and Cornelius *(Johnny) wife Lena. Lena Johnny, go sell baskets with her. We'd hurry and get basket done in two days some times, and away we'd go sell it. That's all we used to do, sit down and make it you know, nothing else. That's the only way we earned our clothing, anything we needed for the house. Anything we didn't have in the house we'd ask for it and they'd give it to swap for a basket you know. And that was a good thing to do. If we could do that now. We don't make them baskets now. And yet baskets so expensive now, take the whole household of the white people to get it, to have one. (Laughter) Question: How long has it been since you were making baskets? Oh, it's not very long. I make it off and on you know, when I feel like it. I'm going up, I want to go see my nephew, the one I'm making this (knitted vest) for. He's getting the cedar for me to make baskets, and I want to go up there to Vedder Crossing. He's supposed to phone me in the evenings. 138 I'm still waiting till he phones. If he gets somebody to get it (cedar roots) for me. That's the one (roots) you used to make them things there (points to baskets in corner of the room), to make round basket like that, see. Gotta have real nice trees. Question; When did you learn to knit? I learned to knit when I was just a kid. I used to sit down in the evenings watch my grandparents knit, my grand aunt. And I tried. They teach me you know. And I used to, if they go out somewhere I used to try and spin. They used to get mad at me. They come home and all this wool would be all twisted around their spinning wheel you know, trying. I kept trying. Even after I got down here I was trying to do that too. Trying to spin. Finally I got onto it. Nobody taught me, I just went on my own. Dad's (Ed) mother used to have a spinning wheel down here. When she goes to town I'd spin. She'd come home mad (laughter). But she was glad after I learned how to spin wool. Question; Were you able to knit before you learned to spin? Oh yeah, I knew how to knit socks yeah, before, I learned. I didn't know how to spin wool. Question: When did you start knitting sweaters? Oh, quite late. Oh, I didn't start making sweaters till Myrtle was quite old. Twenty-nine or thirty, I guess, about thirty years old when I started knitting. In the forties, I guess. Sweaters were so cheap you know them days. If I made a sweater and take it to town they only give you five dollars. That's how much, that's all you can get. Lot of work for nothing, yeah. Question: What can you sell a sweater for now? Oh well, sixty (dollars) for a good one. Mhm. Sixty, fifty for a (size) forty-four. Wool came up so high, I guess that's why. It's seventy cents a pound for raw wool now. A long time ago in the thirties you used to get it for twenty cents a pound in the farms you know. You see how much it's gone up? Question: How did you find a place to sell your sweaters and socks? Did you just check around? No, I used to go to town to what you call this Sporting Goods opposite Woodwards. What's the name of it? It's an old Sporting Goods (Harkley and Haywood) behind Woodwards. I know the name of the store, the owners. They were two brothers, two men running that store, they used to 139 buy it off me. And Woodwards used to buy it. After a bit the price started to come up and we used to get twenty, twenty-five after. At Woodwards they paid twenty-five. Woodwards was my regular customer, I used to get twenty-five after. I used to do all right there. Question; Now you just sell them....(from your home)? Now I just wait till I get orders. 'Cause I don't really work that steady. I make a lot (of sweaters) but I just keep it. Like the other day Harriet just came and got one. Her club was Non-Status Indians in Ladner, they want one for raffle so she took one. She's going to pay sixty-five (dollars) size forty-four or forty-six. So I just knit and put it away and before I know somebody is phoning for sweater. That's all I do. But you can't get any more than fifty (dollars) if you take it to town. Story informant wished to record They were selling these books when Hattie (Ferguson) had the art selling and I was demonstrating basket (making at the PNE ) They were selling these books. It was written by Mr. Wells (Oliver N. Wells) from Sardis and I bought one. I think the book is here somewhere. I borrowed this book, or did I buy it? I must have borrowed it and I read the whole thing. And that's the history, it's a story, real true story about that reserve where I was born. This what Mr. Wells got, he got it from a cousin of mine. He's from KohKwaplat too. But his mother was from there and his father was from Wyaxwoxos where Richard Malloway lives. And he went and told this story you know and then the Sardis people got a hold of it, Mr. Wells got a hold of it and he made this story. But it belongs to us KohKwa'plat people, it belongs to us that story. This is about that slough that runs from in front of my grandparents house there's a little slough that goes way up as far as that playground up there, an old playground up there in there. This slough is, the water is dark, dark color, like chocolate color the water. And they say this snake used to swim around in there. Go back and forth you know, long, long ago. And it used to make funny noise. Come out, make funny noise. And finally the people said there's something in that water. And another thing this man he was hunting I guess and he went down in that slough. There's lots of ducks there you know that swims in there too, and he seen this duck swimming in that slough and this duck had,....it used to fly, had two heads. It was on that book, I seen it (in the book)., this book Mr. Wells had, but it belongs to our little reserve there that history. It doesn't belong the Sardis or the Chilliwack, it belongs to KohKwaplat, right in there. So they said, when you go in there, they used to warn the hunters, don't shoot them ducks cause they're no good. > 140 If you eat it you might get sick. It's related to this snake that lives in that slough. They say it's a big snake, two-headed snake too. So one time, that was way before my great., grand father's time. It's about 3,400 years ago, maybe more than that this Indian doctor had a longhouse at KohKwaplat. They had that in the book, that longhouse. I seen it you know. And he, this Indian doctor, sneaked around. He wanted to get a hold of that snake. So he seen this snake and he killed it because he was a witch doctor. He got a hold of this snake and uh, he skinned it, and I don't know what he did. But anyways he burned it. He burned the snake, the bones. I don't know if he took the flesh or — he burned the bones. And uh, he wanted to save the ashes. So after he got the ashes, and they were turned black you know. And then after he got the ashes he went and drawed this wood quite long. He carved this wood just the image of that snake. Two heads, one on each end. So he got a hold of this ashes he got from the snake and he painted it (snake in) his drawing. He paint this like the way the snake looked when it was in the water. Paint it all up whatever color it was you know, two heads. And after that he nailed it up over his door. He had a longhouse and he nailed it on top of his entrance that carving he made. When he got it all painted up with the snake's ashes. And after and if he made any potlatch or gathering he had to be out there and he had to be there to work on the people before they went into the door. If he didn't, if you walk through that door without him there, you got convulsions and just died right there. So he had to be there to work on the people before. He had the water there and everything. He just puts it on you and work on you, so nothing would happen to you when you're going in his house you know. So, that went on and on I guess, as long as he had that longhouse. I don't remember the name of that Indian doctor, now but when I was a kid my great grandfather used to tell us. He used to tell us, me and Grandpa (Ed) here. We used to sit there and listen to my great grandfather tell us this story, but we never bothered to write it down. And after this Indian doctor died, well the people said well it's not safe for that house to be standing up because the owner died and if anybody went in there it would be no good, they'd die. So they all said they'd better burn it, so they decided to burn that house, that longhouse. I don't know how they did it, maybe they had arrows to shoot the fire onto it. So when this old longhouse start burning my great grandfather said you could hear that snake that he carved holler just like the way it used to holler in the water when it was alive. It made that noise too, after it got burnt. So it was just like a live snake up there that carving was, all that time. And after they burn it down, it hollered like it used to holler when it was alive in the water. 141 My great grandfather told us right from his own mouth that story. We didn't hear it from anybody else. And I was so mad when I seen that book that old Wells had it inside. Everybody was buying it. Where did I get that book from? I borrowed it and I gave it back. Was it Wendy or somebody, oh, it was Heather, yeah! That's right, uhuh. But I think I can get it from Sardis again that book. It just made me so mad I didn't want to look at it anymore. Just to think a white man has to put it in his, making money out of it you know, in our own history in our own little home town, own village, you know. I can show you where that longhouse was up there, right where it was built. The old man (great grandfather) used to show us where it was. But in that slough, black, right in front of our house. I used to swim back and forth in there, you know. And the old people said I must have been, because I was born and raised there as a little kid and I played in that water, that's why nothing happened to me, see. Question; You mean if you didn't live there....? If I didn't live there I wouldn't live through it. And one lady was telling me they found that snake after again. Just not very long, about ten, fifteen years ago. They dredged that place you know and they found that big snake way up further. Quite a ways from our place. Way up, there's a dump ground there, and they said they found this thing laying there. And they think that was part of that snake you know, part of it. You know, like maybe it was one of the young ones or it just kept on like that you know. But it was dead when they found it. I don't know what they did, they just buried it. And this lady, she's the one that wants me to go up there and learn how to weave, she says I bet you that thing was just watching you swim in there she says in that water. Because you belong to that place she says, and they wouldn't hurt you. I guess it was. It was quite deep and the water was black, it was dark color. Question; Was this woman a relative of yours? This one I was talking to? It's a relative of Dad's (Ed) side. Her mother was from Cowichan. She was married up there. Mrs. Jimmy, Mrs. Theresa Jimmy. She lives up there. She wants me to go up there and weave but I haven't got in touch with her again. She wants to teach me how to weave, long as I go spin for her. But I been stuck around here, I can't get away. Question: You haven't done any weaving? No, never yet. So, she was going to teach me, and I was going to learn how to dye the wool with how they dye it up there with that Indian dye. 142 Question; Was there a person who hired people to work in the canneries? You mean who hired the people to work in the cannery? It was old Tom Pete, that's Dad's (Ed) grandfather. He used to hire all the people. He used to go way up Chilliwack too, to hire people. Question; Do you know what cannery that was? I don't know. I think that's the one that was at Millards, on Sea Island, just below the airport. Question: Did you get a job through him? Oh yeah, once we get there we'd get jobs. There was a Chinese foreman there, you know, and once you get there you go to work. There's no waiting, you are put to work. And you can't lay off, they come right after you. If you stay home they come right to the house, get you go to work. Question: Is that the person who hired you? Yeah, mhm, the Chinese foreman wanted all the people. Everything was done by hand there was no machinery, so he had to have all the Indian people working there. Question: Could the person who came around hiring, could he fire you too? Oh no, no. He has nothing to do with things like that. He just gathers the people to go, to go there to the cannery. He gets paid for collecting all the people to go there and work. But the foreman is in charge of you after, after you're working, and the manager. The manager of the cannery. Question: Did the hiring person work in the cannery too? Oh yeah; he did. Question: Did he get a better job, or just the same kind of job? Oh, just the same, it didn't make any difference (laugh) they pitched fish in the cannery too. Question: Was there a hiring person for the fishermen as well? No. Not that I know of. There's some Indians used to go fish from here but he didn't hire them. They just went on their own to fish and they sell to the cannery. Same as these Japanese. I think all the fishermen long ago were 143 all independent, they didn't get their boats from the company or anything like that. I don't know about their nets. I think they made their own nets too. Question; Did you ever try making nets? No, not in my days. They did before. Yeah, the canneries, the companies used to get the Indians to make the nets for them. Give them twine and they make nets for them. I don't know how much they paid them but I remember, I guess it was they were getting paid by the net I guess, how much they done on the whole net. I guess it was contract or something. Get paid by the whole net what they had done. Question; Was there competition through all the canneries to get people to work for them? No, not that I know of, no. Because that cannery there, and there was a cannery just opposite across. It was on what you call that, Vancouver Cannery we used to call this one here. Vancouver Cannery, yeah. On this side, Vancouver Cannery where I used to work from. We used to call it Vancouver Cannery. And the other once across, on Lulu Island there, I forgot the name of that cannery. I think that's the one we used to call Vancouver Cannery, that one that's across the other side. Cause people used to work there, they come from all over the place. They used to just walk from there to Marpole. They called it Eburne at that time. Just walk there too, they call it Eburne, and they get the tram and they go to Vancouver on weekends. It was a lot of people at that cannery across the other side on Lulu Island, Vancouver Cannery. There were people from the Island (Vancouver Island). Question; Did you have kind of a camp there like the one in Skeena? Yeah, a camp. A big camp. All the fishermen and shoreworkers lived there. Same with this one over here at Sea Island. Japanese town there, really Japanese town. Nothing but Japs lived there. And we had our own camp away from them. We didn't live amongst them. Ours was way on this side like. But they had their own little town, the Japanese. They had stores there, and they had pool rooms there. They had stores all over the little place you know. Candy stores and drygoods stores. It was quite a place there. Question: Were those (stores) run by the cannery or by the people? Well, the Japanese run that themselves you know. They run the stores themselves and all that. Question; Was the Indian camp run anything like that? Mmm. Just ordinary working people. Just season work. 144 Question: Did they come and live there? Yeah, and they come home after. But the Japanese stayed there and that was their real home. Just like it was up here in Celtic. There was a big camp in there, big Japa nese camp, Celtic, there was a cannery there too. But I don't remember. It was already quit working when I come here. They say there used to be people from all over come there too. Question: (Do you recall the names of the canneries you've worked at?) I worked for Imperial in Claxton, and this one here. I guess that's the one they called Vancouver Cannery. Must be. It was Millardville's cannery, I think. Question: You just worked for the three canneries then? Yeah. That one, I don't know the name of the first cannery I worked for 'cause I worked there only a little while (cannery in ^ New Westminster). Question: When you worked at Vancouver Cannery, was it just washing fish too, or did you do other things? Well, at other times during — later in the fall we done herrings, we were heading herrings by hand. Taking the heads off and they smoked them. They had a smokehouse there, the company had their own smokehouse and in there they smoked the herrings. I don't know. All we did was take the heads off you know. You sit there and you take the heads off. We used to get paid by the box. I don't know how much we used to get. That's a long time ago. You fill up the box, I don't know how much it was (laughter). You know, then they used to smoke them. Put them on sticks and hang them up. The men used to do that. Question: Were there any close relatives or friends who worked there? All the Musqueams were working there from here. They were all there camping there. They're all gone (deceased) except me and Dad, everyone. Used to be a lot of people here one time, old people. Question: In Claxton you were washing fish too, weren't you? Oh yeah. Question: Did you get anything else up there? (any other type of job) Did nothing else up there but wash fish. Well, there 145 was, well, you're all, you're jacks of all kinds in the cannery when they get to know you. They put you washing fish and maybe they needed help somewhere in the machinery in the picking cans out from the machine to — you know, pick the bad ones out and return them. You get onto that. And we get on to filling (cans) once in awhile just to help. All round you know. They're shorthanded in one place, kind of slow, they take you, put you there. That's the way it goes in Steveston when I was there too. Question: You get the same wages (when you switch jobs in the cannery)1 Oh yeah, the same wages. You're experienced and they put you all over. That's how you get when you're experienced. They send you all over because they know you can do it. They put you — if they're, like, some people will be washing fish, they're not experienced. They'll take one of us and put them amongst them and we show them, see. The same with other jobs. They put one of us there and we show them how to work. That's how it went. Imperial I think it's still like that. Question: Do you recall when you started working at Imperial Cannery (B. C. Packers)? Up Claxton. I think it was 1925 when I worked up there. Question: And you worked for quite a few years? Then we worked till Gerri and Priscilla was a baby last time I worked up there. I must have worked up there all of five or six years, every .... off and on going back and forth (Claxton - Vancouver). Question: Then when you came back down here you didn't work for a few years? No, I didn't till I got on the Imperial here. We moved over there, Steveston. Then I went and got a job and stayed there. Question: Was that when you lived on Brunswick? No, I was living in Steveston. Question: You lived in Steveston at first? We were all over camping grounds but I didn't work. Just when I got to Steveston. Question: That's when you went back to work? Yeah, mhm. 146 Question; Was there a few Indians working at Imperial then? It was lots that time I got on. Like there was camps there all over there in Imperial, jus£ right behind the cannery. There used to be longhouses. there, you know and there were people from Alert Bay, people from Cape Mudge and people from North Vancouver. They were all there, and some from here. But I didn't stay there. I lived way up in my own place. People from Kuper Island. Question: Any people you remember in particular? Oh yeah. Oh, first of all I forgot to tell you I worked for Great West Cannery too, before I came to the Imperial. Great West Cannery was up where the .... that big cannery is now, Nelson Brothers. It was just a little bit on this side. It was a little cannery, a small one. An old fashioned cannery it was too. (laughter) Yeah, I worked there first, me and Harriet. Question: What was Harriet doing? She was washing fish. Mhm. We worked there. Question: How did you get on there? We just go and apply for a job and the foreman, Chinaman, put us on 'cause there was nothing but Indian women working there. No Japanese. That's when the war was on, see. No Japanese, they're all Indian. And women from Kuper Island. All Kuper Islands used to live there! Nothing but Kuper Island people lived there at the Nelson Brothers, just the back of it, you know. There were longhouses here and there all this way. Nothing but Indian people up there from Kuper. And they lived in them big long, it was big buildings too, right where I used to live. There were big buildings there like apartments. Maybe three or four families live in one big apartment there. Three or four of them there on this side where I lived and on that side. First going off I had a place way on this side where the green houses, apartments were. One still standing there. It's where I used to live just below it. A longhouse and the other apartments were that side of me. And that, that's the B. C. Packers houses those, ah, but I went to work for the West Cannery, Great West, from there 'cause it was a little ways to go. So I went apply for a job and we worked there for three years at this Great West Cannery. My late son (Willard) used to make fun of us working there. He'd go visit, us, him and his foreman. He says he'd stand in the door for a long time before he could see us because it was so dark in that cannery (laugh). No lights, little wee lights (laughter) in there. He says why don't you guys move into a real cannery, 1 Rose is referring to long cannery bunk houses. 147 they tell us (laughter). We told him we make good wages here. Even if it's just a few fish we work all day 'cause it was all just one iron Chink in that cannery (laughter). All the women washing fish by hand, cleaning fish you know like what I was telling you. A few hand filling. We'd go help all around. We were all-round workers. The Sploktons were there, Sploktons, big family. That's this Helen's* grandmother, this Helen over here, Helen Campbell. Her people, her grandmother and her sisters, and her aunts. They were all there. They were in a house just behind where I was living. Big house back there, they were there. And all the Kuper Island people were on the other side, on the other side of Hong Wo's store on the North side. You name it, the whole Kuper Islands were there, (laughter) Question: You were making good wages there? Yeah, sure. They were getting paid, it was a good job. They were there all year round most of them, never went home. •Cause some of them were big apartments, they lived right there. Angus and his wife were the only ones that's left from that bunch, Angus Edwards and his wife, Philomena. They're the only two that's left from that gang I used to work with there. Question: Where are they staying now? They stay in town with their daughter, it's over on Commercial Drive. And the Kuper Islands, there's lots of them still living that used to work there. Roy Edward's family, big brothers and sisters all worked there from Kuper. And the Peters, Dave Peters, that's over here. His wife and his mother and dad, they used to all be there, his sisters. They all worked there. There's lots left in Kuper that used to work there at Great West Cannery. After the Great West Cannery burnt down they built the Nelson Brothers, and they worked in there. It's not very long since they tore the camps down where they used to live. Question: Is that when you went over to Imperial when that cannery burnt down? No, no, I went there just because I wanted to get to the Imperial. Some of the ladies used to get mad at me at the Great West, 'cause my husband was fishing for the B. C. Packers. They used to say why don't you go work in your own cannery? (laughter) So they just get mad at us. Your husband's fishing for that company, why don't you go work there? You know, they'd get snotty to me sometimes. So I thought I'd better, go, so I ended off there. Just lots of fun. We didn't mean to fight or anything, just wanted to let me know I should be in the other place. (Laughter) Question: Was there a big group of people you knew up at Imperial? <4 LEAF 148 OMITTED IN PAGE NUMBERING. p. i </8 does, -not e.t'St 149 Oh yeah. That's what I was telling you. All the Cape Mudge and everybody was there, the Alert Bays. The oldtimers there. Some from Sechelt. People used to come from all over when the companies had their own camps you know before the white people start butting in. You never see white women working there, not one. There was just nothing but Indian women. I don't know why they (non-Indian) start going in after. When the wages come up they start to come in and pushed us out. Before that nothing but Indians. It was a rare thing to see one white girl working there. Question: Did you have a chance to can or smoke your own fish while you were working there? Oh yeah, in the fall we did. We used to come home here and dry fish down there at our home. Because I had only season work them days. We used to come home during the winter. But as I went along in years to come I, my seniority caime up then I start working on everything. I start work on tuna after the fishing season. We used to work on tuna .... (continued on Tape 31) Tape 31 Recorded: June 25, 1975 Mrs. Rose Sparrow Musqueam ....(continued from Tape 30) Fifteenth of September we started on tuna. But there's still salmon going on but the/experienced women goes on tuna. And work all winter till May before we finish the tuna then we go back on salmon again in June. But in between the tuna and the salmon there's oysters and clams coming in all winter. That's our winter jobs. So they had to split us, take a few of us away from the tuna to go help the unexperienced ones on the (oysters), when the oysters come in. They had to do that cause the oysters we had to do it. Three shifts when the scow comes in loaded. Three shifts you had to do. Day and after noon shifts till eleven o'clock, T1 think it was eleven and from twelve to eight in the morning, half-past twelve to eight in the morning. I used to get on the graveyard shift. It was hard, once in awhile. That's on the oysters. And oysters we had to stay on till it's finished. Sometimes we used to be 150 on it for weeks at a time for oyster you know. They'd come in by scows and right up the other. And then I don't know which one came first, the clams, I think. We used to do clams. We used to, they used to come in and we used to — gosh now, I just forgot how they did that clams. We used to take them out the shell too. Oh no, they used to come in, yeah, come in and then we used to cut them they look like ends, you know, we used to cut them off. Then it goes into, go in the cans and get cooked you know. The oysters we had to take it off the shells. Already cooked, they come in already cooked. They cook them outside. They had two big boilers you know going. Wash them first, they come in the boiler and from there it comes in our table. Big square table you know, where you take it out of the shells. It's easy. Dad's peeking. What do you call that cannery we used to work in Sea Island, Vancouver Cannery? Yeah, that's right, I kind of thought it was. Question: Do you remember anyone you worked with? She worked there long time. She came here see me long, three, four years ago. She's quite old lady. Oh you'd get lots stories from her. Question; What's her name again? Saraphine Dick, mhm. I think that woman's over ninety, Saraphine Dick. Ed; She's getting there. Rose: Mhm. She doesn't really know how old she is. Remember that time Tina brought her here, it was her birthday? And we gave her sandwiches and give her tea. Same place where my nephew is. I think I can get some antiques from her too. Question: Is she related to you? Mhm. Closely related, well, related by marriage. Her brother was married to my aunt. Question: You mentioned your father remarried. Do you know who he was married to the second time? He married second time, yeah. I don't know how many kids he has now. He must have had three or four but two died. There'd be only two girls. 151 Question: Did he marry someone from up the valley? Yeah. She was from up Skulkayn, Minnie Pool. From her he had three. One living yet but the others died. Question: Can you recall when it was your grandmother died? Ed: It was after hop picking, wasn't it? Or was it before? After hop picking. Rose: Yeah. Question: Did she go hop picking with you or stay at home? Yeah, we were out there together. Ed: We were out hop picking. Question: You figured that the great grandparents were older than what I've got written down. Rose: About a hundred years I think. Ed: Must have been over a hundred years both of them. Rose: Cause my great grandfather was a middle-aged man when they first put in the Canadian Pacific railroad. He used to work there on Deroche. And they used to have tents there. And (my great grandmother) she used to cook for the workers. She had one big tent. I guess she was hired to cook for the workers there. For an old, old woman she knew, she was good at pastry pies and little cakes — muffins. Bread, she was good at making bread. Couldn't beat her at yeast bread. Question: Did you stay with your great grandparents most of your childhood or did you move back and forth (to other relatives)? Oh yeah, yeah, I grew up with them from three years old, from a baby they took care of me. Even when my mother was alive they took care of me, they raised me. But I had a grand aunt that was in between. She'd help a little here and there you know because my granny always out working. And she was the only one in the household could go out and work for a living. She used to go out wash clothes for the white people. Next day she'd be at another place, next day she'd be at the other place. Ques tion: When you were staying up in Chilliwack after you were married were you with your great grandparents? 152 Yeah, I lived with them too. We lived in the same house with them for I don't know how long. Till my, let's see now, I had my third child I was still with them. Question; when you moved back to Musqueam you said you lived just down by Ann's (Ann Point) house. We lived over here, yeah. Question: What other houses did you live in down here at Musqueam? Oh, we were moving from one house to the other down here, we didn't have a home of our own, we called our own. Sometimes we stayed with his (Ed) grandfather and sometimes we lived at his mother's house further down that way. And long after we got a house, that one there. Ed; My mother gave me that house. Rose: Yeah, that old house we had before, yeah. Question: You had quite a few houses down here. Mhm, oh, there were lots of houses down there. We were right next to the Guerins, Bill Guerin, right next to them. And then from then on it was his grand uncle Tommy. And then after old Celestine, we used to call Celestine. Then Casmir Johnny, Paddy's father was one of the last there. That was all lived up on this side of the church. Ques tion: Was that the order of the houses? Yeah, that was all lined up there, mhm. Ques tion: When did you get the big house down near the old church? Oh, it was long after before we got that big house there, isn't it, dad, that over here, that big one used to be over here. Ed: Mhm. Rose: But Andrew's (Andrew Charles, Sr.) big house was there way before I come. When I first come to Musqueam it used to be down the beach there. Not Andrew's but his father-in-law. Ed: It was Andrew's. Rose: Was it Andrew's? Oh. Ed: He built it himself. 153 Question; Before you got the house down at Westham Island, where was the house you lived in? Oh, it was the cannery houses like where the Japanese lived in there, fishermen and workers too, huh, Dad. They had all kind of people coming to the Japanese camp back of the dyke. That was a cannery there one time. It went down long ago, I guess. Edi It used to be a Japanese camp before the war. That camp back of the dyke was built during the war. Rose: Was that a cannery there? Ed: Oh, I never even seen the place, that (cannery) must Have been torn down way before that. Rose: Yeah, but the camps were left there, about three or four rows of camps there, long ones. We lived there for awhile. And after that ;the company built us that little house behind Mike's place (Mike Wilson, Sr.). You seen that? The company built that for him (Ed) when he was fishing for them. Question: That cannery, was that right by where the dock is now? Outside, I guess, outside in the same location. Ed: Where the wharf is now, right there. It was just piles tEen when we were there, you know. It went down. They ripped it down and just the piles were left there. Rose; They say it used to be nothing but the island people working there long ago at that time. Ed: I don't know I never seen the cannery. Rose: No, I guess it must have been way before he was born, I guess, (laughter) Ed: 1926 you were up there with me, no, '27. Rose: We went up early that spring, in March. Did I work that year, yeah I did. Ed: Yeah, you worked. That was the first year you started up Claxton you worked. Rose: Prom '26 to....I went every year except I missed — I don't know. I don't know why I stayed home. No, I went and I was just .... 154 Ed: Well, 1927 you stayed home. That was when Willard was Born. Question: 1930 John was born? Rose: Yeah, mhm. Ed: 1930 she was home, '29 she was home. She was up Ch~illiwack. That's when Willard was born, isn't it? 1927. Yeah, she was home in 1927. Question: I've got 1929 that she went up to Claxton on this (chronology). Ed: Yeah, she was up there. 1930 she was home. Question: Lyle was born in '32, up in Claxton? Rose: Mhm. Question: 1934, 1933 I have nothing. Ed: From there on she was up there every year. Rose: I was up there every year. Question: After Lyle was born? Yeah, mhm. Ed: Every year, went up on the gas boat every year. Just them busy days she stayed home. Rose: Just when Priscilla was a baby I never went up no more. The last time I went up was when Priscilla was a baby. She was about like little, what you call, Stacey, about eight months old. 1942 was the last time we went up Claxton. Question: That was 1939? Mhm. Question: Did you go up after? Yeah, I went up there sometime. Ed: Same year Geri was born. Rose: I stayed home when Geri was born. Ed: No, we came rushing home. Rose: No, it was Harriet you rushed me home. Ed: '42. 155 Rose; Was I up there when Geri was born? Ed: Yeah, that's when I got mad and quit the B. C. Packers tEat's why I remember. Rose: Oh, mhm. Ed: They took almost everything I made, you know. I only came home with $400 or so. They took the rest. Question: So you went up and worked in the cannery (at Claxton) every year until 1942. Then from then, that's when Geri was born. Then did you work down here after that until Eddy was born? No, no, I never went to work until Eddy was two years old, two or three years old at Steveston when I was going to work. I stayed home here. Question: Is that when you were here (Musqueam) or ....? Stayed home Musqueam all the time with my kids. Ed: We moved. We used to come back from North to Canoe Pass In Westham you know every year. Then I didn't have to run all the way with my boat. Question: Then you lived here (Musqueam) during the winter? Winter. Oh, we usually come home about November. That's the year Ronny went up, '42, when he got a boat of his own. Rose: Mhm. Ed: We were on his boat and he was on my old one, you know, fnem guys, see my boat was faster and I was towing him all the time with my boat, you know. We got caught in a storm just outside of Point Grey, that last trip. When we got — wind started to come up. I had to turn Ronny's (boat) loose, it was drifting too much when the wind come. That was the end of Skeena River trips (laughter). Ronny went up by himself several times after that. He wasn't quite sixteen when he got his boat. Sixteen in September when he got it I guess. I think he wasn't quite; it was either sixteen or not quite sixteen, I forgot. Question: Do you remember what year Harriet was born? Rose: Harriet, she was three years older than Priscilla. Question: And Lyle was born in 1932? 156 Question: I tried to figure out when you moved to the house in Steveston. You mentioned it might have been in 1948. Eddy was born in 1945. Rose: Remember when we first went to Steveston we lived in that house, we moved in that house? Ed: Haunted house, right beside the cannery. Rose: Yeah, and Eddy was about two, three years old, real small. Your Dad's (Ron Sparrow) house was close by them two houses. Your Dad lived in Steveston. We got so scared, we heard noises in that house. All the kids was sitting up wide eyes, they wouldn't go to sleep. Who was out with you, Willard and Johnny? Ed: No. Johnny and Lyle. Rose: Oh. Ed: Yeah, it was Willard, that's right. He stayed till the end of September helping me. Rose; Sittin' in the house, pretty soon we start packing our blankets outside. I used to drive the car then. Threw all my blankets in the car, and the kids, and away we come. We got to Vi's (Sparrow), knock at the door, can we sleep here? She says what's going on. Says we're running away I says, our place is haunted I said, lots of ghosts in there. Aw, come on, she says. So we barged in, and we wouldn't wait for her to call us in, we barged in (laughter). We slept on the floor (laughter). We were so scared! Ed: We got home from fishing, the place was deserted. Rose: Your Mom will tell you, (you ask her) you remember when grandma, fan away to your house in Steveston (laughter). Oh! Question: Is that when you first moved over there? Rose: Yeah. And from there we got back, from Vi's. We went home early. And I went to the company, to B. C. Packers, and I told them I want to move away from that house. Can you get me another place? I wouldn't stay there tonight, no way. He (Ed) was out fishing. Okay, we've got a place. And that's that green house I was telling you, way down, them long green houses behind the Pacific Coast Camp. So these two guys, we know them well, they come with the truck and they throw out stuff in there. Blankets, pots, dishes, everything, moved us down the Pacific Coast, (laugh) He was fishin*. (laughter) He come up to where we were, packin' fish up, he got in. Nobody! Not even clothes or 157 anything in the house, it was empty (laughter). We moved down (laugh). He got down there after. (laughter) Oh gee! Ed: We went down to the office, asked what happened. It was creepy. We moved there on Saturday. And it was cheap. Rose: Oh, it was bad. We're not the first ones that ran away from there. They tore it down, used to be where the Imperial Cannery is, right on the side. Nice homes though, that's where Bertha used to stay somewhere around there. Ed: I thought I seen somebody standing there. Right by the door. The door was going like this going into our room by the stairs you know. Our bed was over here, sort of hallway here. I think there was a kitchen here. Seemed like some body was standing at the doorway there. Never said a bloody word, never woke her (Rose) up. Then pretty soon I heard, I knew it was going up the stairs. I never slept all night, I felt haywire you know. That was Saturday night. Rose: Even the daytime. Ed: Sunday night it was the same bloody way. Heard noises all over. Had to get up, go and look. Not a darn thing. Go in the kitchen, dishes were moving in there. I went to look and not a darn thing. I was thinking maybe it could be rats or something running around. Then I begin to feel haywire. Rose: He left us, went fishing anyways. Ed: Monday morning I left. Rose: Monday night we tried to sleep, that's the time we ran away (laughter). That's where this Lena Neuman's daughter hung herself upstairs in that same building, yeah, she hung herself up there. Even the Jap(anese), quite a few people went before us but they left just the same. Ed: They couldn't stand it. Rose: The Japanese went in there but they stayed there. They had no choice, they had to stay there, and I know these people well. Well, they thought, well, if she wants to live upstairs let her be, we'll live downstairs. They said they could hear her just like if she was alive upstairs. They was trying to say her husband hung her but you know if she was murdered she wouldn't come around like that. She was punished because she killed herself. Ed: I wonder, nobody ever really found out. Rose: Yes, she did herself. 158 Ed; How do you know, Mom. Nobody really knows. Rose: 'Cause, uh, the suitcase was there. She put that suitcase up and she stand up on that suitcase. They seen it. And after she got that thing on her neck, she must have kicked the suitcase down, you know. Ed; She must have then. I never heard that before. Que stion: When did you get the house behind Hong Wo's store? Was it a long time after? Oh, I don't know how many years we stayed in them green houses — long time, isn't it? Ed: Not very long. Rose: Three, four years. Then we moved to that where we were. Ed: We moved in 1950 from them green houses something like tnat. I got my boat. We were living there for two years be fore I got my new boat, you know. We moved to that little house then. We managed to get there again. Ken Fraser got kind of mad at me, you know, that time. You had a good house at Westham Island and we want these for the Japanese (he said). I said okay, make my bloody statements I says, if you want the Japanese you can have them all I says. Rose: Oh yeah? He didn't want us there at that? Oh. Ed: No. He figured we were barging in there, mhm. I need It I said to him. You're not the only fishing campany around here. A lot of guys would gladly have me I said. I could go independent as far as that goes 'cause I don't owe you nothing anyways. Ah, he fooled around and started cooling things off after. I was high boat then there. Rose; After we got to that other. Oh. Ed: He got kind of smarty with me. Rose: He wanted that for the Japanese. Ed; Yeah. He told me, I built you a good home on Westham Island, you left it. Why did you leave he says? Well, it was so damn awkward for me.... I gotta go way around. There was a ferry when we first started, you know. Rose; Yeah. Ed; And if we miseed the ferry we had to, well, every weekend we gotta go around 'cause the kids used to come out. 159 Rose; They were going to school. Well, I better go cook, you talk to grandpa. Ed; They (kids) don't want to go home (to school) early on a Sunday, you know, or Saturday. We used to keep them to the last bloody minute then we'd go around Westminster take them to North Vancouver, you know. I thought that we better move. I got tired driving around just before you go fishing again. We used to have five days then you know, five days a week. You get pretty tired by weekend. Then you're mending, get in the car and go pick up the kids, bring them back again. For awhile I used to pick up Harriet, she used to come out. One week they'd come out and the boys would come out the following week. We kept doing that. Finally I got them to come out together. Couldn't do it, run around every week. It would be about eight o'clock before I got back Saturday. I had to have them fchere for church on Sunday, you know. Sometimes we used to keep them overnight on Saturday night, but they get punished for it. They won't punish us, they punish the kids. Question; How long did you live in Steveston? Gee, when did you (Rose) retire, '66? We lived there all that time. I moved though. I used to have to come home (Musqueam). The kids were going to school you know. I used to come home and look after them. Clean up, cook, sew. Finally they got bigger and I stayed with granny over there (Steveston). This was how they got there, they all lived up there (upper part of reserve). I used to have to rent that house (at Mali) to Michele to go to school there, to U. B. C, you know. The last five or six years I guess I stayed there with Granny (Rose). Geri and Eddy were big enough to look after themselves then. They lived up there and we lived at home. Then we were here for a couple years before we moved then. That's it. It was handier for me there, you know. I could, this way after I left there I used to have to get up five o'clock to go to where you're fishing. When you're living there you get up at six o'clock. 160 While recording Grandmother's chronology data, I referred to Grandfather's chronology frequently. In this way I was able to check dates, or enquire for certain information. Specific dates were asked for. It was possible to determine discrepancies in information and ask for verification relative to her activities during the same period. Finding clues for obtaining additional data from her was also attempted through Ed's chronology. Grandmother did not directly review his until after the interview, when I placed the two chronologies side by side for her to look at. During the sessions with the chronologies, as many deficient areas as possible were covered. Both grandparents were restricted as little as possible in their choice of topic and depth of recall on each. This was done to obtain detail and specific references in the transcriptions. Information became more cohesive when they were allowed to enlarge on their infor mation and form relationships between for example, jobs, events or family activity. Grandmother at times went into detailed description of job procedures, while at other times she answered very abruptly and waited for further questioning. Having the chronology present during recording seemad to prompt recall for both, especially when cross referencing was possible. Working later with the two chronologies together helped me to verify data between them, and to correct times and places of specific events through the references made on the tapes. Ed and Rose also used the chronologies to verify and correct each others information while reading each others. 161 Much of the chronological information for Grandmother was charted by using the ages of children when a specific event occurred, and then going back to the birthdate to help locate the year. At times I asked for specific years, but generally tried to determine dates through association. By relating work to other events in her life she defined a loose chronological order to her work history. This method took longer, but it was more consistent with her life and categorizations than explicit questioning for a year by year account. Information in this session was more detailed and specific than earlier recording, but does not form a consistent chrono logical sequence. The information given also depicts the variety of work involved in a lifetime, the necessity or inclination for doing certain jobs. Grandmother obviously has other information she wishes to present. At a point where the questioning had covered one approach to her work, she started out on her own initiative to clarify her position and thoughts about a story she had read. Her version has historical value and has been utilized to intro duce extra questions. By allowing her to digress from the questioning I found her to be more relaxed, and communicative. Afterwards, she seemed more responsive to questions. Responses are more detailed, more descriptive in this area of the data. As I found with Grandfather, allowed to project further into work descriptions, they both began to reveal more about their own character. This was done through the choice of words, presentation, and depth in the materials. 162 Perhaps inadvertantly, they drew comparisons with other workers, other jobs and other years or time spans. Referring to a residence pattern helped in relating to Grandmother's work sequence, choice of work, and pattern of family activity. Transcriptions of tapes recorded in earlier years were referred to at this point. I was prompted to return to these for two reasons. The philosophies of life and work, and learning to work mentioned by my grandparents led me to question how more information like this could be revealed. Grandmother's story stimulated my recall to the content of these early transcripts. They would possibly be helpful in verifying one or two points. Portions of these tapes were found to be very helpful. Good references to earlier times consistently related to the type of data currently being collected. Several areas for comparison are listed in Chapter 5. In order to include these early tapes in the text and index, the entire collection was re-catalogued in chronological order. Portions of four earlier tapes have been included in the text for analysis. Their application is partially explained, but the reader can draw other, or addi tional comparisons. 163 Chapter 5 TRANSCRIPTS OF EARLY RECORDINGS Tapes 2, 3, 8, and 9 Rose and Ed Sparrow 1972 The ethnographic notes in this chapter are transcriptions of tapes recorded before specific work history material was collected. They are excerpts from conversations and interviews taken from four tapes recorded in 1972. Although they are essentially ethnographic field notes, no attempts have been made to edit the information given in these excerpts. All references here were directed to my Grandmother's home, Kwah-kwah-a-pilt, near Sardis, B. C. What she and my Grandfather say in the following pages relates primarily to the life and experience they recall at her home rather than their present location at Musqueam. This data does not follow the same format as the later recordings. As I re-read these earlier transcriptions for possible clues to my grandparents' past life, it became apparent almost immediately that there was a direct relationship between the two sets of data. The work histories reflect back to the life style, socialization, philosophies and training outlined in these first transcripts. Partial transcriptions of these tapes are included here to give the reader fuller appreciation of my Grandmother's character and traditional background as she projects them. 164 Tape 2 Recorded: April 24, 1972 Rose and Ed Sparrow, Sr. Musqueam 1 COAST SALISH ETHNOGRAPHIC NOTES LO When my great grandfather (maternal) was just a boy, just a little boy, there was not white man around, nobody. He remembers they had houses — they didn't have tepee, they never had tepees. They had underground homes dug down about eight feet. They had cedar for the roof (single pitch roof with trough like planks overlapping to form a waterproof cover - 0=^^=3 ). They make their own. They made a ladder out of cedar boughs. They had to use a ladder to go down inside, and they made the ladder out of cedar boughs; the skinny ones they'd split them and wind it around till it got thick like a rope then they made a ladder out of the boughs. They had a hole up there where they come in (door) and come down on the ladder. It's winter they use that underground house when there's lots of snow. They had all their food in there. They dry their food — deer meat, wild berries, all sorts of them - they dry that too. The women they go out and pick roots. The fern roots they used to dig that, and they used that like potatoes. Some of them are round, some are long, They'd put these away. They wouldn't have to come out (of the house), they could stay right in there. But when they get tired in there they come outside. They never had no clothes, the little kids, babies; the women got cedar bark in the summer. The inside they'd slice then bite it till it was soft like silk. Then they'd lay it down and that's what they use for babies blankets and diapers. But first of all they oil the babies up, that's their bath, with seal oil or whatever it is. After that C*<J they lay them in - they have their baby basket and with cedar bough that's nice and silky (inner bark pounded until it's soft). They lay the baby in there and wrap him up, it's nice and warm. The older ones like two year olds or year old they're running around. The only way they keep them from getting their skin dried up when it's cold is they oil them up too, up to twelve years old. Then they get their paint, the red paint and they put it all over them on the wholebody. So they're protected that way like they had something on them. ^age numbers corresponding to original field notes and Table I, page 188. 165 The red paint is daubed on to protect them from the cold. You know if you get cold your skin gets cracked. That's why they oil it and put paint over day after day. If they want to change it, they just wipe it off and put fresh oil on them again and then wipe it off. Just like if they were bathing. That's the only way they keep them clean in wintertime is oil them up. To make the paint you get red clay and put it on the fire. Of course they have rocks; they get these rocks red hot then they cool it off a little bit and put on this clay, red clay. Then they all grind it up so fine, that's the one they use for paint. They put oil in it you know. But otherwise with kids they don't use oil with the paint. They just put the oil on them then put the paint over it. They never get cold. In the centre of this big (winter) hut they have seal oil and keep that burning a little bit. It's like a candle, and it keeps the whole place warm. The house is dug deep down in the ground and it had that roof so there's no wind or cold air coming in. Once they get that little bit of oil heat burning there they're nice and warm down there. The women had blankets made out of goats. They weave the blankets. I dj don't know if they made these Indian mats before at that time; I guess they did. The mats are made out of bull rushes and they weave that too. That's what they use for putting up for a wall. They use that for a mat. It's waterproof so if you put it up on the wall any dampness wouldn't come through it. They use that for the hunters too. The men go out hunting and the women weave the bull rushes and they make a cape. They tie it up at the neck. If it rains the rain just rolls down, it won't come through. It just rolls down on that cape. Same thing, they have it (woven rush mat) on their lap. The rain won't go through it. That's how they keep dry. The kids, I don't know if they did anything in the wintertime. In the summertime they were out. They learn to hunt, the boys. Theylearn how to fish. Their father takes them out hunting and he takes them out fishing. The little girls, their mothers teach them how to weave baskets or weave blankets or anything like that. And teach the girls to prepare the food. The fish - how to fillet the fish, teach them how to dry it. Same with the meat. It's women's job with the girls to teach them how to prepare the food and how to dry it to keep for the winter. Not only drying it. In the summer they get the fish and they barbecue it on the open fire. They get the whole fish and they open it and barbecue it. That way it's half cooked, then they smoke it over a fire. That will keep all winter just like if you had it in a freezer. It'll never spoil. That fish is half cooked then it's smoked, and you take it out and eat it that way. They make it in many ways, the fish. The only thing they didn't 166 know was how to can them. But to cook fish they make a big fire and put all these rocks there. When these rocks getCvJ hot, real hot then they move the charcoal out of it. Then they put some kind of leaves on them (rocks), then lay the fish there after they're all clean. Then they get some more leaves and they cover it. After it's all covered up like that they get water and sprinkle it over. It will just steam, then they cover it up with some more leaves, and leaves. They use those mats too to cover it. They just pour water on it and cover it up and it steams. Steam cooked and the fish is cooked like it's boiled. Same with clams, we did the same thing with clams. We made a fire, then put rocks there. After it got hot, we gathered up the seaweed, then we got the clams, washed it and threw it on top. Then we cover it with more seaweed, then cover it with a big blanket. In about ten minutes the clams were all cooked. It was very tasty. Just lately though we did this. You could put hot rocks in a basket or pot to cook. That goes for anything. To bake they find a nice sandy place to make a fire. When the sand gets red hot they dig a hole there. When they learned how to make bread - I don't know what corn they used - they put it in that hot sand and covered it up with the sand. Keep it there for awhile, I don't know how long they wait. Take it out, it's all cooked. That's how they cooked their food. The women do a lot of weaving, blankets, keeping their house clean. They're clean people. They gather little bush branches - the fine branches, and they tie it to use like a broom to keep clean. They have mats all over the floor, the bull rush mats they make. They pick off the top part of the bull rushes. It's very fine. I seen my great, r great grandmother do it. She'll take that all off from each>-(bull rush head), then roll it to make a string. You make it into a ball like this (diameter about seven inches). You can't break it if you tried. It's stronger than .the rope. That's what they used to make the mats. You just tie the string to the end of the stick (length of rosewood stalk split in half; one end with a blunt point, the other end with a small hole to tie the string onto the stick). You put a few on (stalks of rushes) then you pull it out, then you put some more on. You keep pulling the stick and leave behind what is already on the string. Till you get the whole thing all strung up. Then you take this little thing (piece of wood with a groove down the centre, rounded edges: side } \ groove . You keep sliding it back and forth. That'll shape that so it wouldn't rip, put it in its place. (Place the groove along the line where the string holds the stalks of the rushes together). That's how they make their mats, that's the bull rush mats. 167 Weaving is different. They have it hanging (on a frame). They spin the wool. They've got the goat hair. They use a spool and a rod to spin. You wind it round and start again to roll it on your leg. Ed: You use goats to make coarse wool blankets. I don't k"now how they did it, but they make it with (red) clay in it to hold it together. They use the dog's fur, I don't know what kind of dogs they were, for finer wool. The fur was long and they raised them just for the hair. I don't know where they got them. Rose: Every fall I guess they sheared them or every summer to get the wool off. Each family had the dogs just for the wool — to weave, spinning and collecting wool. They could do it anytime summer or winter. Weaving I think is done outside in the spring. In the summer the women are busy collecting food. All summer they move from camp to camp. For getting and drying a certain kind of fish they stay in one place; when they get that all done they say well let's go after sturgeon now. They're going to pack up and move again. There they fish sturgeon and they dry it. I don't know how long they stay there. All summer they're moving, they're just free as the birds. They didn't care less what land was long as they were bappy. They moved from one place to the other just to get their food and dry it for the winter. When they got through with the fish then they go hunting. They take the whole family along to go hunt for meat. Take their wives and children and they camp again. The men bring the deer down and the women, they fillet it just like a fish. Cut them thin you know then they hang them up. They put up long poles (held up horizontally) then they hang the meat up in strips. It's a nice hot day; they keep a little smoke under the meat. Not too much, just to keep the flies away. They didn't want no flies around their food. When they have a little smoke there the flies won't come near, never. They wouldn't eat anything a day old either. It had to be fresh food. If they wanted to eat fresh fish or meat they wouldn't keep it a day or two. They had to dry it all if it wasn't eaten right away. Fresh meat and fresh fish they wouldn't eat anything a day old. They were very particular about their food. If anybody got sick, they know their medicine. They know what tree to use for a certain illness. The bark, the^J roots of certain trees. They know what to use for certain illness. If they break a leg, they set it. A certain bark, I forgot all about it, I should never forget that. They go get this bark, they take it off the tree and they'll use it for a splint. Fresh bark under the leg. Then they get this 168 cedar bark (pounded and softened) inside first, then they'll wind it up tight with cedar bark to heal up this bone. Every family knew. They're very sacred, Indian medicines. One family knows, they wouldn't go to the next door and tell the other one use this or this. No, they had their own and they're gonna keep it like that. They won't let anybody know. They know this person needs it; they go and get it and they fix it themselves. Then they bring it (medicine) already done. For TB they go and get their own medicine and they fix it up. They have rocks, they had bowls made out of rocks. They put water in there and set it on the fire. Then the water will boil and they put the medicine in there, in the water. When its ready they drink it. They know how to look after themselves. If anybody had a cyst or a boil or anything and it had to be cut, certain men do that; they have their own knives — I don't know what it was made of, bone or slate — if anybody had to be operated on they do it. If you had a cyst, he heats up this thing. He sterilizes it too. He wouldn't use it without sterilizing it on the fire. Then they got this medicine to wash it after. They didn't go to no doctor, but there's certain person that knows more than the others. Not very long ago mother had a cyst or boil. Ed: I was only eight or ten years old. I don't know whether it was a boil or a cyst. He had his bone tools ^ wrapped up; he sterilized them. On my mother he punctured this and put something there. Rose: Pus came out when he opened it. Then he poured Indian medicine there and washed it out. Right in the cut and it draws out the bad stuff inside. Rose: They have their own way of curing themselves and everything like that. I think everybody is; he was born to do that. They had to know something. Ed: They were their own doctors. This one, he had bones he sterilized to operate with. Rose: They weren't dirty people — people call them dirty savages, but they weren't dirty. Every morning they go in for a bath, and every evening they go in for a bath. When I was a girl I had to go jump in the cold water first thing in the morning. You clean yourself with cedar boughs, if you bath yourself-every day, twice a day, you don't need soap. Ed: They use cedar boughs to get the dirt off, I guess. Bull rushes, they used that too. 169 Rose: The cedar boughs, right at the end, you take that and rub it on you. You scrub all the dirt off. Ed: Certain pools where the men bathes you would find piles or* cedar boughs and rushes - the tops - they used to scrub their bodies. Sometimes they rubbed so hard the skin came off. It was to purify I guess, or something like that. Rose: You had to be clean. The girls they teach them how to work. That was the prime law — keep them moving. When berry time comes, up .. they go. The mother takes them out to pick berries. And J they have to learn how to pick fast. Every day they're brought out, as soon as they're able to carry their basket they're taken out. They used to dry the berries. Just lay it outside, spread them out on a mat. They'll get nice and dry, they never get sour. They press it after they get dry. They put a layer (in storage vessel) then they put leaves in between and put another layer of berries. Put leaves in between, like alder leaves. Same with the dried fish, same dried fish. Put leaves in between so they won't go spoiled, they won't get rank. My great grandfather (maternal) when he was a little boy used a bow and arrow and he went out hunting. They taught him everything. First of all, before he goes hunting his father gets him up before daybreak and sends him down to the river to bathe. You can't go hunting when you stink. You go up in the bush without bathing and they (animals) will smell you, and you get nothing. So he has to go bath first. That's their way. When he comes back with his deer then he was told how to clean it. They had different way for catching ducks. They get in a canoe and put all these bushes, rushes, grass or anything tied around the canoe. As long as they're hidden. They weave it and lay it around the canoe. They had some kind of light so the ducks will see it and come (at night) . How they fished the sturgeon, I guess the speared it same as any other. Ed: They had a lead same as salmon (spear). Their spear was IIke an arrowhead made out of bone. You hollow the end of it so it fits on a long handle. You use a lead to find out where the sturgeon is. You feel it and aim for the head. When you^ find the head you spear it. That thing lets go (spearhead is released from shaft). You let it (sturgeon) go till it's tired then pull it in with line attached to the (spear) head. Rose: He (great grandfather) had a spot way out in the river. A certain place. The greatest place where sturgeon used to be was Sumas, it was a lake. He used to come in there to that big lake, and camp. They'd dry them (sturgeon) right 170 there. It's not very long since they drained that lake. Really sturgeon lake that was. And even after they drained that lake some people said they saw one big one still in there in the mud. That was a real home that was. My great grandfather's name was Exwumtun - that's Eddie's name now (youngest son). It means you're nice and kind to your people, you help them when they need help, you give what you have to the people. If he got one big sturgeon he'd cut it up in pieces. He'd tell his wife to fill up a basket and put it on her back to pass it around from house to house. That's the way they used to be. He had that name, he helped people with food or whatever they think they needed. The people did a lot of things, different things I guess. They all did their own things, each one, but every body did the same thing. They had to, to live. That's why when the whiteman came they weren't so happy. They didn't have a chance to move anywhere they wanted to go. Before they were free. They could camp here, there, and camp there. Anywhere, no matter where they went it's their home. Nobody can say get out of here you don't belong here. They were free people, they didn't claim anything; they were just happy go lucky people. There they were, they didn't bother nobody.^'J They didn't go war-fighting, nothing maybe they did, but they went upcoast — Prince Rupert, Alert Bay. That was their enemies; they used to come down. But otherwise they were carefree. If your neighbour had a girl, a baby girl, the parents (of the boy) go propose. So when that baby girl and the boy grow up, that's going to be his wife when they grow up. Ed: (The children), they're marked just like a prince or princess. They don't go and propose by themselves, the parents do it from baby up. They decide it, if they (parents) don't change their mind, when they (children) grow up, the parents will help bring the boy over (to girl's family) even though they proposed when they were very small. To prove their sincerity he has to go over and bring whatever he has. He goes with whatever he has and stays there for maybe a week or more if the other party isn't too sure if he's acceptable or not. If he has faults maybe he's got problems since he's grown up. If they accept him, the parents of the boy made a big potlatch, you know. If they turn him down, the parents of the girl will have to return everything he brought there and they themselves give a big potlatch of their own to let people know they turned him down. Then he'd have to look for another woman. Rose: But most of the time they accept him, you know, and they have a big fesat. Ed: This could go on for days. 171 Rose; The parents of the girl, whatever she needs, they give. Blankets, everything she needs for her home. The parents got to give her that, it's not the boy's parents who furnish that, it's the girl's parents who have to furnish the girl'-'1-' for everything she needs in the home. That was their ways. It's not up to the man to worry about what he needs in the home, it's up to the girl to take everything to the home. They have their own home. The boy when he gets married he won't' live with his parents. They've got to make their own place. Ed: If they've got a great big house,, longhouse, it's separated off for each family. When a young couple get married, they've got to settle down. Maybe part of their house when they got married was set aside. They could only use one spot in the great big longhouse. Rose: Then they could live separately. Ed: The longhouses had open fires. The longhouse was made 6T cedar planks years ago. Rose: But they all cooked in the open fire. There were two or three fires; they all cooked their own meals. The women all go out to the river to wash and bathe every day. After they learned how to use clothing later on they went to the slough or river to wash their clothes and they bathed their children. Ed: Winterhouses were dug in about eight feet. It's not a BTg one, it's for three or four families to sleep. I don't know how they dug it, but they did. I've seen one over here (Musqueam). It's mostly upriver people have these, but I saw that one there. I know another place down on the point (Point Grey). Rose: There's one (dug in house) at Chilliwack just below our house. There's still a big home there. SK' U limmeh, they call it - a home for the winter. In summertime they don't live there. In summertime they're out. They get cedar boughs, and put a roof on. ; 'J They caught seals and kill them. The seal has lots of blubber; they take that blubber off, skin it off. They keep it on the skin, and then fix it and barbecue it. They used to make a big wooden platter out of cedar or something. When they barbecue that seal fat they have it underneath so the oil drips in. After they saved the oil in a bag, maybe they had a skin - that's something I didn't catch on, how they preserved the oil. Ed: They used a bag from the seal itself. Poured the oil in and it hardened up. 172 Rose: That's how they got this oil. It's just plain white. It's clearer than lard. I used it before - it's white and clear. You can use it for bread or anything. It's got no smell on it. They take all that and then they cook the meat of the seal. They barbecue it. They speared seals just like a fish, and they cook it - they never eat it raw. They dried it too just like any other meat. The skin - they make some kind of clothing out of the skin. Every^skin they never waste; they make some kind of clothing for the men, or make a drum. But most of them used the skin for clothing to go hunting. They never wore moccasins, the women did but the men never. Ed: They did when they went to hunt. Rose: I must have been about seven or eight years old when my great, great grandmother's mother died — that was my sixth generation. I used to go with her when she used to go cut those bullrushes. She never wore shoes. She'd go in the bush, or go in the snow outside with no shoes on; it never bothered her. The skin just got thick, so thick you never feel. Tape 3 Recorded: April 26, 1972 Mrs. Rose Sparrow Musqueam FIELD NOTES - COAST SALISH ETHNOGRAPHIC NOTES. Activities of Women They just go by the, — I guess you call it the universe. It's daylight and goes down to sundown and all that, you know. Well, they just get up and go on their chores. First thing in the morning they get something to eat for their husband and their children. Then they go and bath themselves and bathe their babies. They used to use oil to oil the babies up. You know, after the bath they oil them up so they won't get chafed. And they wrap them up with that material they make out of cedar bark. It's silky soft, and they use that for 173 babies' diapers, and they wrap them up. They put them in -they make little baby baskets out of bark, I guess - and they carry them when they go ;out to look for food. If it was food they were looking for, they go digging roots. They used to go digging these fern roots and the wild lilies. They have roots round like onions, you know. Different kind of wild lilies that grow quite tall and they come out — they're in the meadows. Of course they have their dry fish and everything there in the home. Summertime they get everything fresh. Cosmology They go by the sun. They stand up and if their shadow is straight, don't go west or east, it's just straight and it's noontime. The middle of the day. My great grand father used when he's working, he'd stand up and look at his ^ shadow. It's straight — don't lean back. He says it's noontime. That's how they know half the day's gone. Then the shadow goes back again this way, going towards sundown. That's how they know the time in their travels or whatever they're doing. Women's Activity It was their job the ladies when they got hone to prepare a meal. When the men came home whatever they had and if they had deer meat, the men would clean it and the women fix it up and hang it up. As the kids grow up they're taught to do all these things. The boys go hunting, they're taught to hunt. Puberty And the girls when they first get their periods, that's when they're taught the hard way to go about their routines. They get up in the morning - don't feed them either. Put them on a diet. Don't feed them four days? I think they eat maybe just liquid stuff. Then they take them out to go swim in the pool. Then they take them up to the bush to pick berries or whatever it is. They have to run fast. They're half running to go wherever they're going to get what they're after if it's berries or whatever it is. If there's no berries they can pick the leaves, fast 174 you know. Have to learn how to pick berries fast, so you gotta be fast to get anything. And after that they get home and they make them sit down. No talking, no talking — not allowed to talk to anybody. They're kept by themselves. And they throw them a job, you know like a work — like weaving something or a mat. They just throw that and tell J them to go to work, show them how to work. They know a little before, but they have to learn how to do it fast, whenever they do and sit and work and don't look around and talk. If you start talking you'll be mouthy, you'll be always talking. Question: Why do they have to work fast? So they'll be fast workers. You know, so whatever you do you'll do it fast and get through quick. That's why they're teaching them like that. Same with picking berries. Whatever they do they've gotta do it fast. No lazing around, you know. Some girls do something and when they're half done they leave it. That's why they teach them to do these things, to do it properly. They really work hard too (during these four days). They learn the hard way in life, that's why they're taught like that. It's hard for them. It's four days you're kept like that. You're not supposed to touch your own hair. Somebody combs it for you, and somebody washes it for you. If you touch your hair in that four days the roots of your hair will die out. Before you're old you'll get grey or you'll have ugly hair. Dried up, split up on the ends and everything. That's why they don't allow you to touch your hair. After four days you go bath. They wash you up with cedar boughs you know. A certain woman will wash you and clean you after the four days. Question: During the four days do you bath yourself? No, no. You just go dip in there. But after four days that's your last for the four days, and after that you can do it yourself. You're free after the four days. A f certain woman knows how to do those things - bathe you and^J wash your hair and combiit. After four days you can do it yourself. Four days is the danger time of your life. What ever you're touching is killed — like fruit trees or whatever it is, grass or anything. If you touch it as you go along it'll dry up and die. After that you don't have to worry. They know a spot where you go (during the four days). One little spot so you won't ruin the rest. They pick a spot you're allowed to pick because next year they know there'll be nothing there. They don't put you all over, they have the spot where they pick all the time and they have a special spot. They take you there for swimming too. This way you don't spoil the crop of the fruit; you stay in one spot, you don't go all over wherever there is to go. 175 If you start talking in those four days that's all you'll be good for is gossiping. Talk, talk, talk, and no end. Trouble maker you see, so they won't allow you to talk. Question; How would the women stop you from eating during the four days? They tell you what to eat and what not to eat. In four days you're not supposed to eat and eat. If you do that you'll be just bulging out, bulging out. You get used to eating too much. They just allow you so much and no more in those four days. No overeating, no overdrinking. They say if you drink too much too you'll be short breathed. When you try to run, you can't breathe because you drink too much water at that time. Control your weight and everything, that1s why you do that. Question: Do the girls know how to weave and pick berries, etc. before this time? They do it (start training) when the girls are young. Her mother, anybody can do it so they grow up to be healthy,fel not sloppy or lazy. That's why they're taught these things. Question: Were any special or different clothes or identi-fying symbols worn at this time? They just keep clean that's all. Whatever they wore I guess. It's clean because they bathe every day. Same with the boys. They're not allowed to go hunting animals unless first they bathe. Question: Do the young women travel about by themselves or with someone? The parents or sisters or brothers. They're not allowed to go out late at night by themselves. They're kept home, but they travel with their families. Very strict with girls. If a girl went running around and got pregnant, got a baby without a husband, she's disowned. She's disowned by her parents; the; baby too. She'd just go out somewhere and find the best way she can go. If the man is good enough, he'd marry her. But she's disowned if the man don't come forward and propose to her, or if they don't find out who the father is. It was a big disgrace to the family if a girl did that. I don't know about the boy's (family). I know the girls were treated that way, they disgraced the whole family tree. She has to go on her own. After her first period a girl does woman's work — everything; food, everything. Everything her mother does, she has to do. They used to go along with their mothers to help them pick berries, if the mother was working on mats, she'd make mats. 176 It's hard to say, it's a mystery why the plants died (if they were touched by a girl during her first period). It's something in your blood, the change of your life. TheW change of your blood in your life. It's so strong, it kills these weeds, berries or whatever it is. It's true. It's the same thing for a widow because her husband's dead. He died and she's still got his blood in her, that's why she's so strong. His blood is still in her that's why. She's supposed to be careful but it doesn't seem to bother anybody anymore. It's still that way but people don't take notice anymore. If I had my own way I'd take oneof these women that's just lost their husband, take her out in the bush there and make her touch the leaves, trees, and the bush. She could have killed all those things you know. Right up to today it's still the same but people don't believe it no more. It's still the same but they don't go out to experience it anymore. They still believe it but just don't go by it any more. They will destroy something they touch. If it's green, - berries, trees or leaves, anything like that. They (widows) eat with their back to their family. Those were the rules because they didn't want them facing their children. You might be eating, chewing away in front of your kids, it won't be long you'll lose one of your children. They say that's why they have her (widow) facing away from her family. That's a long time ago, way back. She can talk to them, just eat facing the other way. She can talk. Nobody does that anymore. They do mourn quite a lot. In a year's time they get over it. They say the more you cry the better you are. If you hold back you just get sick. It helps a lot. You hurt so much you want to cry and you hold it back — pretty PJ soon you get pain all over. In your throat and all over, you've got to let it out and you feel better. And then — well it doesn't mean you forget them — but you come out with it and you feel better, you feel lighter all around. Question; During pregnancy what does a woman eat? There's certain foods you're not supposed to eat. We were told we're not supposed to eat starchy things like apple. We're not supposed to eat nuts. They say it gives the baby colic. They won't allow us to eat that, like nuts and apple. I don't know what else we're not supposed to eat. A lot of things. You're not allowed to eat crabs. They say if you eat crabs your baby will be bow-legged. That's all I could remember. Pregnant women aren't supposed to play with pets — 177 rabbits or cats or anything like that. Your baby might look like a puppy or something like that when it's born, or it will have a hare lip or something, like the animals — a rabbit or a beaver. They'll take after it in some way or another. It's long ago since they did that. If somebody throws it on their lap and they scream and go like this (indicating fright or surprise) the baby might be born with a cat's face or something like that. That's very true, they say. If they're out camping, and the baby's born there, no matter whwre it was there always was a mother there or somebody to help. First they used to have some kind of medicine they give the babies when they're first born. They just put hot water on it, put in two or three drops in the mouth before they ever nurse. It takes all the dirty slime in their stomach out. That way they say they don't have any sickness in the stomach. I don't know what you call it (the medicine). It has little white round things, little white balls on it. You squeeze them. I don't know the name of the bark of it, you just pour water on. It cleans them out. After they do that then they nurse the baby. The doctors spray the mouth, but this way they use medicine. They put a little bit in their mouth and it comes out. When they ntarse, everything is cleaned out. It's like physic. They wrap the baby up in cedar bark. It's nice and soft. They make special ones, small ones, for diapers; they used to wash it and dry it. The baby is kept nice and oiled so it won't get chapped. Then they wrap cedar bark around. They wouldn't use the woolen. The boys they straighten the legs then wrap them up so they'11 have straight legs. Some of them are born with like club legs. They put them together like this (demonstrates straight legs held together), that's with the boy and they tie it tight and leave it like that. I don't know how long they keep them tied. Just when they bath them I guess, they unwrap them, then they tie it again. Their legs come out straight. They didn't have casts and everything on, it's — they just do that. A few (mothers) put something on the baby's head. In the wintertime they put something over their head to cover them with; some they put something across their fore head so they have a nice shaped forehead — just the girls. Gives a nice flat forehead. 178 Tape 8 Recorded: November 15, 1972 ^ Mrs. Rose Sparrow Musqueam Indian Reserve, Vancouver, B. C. Stories from Kohkwaplatfrom my great-great grand father. I was only three years old when my mother died and my great, great grandparents raised me. Every night they used to tell me the stories of all different little things. ? This happened with this story from way back as far as they can remember. ^This story said things before Christ's time (Christ or Xar.ls'-)*, ; The birds, the fish, everything — they were humans. The birds, they were humans — of course, in certain ways they'd fly but most of time they were just hamans like the ordinary people in those days. So this happened during that time. All different little birds and fish were haying a gathering by this skunk family. The Indian name is ^ltn£u$for skunk. He gathered all his friends for a big dinner because his daughter was a dancer. So he invited the eagle, the sparrow, this little winter robin, the bullhead fish, weasel, and many others — everything. He was making a feast and he wanted his daughter to dance. You know, like they do. So when he wanted the people to dance first, the first one .that danced was this little sparrow and they called her sqothe, that•s the Indian name for sparrow. So she started singing her song and they sang for her and her little song was: (Song not translated from Indian language) That means she kicks her legs, you know, kicks away to find J her food. She scratches away. The next one it was this little bullhead. So this little bullhead starts dancing. But there was this fellow there, that was the eagle. He's a big bird, the white headed 'eagle, and he said — I wouldn't trust that skunk. That's s'ithpuq — I'm just going to stay out and I'm just going to peek through the hole. So he put his hands in; he was hanging on inside with his legs and he was peeping through. He says — I won't trust him; you never know what he's going to do. So the next one was that little bullhead. He starts singing his song and it went like this. (Song not translated from Indian language) He says watch out people for my ears. He says it's them little sharp things here. He was going along dancing away. When he finished, this little skunk girl was going to dance. 179 She danced and her father came along and he started dancing. Then he let all that funny smell out, I don't know what you call that. Everybody just started running out. And this eagle had his hands inside, his legs, hanging inside — that's why the eagle has those yellow legs, on account of that. He had them inside and the skunk made it yellow, the smell was so strong. As I can remember, that story went like that. During the evening just like this, my great, great grandfather told me this. And every night he'd tell stories and he'd tell us how these people lived. They lived in underground homes, you know, dugouts. That's where the people lived in the winter. And instead of making a door in the , side, they'd have an opening upon the top of this dugout. -* It's got a roof on it. It's all made out of clay — they just dig and dig inside and make it big enough around. They used to put a ladder from outside up to that hole and a ladder from that hole down to the ground. That's their winter home. Even my great, great grandfather remembers when he was a boy they still had that home. He says in the winter time you couldn't go out, the snow is so thick. But they went in and out for bathroom or something like that. As far as everything that went on it was so cold for anybody to be roaming back and forth. They had enough grub there to keep them for the winter. As far as water is concerned, I guess they melted snow — I don't know. That was so warm, they didn't have wood to burn, they just have oil. They save this seal oil and they just light a little fire in the centEe for their light. It would keep on burning and keep the place real warm. They didn't have no lamps, the oil was their lamp. You just lit it and it keeps burning enough to light the whole place. Just in the centre. Then they all cook in there and eat in there. Their beds all went around inside and they were nice and warm in there. Question: Did all of one family live in that house? The whole family there, may two or three families would build that and they stay there for the winter. After that when the spring comes they come out and they go to their summer homes and then they travel from one place to the other. Question: Did all the families travel together (ie. as distinct family units?) Yes, they travelled together. The men hunt or fish. The women, they prepare the fish and dry it and the meat and everything. They keep on like that; they move from place to 180 place. They think I get through with this I want something else. I want to hunt for something else — they'd move again. And they'd pitch camp again and they'd do the same thing. They never go hungry. Even the roots what they need for the winter, they dig it in the summer and put it away. Or the berries, the women went picking berries and they dried the berries outside. Sun dried. Just put something there (to cover the ground) and they spill the berries and they dry. All different kinds of berries. And then after that they make baskets out of this cedar bark. They weave these baskets out of cedar bark. And they can put all the dried berries in there. They wouldn't get mouldy. They put them away; they put a layer of leaves in between, they fix them like slabs. They lay leaves then lay the next, one. All different kinds. And the berries will keep all winter. Question: How long do you leave the berries in the sun to dry? Oh, just when they really get dry. Just test them when they're dry then you put them away. Maybe a couple of days and they'll be ready. In June and July they're packed away for the winter. All they have to do (in winter) is take it out and soak it and that's as good as fresh, the berries. And they live on that, that's their dessert, you know. So, they knew how to get along before the white man came, much better. Their medicine, they know how to get medicine for certain sickness or, you know, if you get hurt, or get shot, or if you had boils, they know what medicine to use for that. They have all that, they have it put away. Well, they didn't have guns in those days, but if you had got wounded by something, by a gun, they used to have the^5"-? feathers of the geese. The white, fine feathers, you know, right next to the skin. They save that and if you happened to get shot and you couldn't stop the bleeding, they get that feathers and they ball it up and they put it in that hole. Leave it in there, it'll stop the bleeding. The only time that thing will come out is when it's healed. That's how they took care of themselves. THE LADY SASQUATCH Tsow<^ay;a, it's a big lady. I don't know if it's a sasquatch wife or what. But they call her Ts6wqaya. She was a big monster woman. She lived in the caves up the mountain — anywhere. It could be here (Musqueam) it could be up there (Chilliwack). 181 This woman, this Tsowqaya, well, it started off with children. You know children won't listen to their parents. They run away, they go swimming. And their parents tell them don't go out too far, tell us where you're going. Well, they'd sneak away and go swimming again, you know. The place where they used to swim, it's a lake, I guess, it could be anywhere up that way (near Chilliwack) and the kids, all they did was swim, swim. They get cold, then lay down and go to sleep on the sand, they fall asleep on the gravel any where. When they wake up they go back in again. So they were warned about this person — she might come along some day and take you kids. They didn't listen to 'the old people's warning. And one day they were all out there swimming and they fell asleep on the beach. Big girls and little ones, and boys. A whole bunch, I guess goes together. They fell asleep and this woman comes along — big woman with a big bag on her back. It wasn't a basket, but she had a big bag, they say, she could use to pack something in there. She grabbed the kids and she threw them in there one by one. They woke up but they went up north once and I heard it up there. The same legend, the same everything. My great, grandparents, they sit like in the winter^ evenings and all the kids would be sitting down. Maybe the kids would like to listen and the other kids would say — you come tonight my grandfather will tell stories. And all the neighbour kids would come to listen, sit down. And they'd tell them the stories in the winter months. Lots of time to talk then. Question; The stories were not told like this during the summer? No, during the summer they're busy working, out fishing, doing everything. I remember my grandfather used to go out early in the morning. He used to set his net and he'd go up at daybreak to get the fish, bring it home. During the summer he'd be out in the bush cutting wood for the winter to come. They used to do that. Everything is prepared. My grandmother used to clean the fish, dry the fish, salt fish, smoke it and everything. Many different ways, you know. Of course, they had other things. Old people weren't lazy long ago. My great parents, my grand uncle, they had a ranch. They owned everything — they had sheep, ducks, goose, one cow, chickens, even pigs running way back in the fields somewhere. They got every- L">1 thing, and they plant their own potatoes, corn. Old people weren't lazy. My great grandfather had a whole acre of fruit trees. Apples, first prize apples. He used to look 182 after it so good. In the spring he'd look in the little limbs, you know, if there was any loose bark he*ld take it off in case there was a bug in there or a worm starting. And he used to hire the men to come and spray it for him in the spring. That was his pride plants, these apples, pears and things like that. He'd look after it good. Acres of that. He'd pick them one by one, and he'd put them in. He had a cellar buried underground and he lined it with boards, and he'd put this in them. One place for apples, one place for potatoes, and so one. This was under the ground. Then he had a door that comes up from underground. This cellar was buried. There's no; way the winter, no matter if it was below zero, it wouldn't hurt what was in there. Because it's deep down in the ground. Question: Was there dirt over the top of it? Yes, and he'd fix the top like this. Thick board and he'd bury the dirt over it. In the walls my grandmother had fruit, jars of fruit lined up there. He used to pick his apples one by one, put them in boxes, and pack them down there. He used straw beds for them, and lay them in there, cover them with straw. He wouldn't just spill it in there. He'd pick them one by one, make sure they won't get bruised. They weren't lazy, the old people. They were very smart of looking after themselves. Dig their potatoes, carrots, put it in the cellar, everything. Then they sit odwn in the winter with nothing to worry about. Not like now days, nobody ever does that. And they used to keep his ranch clean. The fire — they cut their own wood. It would be all ready for the winter. They haul it close to^'J" the house and pick it. Never think, oh, somebody else will come to do this for me. No. Question: What about the children, did they help out too? Oh yes, when I was a little girl when it first snows that's the first thing wetthink about. We're going in the bush. They used to be alder trees about the size of this here, about 6" - 9". We'd go with an axe — chop them down because that's the only way we could get the horses and the sleigh was if we did that. Us girls, we were about twelve or thirteen years old. Then we'd get all this wood piled, then we'd go ask for the horse and sleigh now. Okay, you guys can have it, so we'd go harness it up and hitch it up. Away we'd go with the sleigh and bring the wood home. I'd bring mine home and the other girls would bring theirs home by sleigh. A lot of fun. Even girls never just sit around and think, well, we used to go out and cut the wood just because we wanted to get hold of the sleigh and horse. Then we'd ride. Nowadays 183 people has changed very much. We didn't know what lazy was. We had to pack our water a long ways in the evenings, from the creek or from river. We had a well; it was quite a ways to go. All inside, sometimes, the water freezes inside (the house). When it gets too cold my grandfather kept a big heater going. We had a big heater. Put birch wood in there, big round ones. They burn all night like coal, the birch tree. Question: Did the children have any stories they used to tell each other? Well, no, no, they didn't. They just know what they're told. Question: Did they tell each other what the grandparents had told them? Not that I know of, not too much. They didn't. Just listening. Listen. Of course, each one has the same, each house would have the same story, see. But they just like to go to the one that likes to tell it the most, that's all. Question: Not everyone told the stories? No, oh well, like the older people, the grandparents, you know. Question: Grandparents told stories more than the parents? Yes, more than the parents. They like to tell and that's the life we had — a beautiful life. Tape 9 Recorded: November 15, 1972 Mrs. Rose Sparrow Musqueam FEMALE INITIATION £«J But I will tell you about the Indians when they used to have a girl. If a girl first gets her period the first time, they bathe her early in the morning. Take her way up and bathe her somewhere far away. Scrub her with these cedar boughs. They make her walk, run up the bush or up the 184 mountain and teach them how to pick berries as fast as they could. If there was no berries they'd make thempick the leaves and put it in their baskets. And teach them how to walk fast so they're half running going home. And teach them to sit down and work, whatever there is to be made if it's weaving or basket or anything. All that, teach them how to do things. And when they first got like that first of all (ie. first menstrual cycle) the parents you know, they gather the people. They make a big feast and they put a swing way up in their house, because they had a long house. They put a swing there and the girl sit on the swing. For the last time she's doing play on that swing, that's why they do that. But they have blankets piled up under her. Blankets piled there all over and that's the one they're going to throw away to the people, all them blankets. Because she became a lady. Question; Does she stay on the swing while they're giving the blankets away? Yeah, she sits there, yes. Question: Does she sit there during the whole thing (ceremony)? I guess so. I don't know. At first, she's there and I guess somebody takes her down after. Question: Is the swing high up? No, just by the floor. So girls were really taught like that. They weren't supposed to run around. They stay in the house, they w.ork, not go out. And if anybody come propose to them, she's not supposed to go there and talk to this boy. The boy will come outside and he'll sit by the doorstep of the house of the big house. He'll stay there for days and days till he gets an answer.... from the parents. Not the girl. He wants to propose. Well, they propose; the parents come and they make him sit there. Oh, for days they say sometimes until the parents make up their mind if they're going to let their daughter go. Question: Does the boy go himself or do his parents come? His parents bring him there, and leave him there. Ques tion: Do they (parents) choose the girl then? They choose the girl. Question: Not the boy? (who chooses girl) No, they choose the girl and maybe the boy did too, 185 I don't know. But for days he'd be there before he gets answer. Then he goes home and tells his parents they accepted him. So the parents gathers up their belongings, gather up their food, everything, blankets, and they pack it to the girl's parents. Question: Does the whole family go to the feast? The whole family and the relations, friends. They are invited to this marriage that takes place. They really have a big feast. Just one day, I guess, they do that. And then, I don't know how far that goes. First of all, they bring everything they have to these people (girl's parents) so they'll have a feast. Then they take the girl home after. The boy takes the girl home after to his place. Question: Did they live in the parents' home? Yes, they used to stay in the long houses, you know. That's how they used to propose. Sometimes a girl is picked when she's just a little girl I heard; is picked by some other people for their son. They propose for her when she's small and all they have to do is go there and bring the food and everything and take her home. It's arranged when she's just a small little girl, she has no choice. Question: When did the girls usually get married? They used to get married when they were, oh, about thirteen or fourteen. Yes, in them days. Question: Did the girls have children? Yes, they do, they have children right away. Question: Do they look after their own babies or do the mothers (grandmothers) help? They look after (their own). Well, they (mother — grandmother) help them along, teach them (young mother) how to look after them (babies). Teach them how to bathe them and all that. Just like the way people do now. But the girls have no choice, they have to take it, wherever they want it. They're gone (reference probably to residence after marriage). That's the way it used to be. Question: Was there a specific word or term to refer to girl children (before puberty)? No, just children, you know. Girls, that's all, they didn't have any special names. 186 Question: When did they get their names? Well, that's one thing I don't know about much, if they have their names from when they are small. Maybe they do, because there are many Indian children are named when they're just little, you know. Question; Were the names changed at all when the children got older? No, no. I think they keep their names. Question: When we call children now we say baby, young child or teenager. Do you have anything like that? No, just a boy or a girl. Question: How do you say that (boy, girl) in your language? A boy they call Wiqa and a girl sleni. Right along Wiqa and sleni, even when they're big. BOY TRAINS TO BE AN INDIAN DOCTOR They take him away from their home when they're just a baby, their father (does). Maybe he's still in a cradle, the boy. I don't know, maybe the mother goes along, I don't know. But they'll take him way up a mountain and live there. Maybe, I guess when he's weaned then. His father's an Indian doctor, you know. They take him there and they bathe him in the cold water. They throw him in the cold water. Maybe drown him for a while. I don't know. Then they come to again, you know. Keep on doing that, maybe go to another place and throw the baby in the water again. They say he C'2J goes way down, never comes back. Long after before he'll get to shore again, you know. Because he's got that spirit in him, you know, he's got that. Nothing can kill him. He belongs to the people down there wherever he got to, you know. So they keep on doing that to him. Take him to fierce looking places, wild animals or something. Something queer, a monster in the water, and they leave him there, you know. And he'll get the power from that, whatever he sees, whatever he gets with, you know; how he gets the power. And there's one Indian doctor that I seen. He got the power for the electricity, from the thunder, he says. The thunder he says is up there like a bird, and he got it. And it's true; I seen him. Everytime he dances he puts something over his head and he dances around to heal you. 187 As soon as he starts to jump, dance, thunder would start like as if it was just up here. Oh, I was scared. I was the one he was healing, this Indian doctor. And he just danced, danced, danced there, you know. They were beating the stick for him and the more he sang, they sang the more the thunder boom, boom — it was up here, and the rain just come down. That was his power. And as soon as he got finished doing that it (thunder) would stop. 188 During the early stages of research on work I was unaware of the significance of Tapes 2, 3, 8, and 9 which were recorded primarily for historical information and legends. But many features of the later transcripts can be detected in this section. A partial list of related areas which are significant to the research on work are listed below. These are examples only and not a complete listing. • TABLE I CULTURAL FEATURES INDEX WITH PAGE REFERENCES TO TEXTS OF TAPES 2, 3, 8, 9 Cultural Features Tape Tape Tape Tape 2 3 8 9 division of labour and 1-4 1,2,5 aboriginal activities 6,8 early training 3,8 2,4,5 11 8-11 9,13 learn life sustaining roles 2-6 4,10 hunt, fish, weave, food 9,13 preparation learn philosophy of life 8,10 1,3,5 life style 6,11 3 12 seasonal adaptations 4,9 areas of acculturation, 3,16 10,11 change in life style 10 Excerpts from Tapes 2 and 3 show the degree of accultu ration between generations, and adaptations made by my grandparents, An understanding or awareness of this aids in understanding their 189 more recent activities and life style, and that of the Native population generally. Although activities may differ in the two sets of data, the one being long in the past while the other is recent, the parallels of life style, philosophy of work and life are present. The portions of Tapes 8 and 9 utilized here deal mainly with training early in life, preparation for life sustaining roles and seasonal adaptation. These are aspects of culture which must be an influence to present concepts and motivation. 19 0 Chapter 6 ADDITIONAL INTERVIEWS WITH WORK CHRONOLOGIES Tapes 32 and 33 Ed and Rose Sparrow July 31, 1975 Tapes 32 (side 2) and 33 were recorded as supplements to tapes in Chapter 4. All data from the previous tapes had been transferred to chronologies for analysis. In several areas, material was cross-referenced in order to locate more definitely the appropriate chronological position. A few areas were still questionable and required further investigation. I also felt an evaluation by my grandparents would be valuable in analyzing the data. A list of questions was prepared after reading the chronologies and most of the data. These were in two categories: first, were final questions for Rose's work history hopefully to fill in the chronology; second, was a list of questions to be asked of both grandparents. When I arrived for the interview, I found the list of summary questions was not with my notes. Ed and Rose were shown a small book, Raincoast Chronicles,1 which is a historical sketch of the fishing industry in B. C. The book had been brought White, Howard (ed.) Raincoast Chronicles, Vol. 1, No. 5, , vols., Harbour Publishing, Haaeara-'P'afek^-' * B. C. 191 simply for my grandparents' interest and not intended as a research instrument. Grandfather began pointing out buildings in a photo and naming them for recording. Dialogue between Grandfather and myself was recorded on Tape 32, side 1 while side 2 was recorded after Tapes 33 and 34 were recorded with Grandmother. Grandmother seemed restless and not really ready to work at tape recording (33 and 34). She was taken for a drive and to my home. In the different environment she seemed more relaxed and interviewing seemed more like a visit. More of her work history was recorded before asking about the summation questions. I pointed out before starting there were only a few questions for this session, looking for specific information about the material recorded in the previous session. Some data is repeated with a few additions. Additional new material was also introduced. 192 Tape 32 Recorded: July 31, 1975 Mr. Ed Sparrow Side B (Side A not transcribed for thesis) Ed: Well, when I really think about it you know, in the olden days people didn't have too much work. They weren't accustomed to white people's ways you know. Now they got smart. We got a • • • . They get some education. Before, they had no worries. As long as they got their meal a day or whatever it was, you know. Even the old people, I never seen nobody worry, you know, or even think about it. Hard times, I never hear anybody talking about hard times. I mean the older people when I was a kid. And they'd go visit one another, and have a high old time joking. Great ones to joke, the old people. Same way when we were living up Chilli wack, the old people they're the same bloody way. Now you go over there you're - you don't see that no more, not even around here you know. I got a bunch of cousins here, I never visit. The only place I been is Lyle"s (Sparrow) house, and Walker's (Stogan) and Vincent (Stogan). Otherwise I never bother nobody else around. Rose: Remember, ... used to come to my house, an old lady -Celestine. Very old, stay there all day, from morning till night, and I'd cook. Ed: I don't know why, I never knew you could cook (laughter). Rose: (Cause I had one you see) Madeline (Paddy Johnny's mother)... Ed: ... to bring her grub. " Rose: She was a great one, she make pies. She'd bring it over (laughter) she wasn't ... Ed: Christmas time she'd make all kinds of things for the boys you know. I mean to eat, you know and bring it over. Rose: Yeah, cakes and pies. Ed: Kind of missed her after when she died, you know. Oh, every other day she'd be there you know bring something for the boys. That was her relation I guess, she knew that, she was from up river, you know. Rose: She was from Chase, from ah, she's from ah, what you call that reserve? Ed: Katz. Rose: Katz, yeah. And Yale. All them people that's in Yale all from Katz. Ed: Yeah, imagine that. Rose: They just spread out. Some went to Spuzzum. Ed: There's hardly anymore, they don't hardly use they all ended up at Spuzzum there's mostly Thompsons up there now. Rose; It's Thompson people. Edt Thompson and Douglas. Rose; I guess so, the Paddys are all Thompson. Reference To Raincoast Chronicles, Vol. 5 photo: Ed: I guess it belongs to B. C. Packers too where Nelson Bros. are you know. Phoenix Cannery that's it, the one further down not shown in the picture. 193 Question; The one off to the right? Yeah, it's below Gary Point there, you know. I didn't even, I just never called it. I worked there just before I went to fishing with Mike that year. That's where my grandfather was sort of boss for awhile. Before we came to Vancouver Cannery, hiring. Question; I want to find out when you were canoe pulling? Oh, that's when I didn't do too much you know. Let's see, now that's after we came back from Chiliwack. '28, '29, no, later than that before I really got into it. I didn't have time for it you know. Must have been '31 or '32 when I got into it really. The crew was beginning to break up then you know, change. Question: Were you doing that for several years? Not me. They did here you know. Cause I went up Chilliwack for a long time. All that time they were doing it you know. I pulled with them, but I went away, and I oh, they wanted me to go down Coupville. They wanted me to run over there with my car. I wouldn't go, no practice. It must have been the early 30's I guess, after I got my boat you know, Yeah. Question: Can you recall when you were cutting wood down here for the Chinese farmers, the gardeners? Oh, right from the time I came out of school, on and off. But in the 30's I guess I used to cut wood all the time. Even in winter besides trapping you know. There was no work to be had, so I went cut wood. Sometimes Me and Granny used to be'.out "four o'clock. She does the piling you know (laughter) summertime. So damn hot, just like this you know. We get up early, early in the morning and go out and cut. I split, cut it, split it and she piles it. That's when the boys wanted lacrosse stick and running shoes and everything (laughter). We were cutting, they were short on rick wood you know. I don't know how many cords we cut that week. We were getting $3 a cord, three rows of wood you know. One dollar a rick they used to call it. Each one they called a rick you know. Three ricks to a cord. Granny and I did that for a whole week just to get the boys lacrosse sticks. Running shoes, and pads and gloves, what not you know. They were playing, I guess. They were playing a league, some kind of a league. In North Vancouver, that's when they were in school. Question; When was it you were playing lacrosse? Oh, that was right after. Oh, I used to play with a lacrosse stick before I was in school, you know. Then I came off and played again. I played with Musqueam for a couple of seasons. And I don't know how many years I played for Squamish. Then I went away, and they got into semi-pros after I left, you know. 19 4 I played about two, three seasons with Squamish. That's field lacrosse. Question; Not the box lacrosse? No, oh I went and tried it. They wanted me to play with them. I can't see no way, fisherman and lacrosse player, can't do it. You got to give one or the other you know. In 19 36 they wanted me to fly back, they were short of men. I didn't go. They were in the Mann Cup that time they were playing in the Mann Cup. They sent a wire down for me to go. Can't see my way, cause of fishing you know. I never bothered. But after I quit a year I went up Chilliwack and I played for five, six years up there, on different teams you know. Started out with Chilliwack Landing, and city. Chilliwack City team, then. I played with Sardis. When I'm not playing lacrosse I'm playing baseball up there all the time you know. Question; You were working for the city of Chilliwack for awhile? Oh yeah, I worked in the when,,they're putting in them great big tanks or septic tank or whatever it was, you know, sewer. I don't know how long I worked there. I worked there all spring. It's better pay than the logging camp you know. Question; What were you making in working for the city? We were making a great big, putting in a great big tank you know, just like ah, I guess was a septic tank for the whole city I guess. We had to relay, no machinery in them days like what they have now for digging. If you had a dog you better give him flea powder (laughter). They made stations you know. I don't know how many about three or four you know. We leave it there and the bottom guys throw it up to the platform you know what I call stations you know. The next guy grab hold of it and lay it up there right on top. He'd throw it over and the guy would load it onto the truck from there. There was no, ah, diggers in them days you know. Then we got through with that and put in lines right through along the road there. South from the main, Five Corners I guess you call that place right in the main town. I don't know how long I worked there, I must have worked there all summer that year. Question; Do you remember what year? Gee I can't recall anything about it. Well it was ah, must of been about 1925 I guess, roughly. Question: Were you paid well for that job? Yeah, we were getting seventy-five cents an hour while I was only getting sixty in the logging camp you know. So I quit, I quit booming and went to work there. Didn't have to travel you know. Just go ride into town on a bicycle. Booming you get to the landing you jump on a boat and go across it takes you about an 195 hour, hour and a half before you get to work you know. Travelling, so I quit that and worked for the city. When I got through with that I worked for a trucking company you know, handling cement and wood and what not. Gee, you get home you're so damn sticky with cementl Sometimes the old lady be there ready with my supper when I get home. If she didn't she get clubbed you know! (laughter). Question; You mentioned last time I think about the exhibition up in New Westminster. You were quite young then? Oh, yeah I remember going up there when I was, before I was in school you know. Question; Did you go quite often? Them people never miss no exhibition in them days you know. The only enjoyment they had I guess. Some would go up in sail boats , and they get to go you know well I remember there was a reserve on the foot of the Patullo Bridge on the south side you know. Some would go there and some would camp just below what store was that, is that Eaton's up there now or Spencer's? Eaton's up on the hill, you know. Rose: Oh, yeah. Ed: They used to pitch their tents just below there, you know. They stay there a whole bloody week while the bloody exhibition is going on you know. They used to walk from there up you know. A lot of times we'd, we went up in the wagon that time. I remember one time we were staying across the river. I don't know how many years I went up there before I went to school. We enjoyed our selves there. I didn't see no drinking parties in them days you know. I guess they were all catholics then. I never seen anybody drunk. Just my grandfather used to. The rest of the people I never used to see them drunk at all up there. Boy they'd have a gay old time you know. They put one tent there and they make a circle like you know and have a great big fire in the middle there. I think that's all they go up there for, a good time I (laughter) Question; You went up quite a few times? Yes. Question; Did you go up after you went to school? Not too much, we went there once or twice after we got married. I went up there for lacrosse games yeah, that's about all but I never stayed there you know. I never like that place too much you know. They had everything. It was just like, just the same as they are doing now in a what exhibition we got now, the side shows and games you know that's all. Question; I'm trying to find out when you moved into this house? Granny couldn't remember for sure. When we came in here? When did you quit working first? 196 '46? Oh, '68 huh. Eddy and them were here a year before we moved in. Must be '68 we moved. It was '68 when Eddy got (fired). Then you retired. Rose: Must have been '67. They canned him anyway. He tried •oh no*. Tried to save his job (laughter). Was that ever a mistake he says. Must have been '68. No earlier than that, I guess. What's this - '75? Eddy (Ed Sparrow, Jr.) You've been here more than seven years. Ed: Huh, no. That's when Mom retired. When did you retire any ways from the cannery? Rose: I don't know. Question: You've been here since 1967 then? Mhm. It was 1967 I guess when they came in here, or in early spring I don't know. Helen (Sparrow) and them were all already there when, was about four, five months before we moved in here you know. Question: Something on the agenda about your gardening out here. How long have you been doing that? Oh, we have been doing it for about four, five years. And uh I only put in a small garden to start with you know. I hired a tractor the first year I went, we started you know. Too much work there. Yeah I had that little tractor about five years now I guess. I must been doing it about six years I guess. It took me about a year to get things prepared, it was wild. I burned the grass down and we got a guy to rototill it, break it up. And the year after that I got a little tractor of my own. I had the thing about five, six years now. It's getting bigger and bigger all the time. Next year everybody else will be there (laughter). Question: Did you start the garden when you were still raising cattle, so you were doing both of them? Oh yeah. Yeah, oh you'd have lots you know, with a garden you know. You'd... don't have to buy carrots or potatoes or beets during the winter you know. That's about all the things you could put away. The rest of the vegetables are perishable. Can't keep without proper cooler. Question: What about the work you were doing over in Ladner? Is that just this year? Yeah, this is the first time I've gone over there, yeah. Question: How long did that last just for? A little over a month I guess. Rototilling it, preparing it for seeding. It was kind of a tough ground you know. It hadn't been worked for I don't know how many years. It was thirty, forty years I can remember that broadcasting station there you know. When we were over Glenrose Cannery in the early 30's it was there 197 then you know. They started to put it in. And they only really used it during the war and we were at Westham Island then. We put in barley, seed barley after I got through. Question; This year? Yeah. It's seeded now. Question; Who's going to harvest that? Well, we got no machinery. We got to get somebody to cut it and thrash it, for the band. I'm telling them to look for somebody right now way ahead of time you know. I think they will, and I was supposed to go look for a tractor, and my truck's away you know. Need one of our own and I'm going to work there right away as soon as I get a tractor. Prepare that place for next year. I don't know whether I'll work or not maybe I'll just show some body what to do and forget about it you know. I'm getting tired or working. I got enough work here. I enjoy myself more here better you know. I quit anytime I want to and come sit down, chew the rag and go out again, chew the vegetables (laughter). Question; You're not working quite so hard now? No. Question; There's a few blank spots on this sheet here (chronology) I know. It's hard to remember, you know. Question: 1956 to '60 is one spot. Yeah, I know. Well there's nothing much doing there, nothing but fishing and cutting wood and one thing and another. There was fishing in summer and you go home you cut wood or trap, fool around. I don't think I was trapping. I think I was finished by that time you know, but I cut wood. I didn't quit cutting wood for a long time you know, as long as there was a sale for it. A little extra money for us you know. Cut wood right on the beach. Not too much there was, just work a little bit, just to get a little extra spending money that's all. Well that's about all I did. I was out fishing all that time you know. Lots of blank spots. See there, you know. Question: '64 through '67? Yeah, same thing. Fished, repaired your boats and fishing the springs until sockeye time, and you change your gear, you fish sockeye. I never, from that time on I never cut no wood you know. I just sat down, take it easy. Question; That's one thing we never talked about, what you did to get ready to go fishing, nets and the boat? Yeah, that's well, that's what I was saying now you know. 198 Oh well yeah. First of all you go and buy the nets you know and get twine and needles what you need, to get to work on your net. Then you put in a line and hang nets they call it you know. You put the cork line on first. Measure, measure your hanging according to the size of your net. You do that, and when you get through with that you do the lead line. Lead line got to be a little bit longer than the cork line otherwise it will roll up if you didn't have it that way you know. It goes out by, well even before you got your drum and one thing and another and you had to throw it out by hand, well you still had to have a little more lead line than cork line you know. And when you get through with that you get all your net ready and the first good weather you got you, well either your boat or nets were all according to weather you know. Sometimes I paint ray boat in March, other times I can't get a chance to you know. You got bad weather all spring you don't paint till about May or so. Then maybe your nets all ready then, when you get finished you got out fishing right away, for springs you know. Well you prepare you got your spring nets and one or two sockeye nets. Sometimes you got three of them you got to hang, to have already for different seasons you know. And your spring net and your fall net. I always have to have one size in between sizes all the time, just in case you had to. Fish change size, then you change right away. Like, ah I usually have a six and half ready besides my seven and one quarter in the fall, just in case fish are small. And if spring salmon are small in spring I use that too you know. Small ones peter out and we'll use our big mesh net again you know, eight and one quarter - eight inch, eight and a quarter, yeah. End Side B. 199 Tape 33 Recorded: July 31, 1975 Mrs. Rose Sparrow Questions related to 25.6 (tapes \30, 31) Question: When was it you were working in the vegetable plant up in Chilliwack? It would be 1916 when I was working in that plant. Yeah, it was 1916 or something like that. I worked there during the war, you know, and they couldn't get anybody else to work but women. So we worked in or outside. Sometimes the girls go out on the wagon and drive team, pick up the vegetables, you know, from the farmers, and haul it in. And then, they had old guys there though, to help. They unload it for us, into the factory, whatever it was, you know, potatoes, carrots and turnips. Question: Did you work there just that one summer? I worked there early in the spring you know. Worked there early in the spring right to June. Then I quit. No, I didn't quit, I moved on to another job. First of all, I worked in the nursery before this. You might have to turn it around. I worked in the nursery, Eddy's nursery in Sardis. It was the biggest nursery going during the war, Eddy's nursery. It was all you know where the Sepasses live, and way back Skulkayn. That was all nursery. And my Dad worked for Eddy's Nursery. He was like the supervisor there. He worked there so long he knew what to do. You know, what to do with the trees, transplant or dig them and ship them, you know. So, that's how I got in to work in there. I was young. I was about fifteen then at that time, but he was working there and I got on a job. Them days you could be twelve years old you can get a job, because there was no men around to do the work. You know, long as you was able to do little odd things planting you get a job. Question: Is that what you were doing (planting)? Doing everything. Sometimes we'd work outside and we plant roses. You know, they're just little sticks like this and you have a measurement. Of course the row is all ready. You just stick them in the ground like that. They form roots, the roses, just by sticking them in the ground that way. And uh, or digging up plants and packing them to ship. And urn, strawberries, they used to give strawberries. I don't know now if they planted it or what but we used to pack these strawberries, you know, the young ones, the runners. We'd pack them in a few bunches and pack them in boxes and ship it away. Same with raspberries. You put them in bundles and put them in boxes getting ready for shipping you know. And there's a lot of other things, grading things in there too, grading the plants. We got to know which was uh, number one, number two and we grade them up you know too, that way. The raspberries, strawberries or whatever it was. Everything as far as fruit trees you know the apples the small little things. We pack them and ship them away too. He gets orders and we pack them and ship them away. Of course it's all in the field and um, like my Dad a few other 200 old men, they look after that part. They bring it in and we pack them. Somebody else tags them you know, and away it's gone. That's the work we had to do. But not too much of weeding or anything, it was mostly just looking after the plants you know. And another thing we had to do, we had to thin out a few plants. Thin the leaves out. I don't know what they were. Tell you what to take off and all that. They teach you all those things as you get to know what to do. Question: Was this before you went down to New Westminster to work? No, no, it was after. Yeah, it was after. And I worked there with my Dad all early in the spring and all summer worked there. But in the winter we didn't work in the nursery. He did though, but he had to look after things you know in there. Like watering, whatever had to be looked after the old men did it. But us, we worked from spring to fall, cause all you had to do was ship things and get it ready you know, or plant things in the fall. In the fall it's mostly planting. You know you plant fruit and flowers in the fall. That has to be planted you know, or trans plant you'd call it I guess. Not seeds. That's the job I had there and (laugh) we'd get lazy doing that. We got careless one time. One older lady there, she should know better. We got lazy, and we used to get up early you know, we got all fired from Eddy's Nursery. Oh dear, we got lazy and started to fool around. And after that I went to this dry kiln. The very next day I went looking for a job you know. So I got in there. And there was some girls fired from that plant went to the nursery (laughter). Just traded around you know. So it was all right working in there. It was inside job mostly. You just, all kirids» It goes through a machine the potatoes to be peeled, a big round thing you know. And I guess they just turn in there and the peelings come off you know. Then they dump them, comes on a wide belt and girls on both sides clean the little spots on it you know by knife. And after that in the other end there's other girls watching it, it goes through the cutter. They come through like the way these chips you fry as you buy, the potatoes. It comes out like that. And from there on you pick them, grade them again, pick out the ones that's a little damaged or something like that. Then it goes through there and then after that it goes to the trays, big long trays. Then we spread them, we spread them so they dry properly. We had to spread them just like this, yeah. They're layers you know (layers of trays on rack), they're big racks, high., and they're laying like this, the first, second, third and they're about that far apart you know. Just enough so you could stick your head in there when you're putting it on. Trays with like these wires what you use for you know, they make frames on them and then you lay it in there and you spread them in there. And then you shove it in, then you roll it away in racks. YOu roll it away. Next one come you do the same thing till you get so many done. They're all stacked up, and it has wheels. I don't know how many (trays) in one rack. Quite a bit. Then you 201 shove them into the drier. I don't know how many you get in. The men does that, you shove them into the drier. I don't know how long it takes to come out, to get dry. When it does come out, you know they're just nice and bright yellow the potatoes, and the carrots too and the turnips. They come out real pretty. Then after they come out from there and we take them off and spill them in big tubs like. Big tubs, dump them in there, dump them in there. And after that we get the cans, big five pound cans then fill them in by hand. Just pack 'em in you know, shake it and pack it in you see. Then it's ready and then you do the same to the next one till we get it all in these cans you know. Then it goes through the machine, put the lids on. You just put the lid on it goes through the machine. Put the lids on like that, the cannery work. And after that it goes into another room, and the machine puts the labels on see to tell what it is, if it's carrots or turnips or what it. is. You keep on like that. We're finished with one thing, maybe we'd do potatoes all day or then turnips one day. You don't mix the work we get through with one, potatoes or turnips and get that all done then you do the other one again. And that, it's the one we used to send overseas when the men were fighting with the Germans. Send it overseas. Oh, the girls were so silly. Some of them girls used to write note and drop it inside the can before it's sealed (laughter). Put jokes on it, you know or tell them you know like I wish you good luck and all that and I hope you come home soon. All that you know, they don't know who they're doing that (for) they just drop it in you know (laughter). Question; You had lots of fun there? Yeah, uh huh, because it's going overseas to the soldiers you know. Had lots of fun working there. Yeah, we did that all winter long. But we didn't work any night shift, it was just day shift. Because it had to be to do it properly you know all that work. They say the soldiers were starving and they couldn't get much food over there and that's the only way they could get the vegetables was to send it. To dry it in the kiln, whoever thought of it you know. Question; Were you paid by the day or what? Paid by the hour - day! By the day, it was two dollars a day. We thought we were very rich when we get paid you know (laughter) two dollars a day. Yeah, a lot of fun doing that you know. Question; That was 1916, was it? Yeah, 1916. And all the farmers, they done good, you know. Everything they planted, they sold it there to this plant. Turnips, potatoes, and carrots. I don't think we done anything else but that. They were the only three, different three vegetables you could do that to. You couldn't do that to cabbage or anything else. 202 Maybe, I don't know if we tried parsnips or not. I didn't see anything like that. It was just the three that could be dried, send them away. Question; Between the time you left school and the time you worked in the nursery, did you work at all? No. Well, you know, odd jobs when I left school, I thought I was smart. We went out farmers weeding you know. Carrots here and there you know, Chinese farmer or somebody hire us. Question: It was just for a few days at a time, was it? Yeah, uhuh. Yeah, we used to get paid maybe by the row or by the hour, I just forgot. But most of the time we don't know if we got our money. We were just kids, we didn't care less if we got paid or not. But we used to come home with all the vegetables we want, see, doing that. Because the Chinese used to grade their stuff too, you know. But we had to weed, we didn't get nothing while we were weeding just a few cents a day. Question; The year before you were married? That's when I was working in that kiln, where I was drying them. I was working and I left that job. I was working and I left, left that job. Question: That was just the year before you were married? Yeah, mhm, the same year. I left my work, mhm, yeah. Question; After Harriet was born, can you remember where you lived? After Harriet was a baby? Well, we lived in that little old house down the Village (Musqueam), you know that little blue one. And uh, I think we were there, yeah. And then, we were moving back and forth you know. We never stayed in one place because Dad was fishing and we stayed in Brunswick Cannery down Canoe Pass. That's when Harriet was a baby. We lived there while he was fishing and at that time I used to fillet fish, and smoke it and can it. Question: Just for yourself? Yeah, for ourselves. We had to do that. I used to have to. Me and Emma (Wilson) used to cut maybe forty or thirty spring salmon one day. That's spring salmon, mind you, these big ones. We used to fillet them, and then we cut the bellies off, and we'd salt that, the front. And the back part you know, we fillet and hang it up and smoke it. And on the backbone, you know there's lots of fish left on the backbone. We'd fillet that so thin you know, and we hang them over. That was just for snacks. 203 Question; Hard dried, hard smoked? Yeah, uhuh, yeah. Oh, I used to fill up the smokehouse with spring salmon doing that. That was the best thing. And uh, well in between doing that, like when it's like now fruit just coming in, I'd be canning whatever I can get a hold of you know, berries and everything. And I was canning fish too at the same time. If I wasn't smoking fish I'd be canning fish. And we used these jars, quarts because I had lots of kids you know. I'd use the quarts to put the fish in. And I used to cook it in ai>big boiler, there's big long boiler we don't see it anymore. Used to, people buy it to heat up the water for the washing or boiling clothes. That's the old way, see we didn't have automatic washers or anything you know. You had to scrub by hand. That was the first time the washers came out and I couldn't buy it. So I used to use them boilers, they were that long, that high, that wide, that deep you know. I used to put about, oh, maybe two dozen quarts in there and put it on the stove and let it boil for four hours. That's my canned fish. Gee, I don't know how many dozens I used to do. Because I wasn't working in the cannery I just did that. Smoke fish and can fish and can fruit and everything was put away for the winter. Question: You were pretty busy over there? Yeah, and Dad was, every chance we get we'd buy two, three sacks of flour and sugar, used to get them by the hundred pounds, xice too. And that way you're sitting pretty for the winter. You didn't have to worry about anything else. Cheap wages but you had all the food you want. Question; Food wasn't expensive? No, uuh, you used to get bread for ten cents a loaf, (laughter) Three loaves for a quarter them days you know. You're sitting pretty. But I used to do my own baking even at that. I used to do my own baking. Bake my own bread, I'd do about ten or eleven loaves at a lick, you know, to keep the house going, and the fishermen take it out, you know. Question; Did you have the same house to go back to at the Bruns-wick all the time? We stayed there one summer, and then we moved to Canoe Pass next to the Wilson's, Mike Wilson's. We stayed there one fall too, right in Canoe Pass. Question; One summer and one fall (at Canoe Pass)? Yeah, we did that. And after that Ken Fraser built a house for Dad in Westham Island, outside the dyke. That little house still is there. Still outside the dyke ibehind Johnny Wilson's house. He built that for Dad for us to !stay in. 204 Question; Oh, so you stayed in both those houses then? Yeah. So when we moved into that we left Canoe Pass and we moved into this at Westham Island. That used to be Company. That's a company wharf that and they built that little house just outside the dyke. So we were in there when the kids were small, Eddy was a baby when we first moved in there and we stayed there. It had two bedrooms, front room, the kitchen and a bathroom on the outside, another little room they built on the outside behind the kitchen, you know. Way up high it was on the water, on top of the water, you know. But it was nice comfortable living there. The company give us cooking stove and everything, had a toilet in there. I don't know how many years we stayed there. We stay there for the summer and fall and winter we'd go home to Point Grey (Musqueam) stay there for the winter. That little shack's still there. It's when Harriet and them, well Eddy was just about, oh, Eddy must have been just about eight months old. Mhm, when we were living in that shack at Westham (Island) . Question; You stayed there for a few years then? Yeah, mhm. Question; Did you go there to Canoe Pass before Priscilla was born? Urn, yeah before. It was just Harriet when we stayed in Canoe Pass. Priscilla was born when I stayed at home one summer, stayed home I did. Dad went up north you know to fish. Question; Did you stay on your own up there? Well, it was in the spring she was born, we were at home (Musqueam) that was before we ever move anywhere. In March, we were right in Musqueam. And Eddy was born at home cause we stay home in the winter (at Musqueam). We don't go anywhere. Question; So when you were at Canoe Pass you didn't work either? No. Question; You were canning all this time, doing your own fish and smoking fish? Yeah, canning my own, all that. That's all I did. Question: Were you able to go picking berries or anything like that? Oh yes we did. I used to take my kids and we go pick, like now, the raspberries. We used to go pick for a guy that had rasp berries in Ladner. And he used to give me raspberries like if I wanted to can some he'd give me raspberries very cheap. Sometimes I just take all the berries I want long as I picked it them days you know. 'Cause you only get them days you only pay three or four cents a pound for raspberries them days, yeah. If you were picking 205 raspberries for jam for the farmers I think you only get paid two cents, three cents a pound for picking it (laughter). So, by buying it you get it just about the same amount. They're so cheap. Question; Well, were you doing any baskets or knitting? No, I couldn't do any knitting jor making baskets them days •cause I was busy looking after kids, washing you know, and all that, cooking. Question; You had enough work to do? Yeah, enough work to do every day. But in the winter after that I learned how to knit socks. I spin wool and knit socks, not sweaters. And socks were very cheap them days. I think they were a dollar a pair, something like that. Question; This was when you were at Musqueam? At Musqueam, yeah. In the '30's things were cheap. If you knit a sweater you only get five dollars for it to the stores. Question; When did you start selling (sweaters) to Woodwards and the Sporting Goods? Oh, gosh sakes, I think it was 19 40 I guess, in the forties. I was telling you we get five dollars for a sweater (laughter). Then it come up. If you make a good one you get ten or fifteen. And you were lucky if it come along you get twenty or twenty-five. That's the highest it ever went. Question: You haven't been selling in the stores for awhile now? No, no, I quit cause I wait till I get orders. I get outside orders and I make them. Cause they give you, well you just get the wholesale price if you sell to the stores and they make it. They sell at the retail. Question; Do you remember about when you stopped selling in the stores? I stopped selling in the stores about '56 I guess, or in the '50's I quit. You know I quit selling to them, '50's or '68 I quit selling to them. I had to do it in many ways, many times I had to go sell there you know. When the kids were going to school, get money buy their...When they were in school you know the government didn't buy their clothes. We had to buy everything for them, what they wear in school too. Shoes, everything. They weren't helping you, no welfare, nothing. You were on your own with your children. That's the days we had. Question: Where were you selling baskets? Oh, at Musqueam I used to go out sell baskets. But I never got cash for it. I used to trade in for clothing. I used to 206 ask for anything to trade in they give.iime, the public you know. Question; Would you rather trade than sell? I used to rather trade cause I used to get all the things I need. You can get everything for one basket. Shoes, clothes, or women's clothes, men's clothes. Anything like that. Anything you ask for what you need in the house they give you when you're trading like curtains or anything like that. (end Side A) 207 Side B. Tape 33 Rose Sparrow It was everybody not only me,all the women as far as Chilliwack and that was the only way they get their clothing for theirselves and their children was to trade in with the white people with baskets and you get good things. It wasn't any old rags or anything like that. Cause they didn't send their clothes to Salvation Army or anything like that. See and if they had anything in the house they get tired of well you be lucky if you strike one person that has good things for trade in. You might come home with a big box full of clothing (laughter) from one basket ... little basket you know. And we used to work like a devil to get, finish one little basket and go again, sell and that. If I wanted clothes for my baby Myrtle when she was a baby, I'd go. I stay looking for it until I find it and then I'd trade in and I get big bunch of baby clothes (laughter). You keep going until you find what you're working for you know from house to house. Question; So you didn't like using money? No. We were better off by trading. Question; What about now? Now I donet think I'd do^you never do that now. I guess you would but it's too much work forya basket to go trade in for. I don't think it would work out as good as it used to be long ago. Cause everything come up too, in price, everything. Anyways everybody quit doing that. Cause of all this ah Salvation Army and everything come along and people can get their stuff from there. It's cheaper. Question; Did you ever demonstrate making baskets? Not recently, about two years ago I started at the exhibition that's all. At the exhibition and at the Sea Festival about two, three years ago. Remember you were there too working. And I was making baskets. And that's the last time I ever did go out. They don't pay good no more. No, they don't pay you anymore. Question: For demonstrations? No, can't afford it anymore. And when the Exhibition called us once and they promised to pay us five dollars an hour towards the end they didn't give us that. We didn't get that so we said no more. We're going out no more. And get you know fooled like that ... say they're going to give us so much an hour and towards the end we had only seventy dollars to divide up between us three, four of us. In different jobs. One was knitting, one was, I was making baskets and the other one was spinning and the other lady was demonstrating how to cook Indian food. And seventy dollars was all they had to divide up between us. And that we quit. No more we wouldn't for the Exhibition. It was too cheap. 208 Question: I'm going to go back to your work in the canneries. Do you remember when you were working at Mallard's? Tom Pete, you mentioned was hiring. Yeah, I worked there washing fish, yeah. Question; Do you remember when that was? No, I thought it was 1919 cause 1918 that was before Myrtle was born. 1918 when I worked there washing fish. And in the fall we'd work on herrings. Heading herrings you know, by hand. Yeah, I think you used to twenty-five cents a box. Head them and fill up a box you get twenty-five cents. See how cheap it was. But that was a living. You had to do it or else. Question; Pretty tough to raise the family? Yeah, I didn't have any kids then at that time. Question: I'm trying to find out when you started going to Claxton,i God, I wouldn't know what year I started there. Dad (Ed) knows. Question: 1929. Did you work the first year you went up? Mmm, something like that. Oh yeah, I did. Worked every year everytime I got up there. Question: And, uh, after you came back from Skeena you lived at Canoe Pass sometimes? Yes, yes. That's where we lived after we came back. And at Brunswick and at the dyke and at Canoe Pass. That's where we came after we leave Claxton. We go to these camps so Dad (Ed) could fish. And I do my food then. Question; And you stayed in those two houses you were telling me about? Yeah, I didn't work in the cannery till Eddy was about a year and a half. Then I worked in Steveston. Question; You mentioned Saraphene Dick in the last taping. She's related to you. How do you know her? No, just a friend. I knew her when I was a little girl yet up Chilliwack when we used to, her uncle was married to my aunt. That's my dad's sister. That's how we came to, it's related by marriage see. That's how I come to know her and she was already married. She was really a middle aged woman then. She must be way over a hundred years that Woman and she's still alive. She lives in Sardis. I bet you'd get lots of stories from her. Their house burnt down I heard last when we were at Richie's last Friday. 209 And uh they were telling me that they had a new home even better and they burnt it down cause they were drinking, drinking and now they got a little house right close to Richie there, that's his son's house. It's a small little house but it's, they live in there now. That old lady she must be full of stories. Question; I should go up and talk to her one day. Yeah, she talks good English. She must be all over a hundred years. I was going to see her but we didn't have much time. I want to see her again, cause she came to my house. That time she left that Tata Lodge in North Vancouver she didn't like it in there she says. I wasn't that old to be held in there she says and ordered around she says. She wanted she went to see her relations in Chilliwack and she ran away and she didn't want to stay there, ca.use Tina was going to bring her back to that home and she ran away went to Vender and she's been there ever since. She's way over a hundred years. Cause she was middle aged when I was a little girl and I'm seventy-three (laughter). Yeah, gee and she must be way above a hundred you could see her picture in the newspaper, once and it was last winter she was on a newspaper. I don't know what she was doing. I just forgot now. She was making baskets or whatever she was doing. She makes baskets everything. And she's all wrinkled up but she's strong. They say she can do her own washing and she scrubs the floors and cooks and she's that old and she never was sick in her life. Yeah. I'll bring you there someday. She was a big woman, tall. Oh I'd like to see her ... she's full of jokes, full of fun. That's a woman who'd have stories from way, way back. Question; From about 1955 on your stories I don't have too much here. That's when you were working at, uh, Imperial. You started there in 1951, is that about right? That's what I've got written down here from one tape. Must be somewhere around there. No, '42 I think. When was Eddy born? He's 29 now, ain't he, or 28? He was just, uh, one and a half - two years when I started working in Steveston. Two years. Question; You went to Great West for awhile? Yeah. Ahuh. He was two years cause I had to get a baby sitter to watch him. Question; Then you worked at Imperial? Mhm. Right through I stayed with Imperial until I retired. Question; During that time were you, you didn't work full time until the last few years? The last few years I, uh, the last ten years I worked steady you know after you get your seniority you work there. Right till around from spring, winter, spring, right clean around cause 210 we have lots to do. We had the tuna, we had salmon, we had oysters and we had, ah, clams. That was before the B. C. Packers sold out to Weston after he got it, no more of that. They don't do that anymore. Question: Did you live in Steveston pretty well all those last years? Ah, seventeen years. I lived in Steveston. I used to go home in the winter. But sometimes. Very seldom I go home, most of the time I stayed there. In the winter I had to go home cause, I don't what I had to go home for. All the kids were in school. Just Eddy used to go to day school you know. And Dad (Ed) was home sometimes when it gets too rough. I can't travel back and forth and I'd stay in Steveston. Question; Were you doing your knitting over there too? Oh, yeah. In between when I get home I spin. I had to or else go nutty staying alone in the shack (laughter). Then I had my knitting, I had my own TV. Then I got my phone and that was better. Had my own phone so I was okay, and while the kids come and visit me you know. On weekends I go home. That's the time I bought myself some chickens. Question; In Steveston? Yeah. I forgot what year now. Not very long ago. I went to the exhibition from there. I never missed the exhibition Labour Day. I gotta be there from Steveston and I seen these chickens you know for so I bought a whole dozen. These baby chicks took them home you know. Got home and I got this big cardboard box and I put them in there and I poked a hole in the top and I got a bulb you know. I got an extension and I put it in there keep them warm (laughter). Dad got there one day he was so mad. He seen my chickens (laughter). Oh he was fishing, he was fishing, he was staying with me. When he's fishing we're all staying there but oh about December then he goes home. But all the fishing season we both stay there. And I raised my chickens. He made a fence for it outside there by HongWo store on the, you know, that bunk house. Big, put a net fence on it and I used the dog house for a chicken house (laughter). Question; Since you've retired you've stayed down at Musqueam all the time? Mhm. All I do now at home is my knitting and spinning you know, most of the time. That's all I do now. Question; Take your trips? And take our trips (laughter). Question: What about the gardening? Do you work in the garden? 211 I did. This spring I done a lot of weeding just before we went for our trip. The first time I weeded for a whole week. I had a chair in between the rows. I do two rows at one time with the chair sitting there so it didn't bother me. Yeah I weeded Eddy's and Jerry's and everybody's garden this spring. If I didn't do that they wouldn't have no garden. I weeded them all. I like weeding. Question: Did you do some canning too? I think I'll go do, I want to do some beets tomorrow. If I can get, I'm going to get the recipe from your mom. Cause they're big now. She took lots home when they were down the house. I forgot what day they were there. The day I gave them two big bunches. Maybe she put them in jars. Question: Do you know when you got your new house at Musqueam? What year? I don't know. It was the year after Willard died. You know what year he passed away? Yeah, it was the year after. Question: Then you rented the house down Mali (area of Musqueam Reserve) rights after? Didn't rent it, the band took it. It's a band house now, exchange with the new house. Question: The years you didn't go up to Claxton with Grampa. I've got here when Willard was born, when John was born and when Priscilla was born. Did you stay up in Chilliwack those times? No, I stayed home just once I stayed up Chilliwack picking berries. That's when Willard was a baby but most of the time I stayed home - stayed around Musqueam. Question: By yourself? Yeah, with my kids. I had enough job looking after them (laughter). Question: Where were you picking seaweed, you mentioned that? Just right around the point where that, uh, what you call it place where them hippies swim and that all around there right from there right round the point to the other side. Right in front of the University. Right clean around. That's where we used to pick that. Yes, in spring. Question; Do you just go by yourself? No, the whole Musqueam Band used to go up there, pick. They all go up there cause it was to pick the seaweed. There's so many you know, there's lots of it and they go when they get through picking you know. You start from this end on this side you know 212 what you call that beach, Wreak Beach. Well, that used to be nothing but seaweeds there but the booms spoiled it. When we get through there we go around to the other side by the time we finish there it's all grown up again where we left. They grew fast. As long as the roots you don't pull it right out. I guess the roots are still hanging on the rocks and they grow again. It was number one seaweed. Question; You sell that in town? Chinese buy it, Chinatown. They used to dry it and ship it to China I guess or whatever they did with it. Cause they used to buy it by the sacks. Question: Must have been a few years ago then. Yeah, that's when my children were small. Myrtle was about twelve years old at that time cause she used to go out picking with us. Question: Did you ever go fishing around Musqueam? NO. Question; Just up in Chilliwack? You mean rod fishing or anything like that? No, never. Never did. We had no canoe or anything then. Spent most of our time at home. Question; How about gardening when you were down in Mali? Never did any gardening down.there. Nothing. Cause we didn't have a place to garden. We were down the beach you know and Dad's land was way up the hill and he didn't attempt to make any gardens in them days he was too busy fishing. He never stayed home in summerime you know we're always away from April, May from June till late in fall before we go back home again too. We never stayed home in summer to do any gardening. (Remainder of Tape in Chapter 7) 213 Tape 32 is at times quite erratic. The beginning of side B, although irrelevant to work history and not included, demonstrates how relaxed my grandparents have become with a tape recorder, and about offering and correcting information. Also revealed here is the importance of allowing informants to digress, to remove the pressure of constant data seeking. My grandparents engage in dialogue and work themselves toward an interview situation where I was really non-essential. They ask questions of each other, reinforce each other. They assume control, assert themselves in making judgments, direct the flow of their information. Progression from the first interviews had been visible to me. They were encouraged to participate in determining the format of the recordings and data appraisal, but attaining this position took a while to achieve. It seems incongruous this should be realized as data collection was being finalized. Perhaps inter views had been too directive for the easy interaction to occur earlier, or my grandparents may have felt uneasy about interfering with each other's interview time. The barriers were now removed after a long period of build up. I had detected this stage was coming, anticipating it would be during the summation interviews (Tapes 33 - end, 34, 35). Rose's final recording (Tape 33, 34) was just prior to the recording of Tape 32. With Grandmother, the change of environ ment may have been an influence. Part of her data on Tape 33 is more repetitive than necessary, but thorough editing will solve the problem. 214 It is difficult to assess if her more receptive, relaxed attitude is primarily due to her adjustment and adaptation to the interview situation, to the change in environment, or a detectable change in my approach. It is probably all these factors are relevant to some degree. It became increasingly evident throughout the inter viewing that a thorough work history is difficult to obtain. There are obstacles encountered in assessing the informants, methodology and approach, and the basic information obtained to form a cohesive unit. 215 Chapter 7 SUMMARY INTERVIEWS Tapes 33, 34, 35 Rose and Ed Sparrow July 31, 1975 Two tapes have been recorded on only one side. Tapes 33 (end) and 34 are Grandmother, recorded at my home. Grand father's, tape (35) was recorded the same day, but at his home. I had spent a great deal of time re-reading the data, relating to the aims and goals of the research. Visualizing the most appropriate presentation of data and analysis was difficult. Before establishing the summary questions, all notes on method and analysis made during the data collection were reviewed with respect to the data. A few theses and reference books were reviewed for possible ideas.My objective analysis of the data could not present a thorough or necessarily accurate interpretation. A means of including an evaluation by my •••Hawthorn, Harry B. 196 8. Hawthorn, Belshaw, Jamieson. 1958. Jorgenson, Joseph P., "Indians and the Metropolis," The American Indian in Urban Society, ed. J. D. Waddel and M. D. Watson (Boston, Little, Brown & Co., 1971) pp. 66 - 113. Langness, Lewis L., 1965. Ryan, Joan, Squamish Socialization, Vancouver, University of British Columbia, Unpublished Ph D Dissertation, 1972. 216 grandparents was essential to determine the relevance and influence that work carried for them. They had become gradually more involved in the subject material and were now encouraged to extend this to characterizing their own work patterns or life styles. Their interest, help, and confidence in being a part of the research and planning had been developed to a point where they could become inquirers. The original plan for analysis had been for me to determine and define work patterns and cycles. The end result with this approach would have terminated my grandparents' involvement at the stage when they were becoming more essential. This approach would also have separated data from method. The developing method had depended on a method-data, interviewer-informant relationship which could be continued through by encouraging or directing my grandparents into a self summation of their data. It was essential to have Rose and Ed at least attempt an evaluation or classification of their data before my analysis was undertaken. Their statement of values should have priority if the materials were to retain a cultural per spective and significance. Patterns and cycles of work do not in themselves depict the latitude of related and influencing factors from which they have developed. The data transcribed to this point outlines, but does not summarize their attitudes and opinions. 217 Tape 33 Recorded: July 31, 1975 Rose Sparrow Point Roberts SUMMARY QUESTIONS Question: Would you say there's a difference in doing housework or going out and making money? Well yeah. It was harder work in the housework. Cause you're on your feet from morning till night. First of all you're washing diapers, washing clothes. Then you trying to clean house same time. And you cooking for the kids same time. Everyday the same thing over and over you know. It's hard work. I'd rather work in the cannery all day, you doing just one job, but housework you kill yourself. You go through a routine you know. Cause we had to wash clothes by hand. Question: Do you think cooking and looking after the food is pretty tough work? Oh yeah. And you had to wash, clean the whole house and you didn't have carpets or anything you had wooden floors and you had to scrub them. And you had to pack water about a quarter of a mile before you can do any laundry. No water in the house, no taps anywhere. We had to go to a well long ways to get our water. Two buckets at a time. About three, four, six buckets then we heat it up and wash clothes. See it was hard work. Question: Was there any restriction on working while you were pregnant? No, mmm, nothing. No, they didn't tell you go home stay home, no, you can work right up to, till you, till the day the baby's born. I did with Lyle. They don't restrict you. Japanese used to go in the cannery, maybe their baby is a week old. They got them on their back. Then they're filling cans when the baby wakes up they jump around like this (laughter) just little wee tiny things they got. They have little pillows there and they put the baby there and they tie it up. Nobody had any babysitters. In the cannery you used to see the women have their kids in the corner. In 218 the boxes the babies sitting there. Right in the cannery. A year old something like Stacey you know. They had them sitting in little boxes. Yeah. In there. No babysitters (laughter) that was in, no restriction whatever, so I don't know. Some thing happened they had to change all that. Question: What about the old ways regarding housework and that? Is there anything you couldn't do or you shouldn't do? No, well it was No, mmm., just carry on doing the same old thing. Keep you busy doing washing clothes if you got lots of kids then. Question: Do you know what year it was you were in that play with Brian and Brent and Johnna? Gee, I wouldn't know, what year would that be? Question: It was just for a short time, wasn't it? Mhm, yeah. Just for, oh couple of weeks I guess that was all. I wouldn't even know what year it was. Question: Did you do any other things like that? '71 or '72 something like that. No, no, no. I've been asked but I wouldn't go anymore. They don't, they don't pay well, no. They cheat you if you do go in. Question: Did the kinds of job you took, did they affect your life, change your life, the way you've had to live? No, it didn't. Yeah. All the work I used to do in the cannery, no. Question: And before too? No, it didn't change nothing. All the women in them days they all took the work. Work hard all their life. Question: Before you were married and you were working, were you helping to support your great grandparents? No~, no. Question: The money was just your own, anything you made? Yeah, mhm, well, if we wanted to go buy things, we wish to eat. Go work you know things like that. All them things. Most of the time we'd go buy something like material and make our own dress or something. The materials were cheap, they were ten cents a yard, so if you had fifty cents you get five yards for it....make a dress, you know. 219 Question; The rules that go with a job like having to be there so many hours or so many days, did that bother you at all? Mmm, we went to work as long as there was fish to do, you go work. When it's finished you go home. That's the way it goes. When you first start working. When it's finished, you're gone. You go home. There wasn't too much work in the spring or in the summer, till late like in this month and August then you work steady. Question; So you kind of adjust your life to the way the work is avilable? To other things. Yeah. Uhuh,sometimes you're home and you just start to do something like at home. You washing or something. Then you get called to work you have to drop everything go work. If you had washing and it was half done, you have to leave it and go work. When you come home, you'd finish it over. Question; Did it ever cause any problems with the family. No, no. No 'cause they couldn't help it. If I had to go work I go work, see they go without. I didn't have much, too much small kids when I started working. Eddy was the last baby you know. So I didn't, it was no problem there. I washed when I had time to wash. I used to even wash after when I get home after supper. I wash clothes or something like that. Or I'd wash my floor. In between the work. Question: What did you think about work when you were younger? Oh, I don't know. I didn't care much about work. We were just happy go lucky kids. If we wanted to work we go, if we didn't want to, we didn't have to. Question: No one bothered you about it? No, no, nobody pushed you around. Yeah. Question: What about the young people now? Oh, I think they're really, they're just too lazy to work now. They just sit and wait for welfare. They're lucky. They got it or else they'd starve. We weren't brought up like that. No. Question: Would you live the same way over again like workingthe same? Oh, if I had to live it over I'd do it the same teause 220 nobody, it's not a, there's no future no life in just sitting at home doing nothing. It's a miserable thing. You have to be out to work. Makes you happy to go work and come home instead of just staying home and do nothing. The day is long. Question; You'd say you've enjoyed work then? Oh yeah, I enjoy work. If I had the chance to go back to work now I'd go. Rather than sit at home. Tape 34 Recorded: July 31, 1975 Mrs. Rose Sparrow Point Roberts SUMMATION — WORK HISTORY Question; What about the way you worked and the way younger people work? What do you think about it? They never tell them (womem working in cannery) to go, — it's after four (o'clock) — to go home and stay home because they were old. No, they went to work. I remember this old lady they used to call Celestine. She used to go to the cannery with her cane. She gets a box and sit down, wash fish. They never told her you stand up and work, no. No matter how old you were just as long as you drag yourself in there and work. Not like now. Soon as you're middle-aged they send you home. You can't work no more. And that was the best time for working, when you get old. Maybe you wasn't really fast but you're a steady worker." You don't fool around. You don't go talking and you're steady with your work when you get older. Not like the young people. They play and they talk, it's not good. But the older people, when they work, they work. No fooling around. They might be kind of slow but it's steady, you know. They don't take their eyes off their job and go look around. So I always told them I bet I can out work them girls they got in the cannery right now. I would, 'cause I'm experienced. Question; Did you find a difference in working after you were married than before? Well, it wasn't too much I was working out after I was married. I was just mostly staying home. But after 221 my kids grew up, then I went working. But after when I used to go to Claxton it was a seasonal work you know. It didn't bother. When I get through I'm home looking after my family and drying fish and canning, everything. Question: Were you providing for yourself or for the family? No, it's for the whole family. Question: Would you keep your monies separate? No, no, no. Mmm, no. I used to buy, when I get home from the cannery. I buy clothes for the kids to go to school. Shoes, everything they need. No, I never saved it, no. Buy clothes for the children. Question: What would you consider the most important kind of work you've done? Any kind of work? I think the most important kind of work I did was work in the cannery. Question: I'm including housework and raising a family and all that. Oh, well. Right now I don't care less what I do now. The important thing I have to do my spinning and knitting. But I always do my laundry first of all. I don't leave dirty clothes laying around. Yeah, I wash them first the beginning of the week. But as far as housecleaning, I'm getting behind on that 'cause I can't handle it too much. That's downstairs. Not because I'm lazy, but I just couldn't do the work I used to do you know. Question: But money wise you'd say that cannery work was your most important? Yeah, it was my most important work. Question: And your housecleaning is right now? Mhm, yeah. Question: What about the most important work in all of your life? That was when we cannery worked. That was my most important work. Yeah. I'd rather work there than do anything else, cause at least when I get home I'm fresh. I want to do my housework when I get home. Then I do my housework when I get home. Washing or cleaning or whatever it is you know. Question: Is there any work that you really enjoy? Oh, I think the work that I really enjoyed was doing 222 the tuna, because it was dry. You don't have to stick your hand in the water. The tuna is already cooked when you're handling it. And I didn't fill cans, but we used to grade the tuna after, the flakes. Pick whatever's in it, grade them you know, put them aside. I liked that job, it was easy 'cause you sit down. There's a table there and you sit and you just take whatever is in there. Any bones or any little skin or anything you take it off. You keep on like that. And trimming, but I did trimming, a lot of trimming. The tuna comes in whole you know, cut in quarters and you scrape the skin off. Put it through the old scraper, take it all off, push it along. Then it's ready to go through the cutter. Question; Did you have to change your life at all to suit your work? No, no, mmm. Never, never. It fit in quite well no matter what you did, because you know what to do it didn't matter. It wasn't hard for you once you get to know every thing, all your work. It just comes natural you know. It's a routine every day. You know what to do and where to go and place things you know. It wasn't hard. No, but the bosses aren't there telling°you what to do, you know what to do yourself. Yeah, when we were working you know. Question: Did you ever have any problems adjusting to your work and Grandpa's work (Ed)? No, no. No, I never interfered with his work, you know. I always keeped away from his work. When he was a fisherman I wouldn't dare stick my nose in and say I'll mend your net. No, I never wanted, to. 'Cause once you do that you put yourself in there, you'll be down the wharf with your needle and twine you know. So I kept away from there. I had no time for it. And he didn't want jne to do that, cause he knew I had too much work of my own. Question: What about when he went away, was there any problem of you going with him? No, no. If he went, 'cause he had to go and I had to stay home. But if we, when I started worked up the cannery north I went, sometimes I went by steamer after. But most of the time we were travelling by gas boat. 223 Tape 35 Recorded: July 31, 1975 Ed Sparrow SUMMATION - WORK HISTORY We got ahead of ourselves in preparing you know, the gear. What I mean by gear is the nets we use, you know. We, ah, sometimes we buy lines already threaded you know, I mean with floats on them you know. And other times we do it ourselves. When we got time we do it ourselves in the spring you know. Put your floats in, thread it you know, your floats on the line. We make one or two if you had to you know. Then you got the other part of it. Then we get ready to hang, hang your nets for the season. You already go that, no good repeating it I guess, huh. You already got it so, I was just telling you we got ahead of ourselves over there. And you get through, put it in bundles or put it on pallet boards they call it you know, and have it all ready. We come in, change (nets) in a hurry and go out again when the fish changes, changes size. Yeah, that's all. Question: You looked after your own boat all the time? Yeah. Question: Mechanical too? No, we hire mechanics. Sometimes we do our own work, you know, simple things. But when there'a a big job we hire mechanics to do it you know. Most of the time you do your own work. Never too much big problems with the engine. Question: The type of jobs, work you had to do, did that change orT have an effect on the way you had to live? Did it change the life you had known when you were younger? Well, times have changed you know. But, I don't know how it affects, it was a drawback the way we went around then as far as I can see. 224 Question: The way you had to travel around? Yeah. Just like, something like, be similar to the way education is now. You know things were different years ago how you were educated. Now they've modernized their style seems to me. Times are changing you know. I don't see where, well that time it took so damn long to make a dollar that's about all. Now you can make it and if you're smart enough and you have money to work with you can make the money in a short time. Whereas you had to work so hard to make a dollar or save a dollar. Question: Did the idea of having to work for money affect you, rather than working just to live? Well I don't know what you mean by that, you know. Working to live — you gotta work to live. Question: Right, but just for food, food for your family rather than working to save money? Well, I never ever thought of saving money when I was raising ray family. There was hardly any money to save anyway (laughter). Everything I made always went for the children and food. Yeah, I saved little bit for rainy days. I do that every year, you know. But I mean rainy days when you're off work, you know. You had to when you got a family to look after, you had to, do something like that. Question: So you felt a real obligation to family and kin? Oh yeah, mhm. Question: Before you were married, did you have the same obligation to the family? Yeah, I used to work and give what I had to spare to my grandmother and keep very little spending money for myself you know. Just go to town, just going to a show, I never drank or smoked. Everything I made went, mostly went to my grandmother, for our upkeep you know. Question: Regulating of your life that's involved with keeping a steady job, did that interfere with your life at all? No, you mean regulations. I don't quite.... Question: Being at work every day, or for certain hours everyday? Oh, yeah, well when I'm working out I quit certain times you know. And oh no, it didn't, at that time never 225 thought it was affecting my life. And when I was working for myself if I had to go play lacrosse I quit when I feel like it and get ready to go. But we used to, like in the summertime we never played, practiced till about eight o'clock I guess. Still daylight in the middle of the summer you know. No, it didn't affect no ways. Question; When you were working steady for someone else did it bother you that you couldn't just leave whenever you felt like it? No, I never felt like ever going anywhere when I was working for, you know. My job was always ahead of pleasure I guess you'd call it. Question: Would you do the same type of work, the same kind of life again? Well, you see I'd work, but it won't be the same type. I think I'd go after something better (laughter). Question: Would you be a fisherman all your life if you had the choice? Well, it all depends. If I can't do nothing else well I'd go back to fishing, you know, if I had to. If I had to. If I had to start all over again you know. And, if I had the money, sure. To start with you gotta get started somewhere, some way or another. And I don't want to go and work for the companies again because they hold you down for a certain length of time. Although you're making money they don't want to take your payments if they could help it. They try to keep you in debt, just to have control over you. They didn't, when I paid off my boat, that's the one I sold you know, they didn't want to take it. I offered them — I owed them one thousand, one hundred dollars — the balance of my payments. I was only supposed to pay five hundred and fifty dollars, five hundred and fifty dollars a year, that's all. That was the agreement we made when I got my boat. And I done pretty good, one year and I, well at times they refused my payment, you know. Tried to keep me in the hole all the time so I'd be working for them all the time. I got fed up with that and I started paying for it. And I did good one year and I paid it off, but they didn't want to take it. I said, if you ain't gonna take my money, if you don't want to take it I says you'll never get no more. That boat is mine, I says (laughter). Finally they decided that you know to take my, take whatever money I had owing them and I got my ownership for the boat. Oh, they do that all the time to almost everybody. Try to keep you in debt so they have control over you. Question; Is there any particular kind of work you really enjoyed or do enjoy? 226 I don't know, I think I like fishing more than anything else. Because I was on my own, there was nobody te