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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The employment problems and economic status of the British Columbia Indians Thompson, Francis Wilfred 1951

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C.-i f ' THE EMPLOYMENT PROBLEMS AND ECONOMIC STATUS OF THE BRITISH COLUMBIA INDIANS A survey of the extent to whioh the native Indians have become assimilated into the labour force and economic l i f e of the province. by FRANCIS WILFRED THOMPSON Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK in the School of Social Work 1951 The University of British Columbia ABSTRACT The purpose of this study is to enquire into the problems which face the Br i t i sh Columbia Indians in seeking employment, or in working as members of thej labour force of the province. It also seeks to discover to what extent and in what ways the native Indians have been assimilated into the provincial labour force. An examination of these aspects of the l i f e of the Indians should bring to l ight some clues as to their social needs as a minority group in the province. The study was begun with a f u l l appreciation of the scarcity of information on the subject. The survey was confined to the Vancouver region, and to the predominant occupations, in view of the limitations of time and the fact that the population is scattered over a wide area. Interviewing of the Indian people themselves was the chief method used. As there are very few Indians on S o c i a l Assistance in the metropolitan area, material from this source was- not available. The results show that the coastal Indians of Bri t i sh Columbia, who form a majority of the native population, are l imited in their range of employment to the primary industries, chiefly fishing and lumbering. This l imitation is undoubtedly favoured by cultural preference, but i t is also elearly due to lack of vocational training for other occupations. Rigid governmental supervision during the past eighty years has also inhibited many from competing with the general population at the ordinary levels of opportunity. The prime purpose of the study is to underline and i l lustrate the welfare implications of employment. The importance of educational factors is strongly brought out. There are individual examples of the overcoming of the economic and psychological obstacles. But reforms in status and opportunities w i l l be necessary to effect more substantial change. TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter I. Cultural Heritage ana i t s E f f e c t on Employment and Soonomlo Status Today 0 The t r a n s i t i o n from a primitive s o c i a l and. economic society to- modern c i v i l i z a t i o n . Pre-^European culture and economics. The impact of European c i v i l i z a t i o n . The acculturation process. Comparison with Ontario Indians. Attitudes to work. Recent economic status. Purpose and scope of the survey. C f i a p t e r r l l . Indians i n the Fishing Industry The Indians' stake i n the f i s h e r i e s . The threat of displacement by the Japanes-Canadians. Point of view the employer. Social and other problems... Supervisory positions. Dual unionism. Technological changes. Chapter I I I . Other Employments Difference between f i s h i n g and a l l other industries. The lumbering industry. Longshoring. Seasonal employment. Urban employment. Chapter IV. Educational Factors Extremes of education amongst reserve Indians. Sample work histories., Educational f a c i l i t i e s . Vocational training for employment. Experience of white schools with Indian children. Chapter V. An Evaluation The government and the Indians. An Indian view of the Indian Act. Social attitudes towards the Indians. Welfare services for unemployed and aged Indians. I n t e r c u l t u r a l adjustment. Conclusions. Appendix A. Bibliography TABLES IE THE TEXT Page Table 1. Employment of Indians i n B r i t i s h Columbia industries, 1940 - 1945 11 Table 2. Fishing licences issued i n B r i t i s h Columbia, 1940 - 1945 13 Table 3. Income of the Indians of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1940 - 1945 13 Table 4. Variations of Employment i n selected industries, 1945 14 Table 5. Age d i s t r i b u t i o n by sex of B r i t i s h Columbia Indians, 1949 44 Table 6. Enrolment of B r i t i s h Columbia Indians by type of school. 46 THE EMPLOYMENT PROBLEMS AND ECONOMIC STATUS. OF- THE BRITISH COLUMBIA' INDIANS CHAPTER I CULTURAL HERITAGE AND ITS EFFECT ON EMPLOYMENT AND ECONOMIC STATUS TODAY  To see the employment and economic picture of the native Indians of Br i t i sh Columbia in i t s social perspective today, i t i s necessary to have some knowledge of the culture of the people as i t was developed during the centuries before the advent of the European races. The transition of the Br i t i sh Columbia Indians from a well-adapted pre-literate society to a minority group within the population of the province has been accompanied by hardship and cultural confusion. The effect of the European settlement of the Pacif ic slope of the North American continent has been to break down the well organized economic and cultural patterns of the native peoples, and to leave them to find their place in the new scheme of things as best they can. The period of transit ion, and i t is s t i l l continuing, began only sixty to seventy years ago. "It has been a d i f f i cu l t time for the Indians because while their culture was primitive com-pared with that of the newcomers when they f i r s t arrived, the culture of the latter has not remained static . Compare the l i f e and times of the early settlers with our modern times. The early white settlers i f they could return today would at f i r s t be fearful and uncomfortable in our present day l i f e , with a l l i t s strange mechanical devices and changed p o l i t i c a l and social customs. The Indian, on the other hand, has been faced with the problems of overtaking a culture that tends to move 2. away from the earl ier pattern with ever-increasing acceleration. Pre-European Culture and Economics Before the European came to B r i t i s h Columbia, the aboriginal inhabitants had achieved a social order which to them was compat-ible with l i f e as they knew i t . The coastal tr ibes , which con-tained the greater part of the population, had levels of status governed by heredity and economic success. "Wealth and nobi l i ty were almost synonymous and since a commoner, through the accumula-t ion of wealth, could r i se to a higher social status, industry and planning were accelerated and r iva l ry was Intense. The common people as ever made up the bulk of the population. These were free men related by blood to the nobil i ty but unfortunately, poor and undistinguished. AX third of the population consisted of slaves who had no status or rights and were regarded merely as chat te l s . " 2 The Indians of the coastal areas were primarily fishermen. Fish formed the bulk of their diet , but i t was supplemented by berries, roots, and the smaller wild animals and fowl. The staple food supply made possible large permanent settlements, which clustered along the r ivers and sheltered coves. The denseness of the forest made overland travel d i f f i c u l t , whereas travel by sea and, to a lesser extent, by river was easy. The Haida of the Queen Charlotte Islands were sk i l fu l voyagers, while some of the tribes of the west coast of Vancouver Island were in the habit of paddling into the open Pacif ic on whale hunting expeditions. A striking example of cultural specialization, and one that f ires the imagination, i s that of Indian hunters in canoes A H . E . Blanchard, "Social Education and Assimilation of the Native Indian", Western Goals In Social Welfare. Second Biennial Western Regional Conference on Social Work, Vic tor ia , B .C. , 19^9, P.157. Edward L. Keithahn, Monuments In Cedar, Ketchikan, Anderson. 19*5, p.64.. 3 . made with stone and shell tools, and armed with spears and harpoons of the same materials, attacking whales and dragging them back to land.3 In the culture of the people of the coast, the distr ibution of wealth was incorporated into the means of establishing social prestige. This involved the marking of many events such as births, the coming of age or marriage of children, or the assumption of a t i t l e , by the giving away of accumulated wealth to a l l those invited to the celebration. Gifts received at these "potlatches", as the ceremonies were called, were returned to the donor with interest at later celebrations. In the meantime they were put to good use, much the same as a bank invests depositor's savings. Thus the economic structure of the coastal tribes was f a i r ly well organized prior to the arr iva l of the white man. The Impact of European Civ i l i za t ion Voyages of exploration to the Pacif ic coast of North America were prompted f i r s t by a desire to establish whether or not a North-West Passage existed. Trading vessels were attracted to the region by reports from China of the fur-seal and sea-otter pelts that could be found in abundance on the north-west coast of America. A number of European vessels v i s i ted this Br i t i sh Columbia coast in the closing years of the eighteenth century, but colonization began only in the f i r s t quarter of the nineteenth, and then i t was confined to a small d i s t r i c t around Vic tor ia . By the middle of the century, however, the tide of immigration was flowing in great strength, and already disrupting the economic and social l i f e of the natives throughout the entire province. European disregard of a l l distinctions of rank, the abolit ion of slavery, and the introduction 3-T.F. Mcllwraith, "Basic Cultures of the Indians of Canada", in C T . Loram and T.F. Mcllwraith, ed. , The North American Indian  Today, University of Toronto Press, 19^3, p.3'+. of new standards of wealth whioh the ex-slave oould acquire more easily perhaps than his ex-master, destroyed every vestige of loca l authority in the vi l lages , while at the same time the establishment of f ishing canneries seriously interfered with their pr incipal food supply. The mechanical age had just opened. Steamers were plying up and down the coast; lumber companies with snorting donkey-engines and high-rigging tackle were invading the forests. With almost no preparation or warning Indians who had not yet fu l ly emerged from the stone age found themselves caught in a maelstrom of modern industry and commerce.^ A manifestation of the disruption of the economic and social l i f e of the Indians was the effect of European culture on the potlatch. As Indian mores were broken down through contact with the white man's economy, the potlatch lost i t s long-range value to the giver. With the introduction of liquor by some unscrupulous traders, the potlatch often deteriorated from a carefully planned r i t u a l into an alcholic debauchery which ended in the destitution of the convenor. The missionaries were against them beoause they thought they were barbarous, wasteful orgies. The potlatch, which in Europen eyes Included a l l Indian ceremonies and dances, was f ina l ly prohibited by federal legis lat ion.5 The Acculturation Process "Acculturation" i s the term used to describe the approxima-t ion of one social group to another in culture or arts through contacts between the two groups. The Br i t i sh Columbia Indians have been going through this process since the coming of the white man. The f i r s t people, to come in contact with them were ^Diamond Jenness, "Canada's Indian Problem", Annual Report of  the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution. 1942, p.373. ^Section 140 of the Indian Act. 5. the fur traders, both from the seaward, and overland from the eastern provinces. Then came the missionaries, who commenced th e i r appointed task of converting the Indians to C h r i s t i a n i t y and of educating them to the white man's way of l i f e . F i n a l l y , there was government supervision under the Indian Act which became law i n I876. Contacts with these three d i s t i n c t groups which were representative of European culture were the beginning of a cculturation f o r the B.C. Indians, But the fur traders 1 contact with the Indians quickly waned as the w i l d - l i f e resources of the province became depleted with the use of modern weapons and intensive trapping. The Indian i n h i s primitive setting was a conservationist, but i n his e f f o r t s to adjust to European ways he had to face a competitor who took no thought f o r the morrow. Thus, having upset the Indian's o r i g i n a l mode of l i v i n g , the white man had now assisted i n depriving him of his best method of obtaining a l i v e l i h o o d i n terms of the white man's wealth. One thing shared by a l l the Indians of Canada was dependence upon simple stone tools and the bow and arrow. Everywhere the Indians were highly pro-f i c i e n t craftsmen and were l i v i n g i n a manner which seemed to them the normal one. The coming of the white man did not merely add one more way of l i f e to the existing d i v e r s i t y ; h i s culture destroyed and replaced a l l others, and within a generation or two, Indian culture gave way before the Industrial s k i l l s of the immigrants. Unfortunately f o r the Indian, r e l a t i v e l y few of his specialized s k i l l s had any s i g n i f i c a n t transfer value. Only i n the f a r north have many of the native c r a f t s survived as a s i g n i f i c a n t contribution to modern l i f e . Eskimo clothing i s s t i l l regarded as most desirable f o r the A r t i e ; and though new techniques have been introduced i n the catching of seals, the Eskimo are s t i l l a v i t a l part of Northern l i f e . The Indians have had t£> start at the bottom of the ladder, con-form ing to the ways of the white man in a land that 6. was once their own. This fact is v i t a l in con-sidering their place in our modern l i f e . ° Comparison with the Indians in other parts of Canada shows how the B.C. Indians have conformed to the ways of the white man. Only in Ontario i s there a greater Indian population than in B.C. There, the Indians f i r s t f e l t the f u l l Impact of European c i v i l i z a t i o n with the influx of United Empire Loyalists after the American War of Independence. Previous to this , the Br i t i sh in the Thirteen Colonies had treated them as equals and used them as a l l i e s in war and exploration. Over the interven-ing period of 175 years the Indians of Ontario, largely agr i-cultural in the southern part of the province, were concentrated on reserves, and have to a. great extent been assimilated by the white population due to a higher rate of enfranchisement. Today in Ontario many Indians have taken their places in the community at large and have entered nearly every profession and occupation. But on the Pacif ic coast the experience of the Indians has been different. C iv i l i za t ion had burst upon them so suddenly that they were bewildered and unable either to avoid i t s evi l s or to see and grasp its opportun-i t i e s . European diseases had decimated their ranks and the population dropped at an appalling rate. Some of the g i r l s married white men, or in rare cases, Chinese; here and there a man broke away from his fellows and merged with the whites; but the greater number clung to their old settle** ments (which the government f ina l ly converted into reserves) and watched with hopeless, uncomprehending eye8 the growth of Industry and commerce around them.7 6 T .F . Mcllwraith, "The Indians of Canada", The Annals of the  American Academy of P o l i t i c a l and Social Science. Sept. 1947. p.164. 7 Diamond Jenness, "Canada's Indian Problem", p.367. The process of acculturation of the Indians in Br i t i sh Columbia (as well as in the rest of Canada) has not been uniform. The reserve system has segregated the Indians as a group from the general population and has restricted cultural contact. It might be expected that those Indians residing on reserves in close proximity to the larger centres of population would be more ful ly indoctrinated into the social mores and institutions of European citizenship than would those Indians l iv ing on the more isolated reserves. But such is not the case. The. f i r s t Indian reserve in Br i t i sh Columbia to apply for enfranchisement i s one on the northern coast of the province, several hundred miles from the larger centres of population. ...Before the end of September (1951)> i t is expected the v i l lage w i l l be under its new status, governed by a, board of vil lage commissioners of three members instead of the present native council. Since 1889 the vil lage has had i t s native council . It w i l l be the smallest incorporated vi l lage in Br i t i sh Columbia under the municipal act - the population is only 152.8 In the opinion of the writer, this type of acculturation i s more desirable than the complete submergence of the native people Into the general population of the province. By the enfranchisement of whole vil lages, the Indians w i l l be accorded the opportunity of f i t t i n g themselves into the p o l i t i c a l and economic l i f e of the Canadian community without being entirely divorced from their own cultural heritage. Attitudes to Work There is one factor which influences the speed of the p r o » cess of acculturation amongst the Indians generally,namely their 8 "Indian Village i s Municipality", The Native Voice. A p r i l , 1951, p. 16. -6. a t t i t u d e towards work. On t h i s s u b j e c t , the l a t e P r o f e s s o r C T . Loram of the Department of Race R e l a t i o n s of Yale U n i v e r s -i t y had t h i s to say: A c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of modern Western s o c i e t y i s i t s a c q u i s i t i v e n e s s . We have g l o r i f i e d owner-sh i p and i n order t o possess many t h i n g s , some of which we cannot p o s s i b l y use, have canonized work b e l i e v i n g t h a t Satan f i n d s m i s c h i e f s t i l l f o r i d l e hands t o do. But work i n i t s e l f Is no v i r t u e i n many p r i m i t i v e p h i l o s o p h i e s . The p r i m i t i v e man w i l l work hard to a c q u i r e f o o d and s h e l t e r and c l o t h i n g , but to work to own t h i n g s one cannot use, t o have money In the bank as we say, i s o f t e n f o r e i g n t o him. Work i s not a v i r t u e i n i t s e l f , i t i s a necessary means to an observable and apprec-i a b l e end. One of our Western complaints about the Indian i s t h a t he p r e f e r s I n t e r m i t t e n t work l i k e s t e v e d o r i n g or h a r v e s t i n g or b e r r y - p i c k i n g t o r e g u l a r day-by-day labour.9 T h i s a t t i t u d e i s borne out i n an examination of many asp e c t s of Indian employment today. From the p o i n t of view of the employer of i n t e r m i t t e n t and s e a s o n a l labour, the e x i s t e n c e of a group w i t h t h i s a t t i t u d e towards work i s a good t h i n g . From the s o c i a l and economic viewpoint, however, i t i s not a good t h i n g . I t puts the Indians i n the m a r g i n a l category of l a b o u r and leads t o s o c i a l e v i l s such as experienced by the "Okies" of the western United S t a t e s . U n l e s s h i s philosophy i s d i f f e r e n t from that d e s c r i b e d by P r o f e s s o r Loram, the I n d i a n w i l l not be s u i t e d f o r r e p e t i t i v e f a c t o r y work, the s k i l l e d trades or any type of employment t h a t r e q u i r e s s t r i c t adherence t o a task t h a t i s not of i t s e l f c r e a t i v e . To understand I n d i a n p r e f e r e n c e s , something more than "Western " or "Anglo- Saxon" Judgements (or standards) must 9 C T . Loram, The North American Indian Today, p. 7. 9 . be kept in mind. Much of the work connected with the gathering and preparing of food was carried out in groups and was accom-panied by song and r i t u a l . The primitive person, (not unlike the person of Hebrew-Christian culture) did not consider that he could provide himself with a l l the necessities of l i f e with-out divine assistance. Dr. Hawthorn, writing on this subject, points out that Indian views on work have also changed. The changes in the Indian culture of Br i t i sh Columbia have already been considerable. The past ceremonial and aesthetic, emotional and religious setting of Indian work is not ful ly replaceable today, any more than i t is with us. We could not revive the dances, fe s t iv i t ie s , harvesting and the sowing, in our own early cultural history, even i f we wanted to. Neither can the Indians revive theirs, where they have altered vastly or disappeared. Yet the Indian today s t i l l needs economic rewards and controls other than merely material ones, and other than the dictates of a western conscience. Work which has a meaning beyond the purely material is s t i l l demanded by the Indian of Br i t i sh Columbia, and along with actual opportunity and material reward, this demand largely determines his economic l i f e . The preferred and successfully pursued occu-pations retain at least a Joint and sociable nature.1° The work which seems to appeal most to the Indians of the coastal areas is f i shing. The next in preference is lumbering, chiefly logging; while far down the scale in point of numbers but important in regard to f inancial returns is longshoring. It i s of interest to ask to what extent the native people have moved into these and other industries and occupations and what has been the economic gain. Recent Economic Status Very l i t t l e s t a t i s t i ca l material is published which gives 10 H.B. Hawthorn, "Administration and Primitive Economy", The Canadian Journal of Economics and P o l i t i c a l Science, v o l . 15 (February, 1 9 ^ 9 ) , p. 9 5 . 10. a clear-cut picture of the share the Indian people have in the provincial Income and how i t Is gained. For the war-time years 1940 to 1945, the B r i t i s h Columbia Department of Labour included i n i t s Annual Reports the rac ia l origin of employed workers in twenty-five categories of Industry. During this period, Indians were employed in nineteen out of the twenty-five categories. A summary of these s tat i s t ics is given in Table I on the next page . 1 1 Although they only account for between 4000 to 5000 Indians, plus approximately 35°Q native fishermen, out of a pro-v i n c i a l Indian population of close to 25 ,000,12 these figures present the best available picture of the occupational d i s t r ibu-t ion of this rac ia l group for a recent period. Some c lar i f i ca t ion of the categories of industry summarized in Table I may be helpful in order to see what types of employ-ment are involved. The main source of employment in the canning and food processing Industry is in f i sh canning. It w i l l be noted that just over a third of the women and the largest single group of men of the tota l number covered by these returns are concentrated in this type of work. O i l reduction plants consist mainly of pilchard and herring reduction and could almost be considered part of the fish-canning Industry. Logging, sawmills, woodworking, etc. includes a l l forest products Industry, The majority of the Indians employed in this category are to be 11 Unfortunately, information is lacking as to whether the f i g -ures were a l l obtained on one month in the year (and which month), or whether they are averages for the year. In other words, seasonal variations are obscured. 12 The Indian population of Br i t i sh Columbia at the 1941 Census was 24,875, Source: Canada Year Book 1947, p. 1162. 1 1 . Table 1. Employment of Indiana in Br i t i sh Columbia Industries, 1940 - 1945  Industry 194-0 194-1 1942 19^3 1944 19^5 Avera ge 1 9 4 2 -N O . ; 45 P . C . Canning and '.-.•V 1 other food processing 1636 1488 Males 316 715 650 15^9 1331 2 9 . 2 Females 525 1081 1775 1767 1479 1423 1611 3 5 . 3 Oil-reduction plants 164 86 Males 5* 65 89 97 109 2 . 3 Females 14 4 2 3 6 . 2 Logging, saw-mil l s , wood-working, etc. 698 17.4 Males 195 339 1045 703 721 792 Females — 3 15 10 11 10 . 2 Longshoring & Coast Shlpp'g 16 Males 129 137 k5 0 6 15 . 3 Shipbuilding 76 60 63 1 .3 Males - 107 51 35 Construction and Building Materials Males 20 50 216 244 119 81 265 5 . 8 Mining 18 16 . 3 Males 11 20 13 20 15 A l l other factories and u t i l i t i e s 342 Males 36 26 806 204 170 188 7 . 5 Females 2 1 5 16 5 7 . 2 Total Males 761 14-28 3196 3032 2714 2605 2887 64.1 Total Females 525 1083 179^ 1767 1510 1445 1624 3 5 . 9 Total both sexes 1286 2511 4990 4823 4244 4050 4527 1 0 0 . 0 Source: Adapted from returns to the B.C. Department of Labour; discontinued after 1 9 4 5 . Do not include fishing, trapping and agriculture. 12. found i n the logging-camps. The category l a b e l l e d " a l l other f a c t o r i e s and u t i l i t i e s " includes miscellaneous trades and industries, chemicals, metal trades, garment-making, laundries, leather and f u r goods, p r i n t i n g and publishing, and the manu-facture of pulp and paper. It must be remembered that the economy of B r i t i s h Columbia during these years was i n f l a t e d by war production. Another fa c t o r which must be considered i s that i n 1942, approximately 21,000 people of Japanese o r i g i n were removed from the coastal areas.^3 in many instances the employment vacated by these people was taken up by the native Indians. This replacement i s most noticeable i n Table I In the figures given for canning and other food processing, and logging, sawmills, woodworking, etc. The average number of males employed In the former industry from 1942 to 1945 i s over four times the figure f o r 1940 and f o r the females the increase was well over three-fold. The same increase was exhibited f o r the men i n logging and millwork industry. These are both industries i n which the Japanese were heavily entrenched. A f a i r l y - w e l l correlated movement i s evident from the long-shoring and coast shipping industry to shipbuilding i n the middle years of the war. This can be attributed to the drop in shipping from the P a c i f i c coast ports of Canada aft e r Pearl Harbour and the tremendous increase i n ship construction. Also, the majority of Indians engaged i n longshoring reside on reserves close to the shipyards. 13 Canada, Department of Labour, Report on the Re-establlshment  of Japanese i n Canada. 1944-1946. Ottawa, King's Printer, 1947, p. 5 . . 13. Numbers Engaged In F i s h i n g The p r o v i n c i a l s t a t i s t i c s do not i n c l u d e the number of Indians engaged i n the a c t u a l f i s h i n g o p e r a t i o n s . The f e d e r a l government e x e r c i s e s some c o n t r o l over the c a t c h i n g of f i s h by l i c e n c i n g every commercial fisherman. L i c e n c e s are i s s u e d "for a number of d i f f e r e n t types of f i s h i n g i n v o l v i n g v e s s e l s w i t h v a r y i n g s i z e s of crew and kinds of equipment. Thus a f a i r l y a c c u r a t e count of the number engaged i n f i s h i n g can be g i v e n . Only a few crew men on the l a r g e r v e s s e l s a re not l i c e n c e d . The t o t a l number of l i c e n c e s Issued f o r the p e r i o d under review, 1940 to 19^5, are shown i n Table 2. Year L i c e n c e s Issued t o : T o t a l < a ) Whites Indians Japanese Others 1940 9021 3221 56 1902 14,200 19^1 8638 3184 48 1886 13,756 1942 8023 3305 37 2053 1 3 „ 4 1 8 1943 11601 3771 15,372 1944 12997 3776 —— 16 16,779 1945 14086 3832 — * 17 17,935 Source: Canada, Department of F i s h e r i e s , Annual Reports, (a) C a n c e l l e d l i c e n c e s s u b t r a c t e d . As an i n d i c a t i o n of the f i n a n c i a l r e t u r n s of the employment shown i n the pre c e d i n g t a b l e s , the wages earned by the Indians of B r i t i s h Columbia are g i v e n i n Table 3. l a o i e j. income 01 une i i i a i a n s 01 DI-XOJ.: Income r e c e i v e d from 3x1 uuiuiuuict, X^ '-KW—*-rj Year F i s h i n g Other I n d u s t r i e s Wage s T o t a l 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 W 5 $ 508,525 524,900 1,030,150 1,620,244 1,588,500 1,588,838 165,630 206,745 145,095 17^,950 205,645 264,350 533,835 772,150 1,011,050 1,393,244 1,507,5^3 1,818,625 $ 1,207,990 1,503,795 2,186,295 3,188,438 3,301,688 3,671,813 Source: Dominion Bureau of S t a t i s t i c s , Canada Year Bock. 1^. The large increase in income from fishing and a somewhat smaller increase In wages earned in 1943 reflects the elimina-t ion of the Japanese from the fishing and logging industries. Part of this increase, however, must also he attributed to the war«=time r ise in prices and wages generally. Regularity of Employment The variation in employment due to seasonal conditions was considerably distorted during the period under discussion because of the war-time labour shortages. The year 1945, therefore is used as a sample I l lustrat ion in order to give an indication of the regularity of employment in the industries in which Indians are chiefly concerned. The figures shown In Table 4 include a l l nat ional i t ies . Industry Month of most employment Number employed Month of least employment Number employed Canning and other food processing September 17,909 March 9,058 Oil-reduction plants November 1,034 March 836 Logging, sawmills, woodworking, etc. October 29,635 : January 25,365 Longshorlng and coast shipping July 5,600 December 5,235 Shipbuilding February 21,623 December 10,284 Construction and building materials October 14,442 J anuary 10,866 Source: Adapted from returns to the B.C. Department of Labour. It i s of interest to note that canning and food processing and construction and building materials are the two industries in 15. which there i s the most va r i a t i o n of employment. The labour force In the shipbuilding industry also dropped f i f t y percent but t h i s was due to cut-backs i n war production rather than annual fluctuations. In 1944 the employment figure i n t h i s industry remained f a i r l y constant. Purpose and Scope of the Survey As the s t a t i s t i c s quoted above show, the industries In which the greatest number of native Indians were g a i n f u l l y employed i n B r i t i s h Columbia during the war-time period were f i s h i n g , canning and other food processing, and logging, sawmills, woodworking, etc. Although t o t a l employment began to f a l l o ff a f t e r the peak had been reached i n 1942, t o t a l wages and income continued to r i s e even up to 1945. Against t h i s background the next questions to ask are: what problems does employment present to the Indians today; how i s the i r economic status affected by employment or unemployment; and what i s th e i r view of the underlying causes of t h e i r present day si t u a t i o n . Another question that arises i s that of incentives to work - how fa r do they e x i s t or are they modified f o r a people who are segregated on to reserves. These are questions which must be examined from a s o c i a l welfare point of view. A number of studies have been made of the native Indians and t h e i r r e l a t i o n to the Canadian community but not many deal with employment from viewpoint of the s o c i a l worker. This survey i s postulated on the assumption that employment, both i n type and a v a i l a b i l i t y , provides an Indication of the degree to which the Indians are being accepted into Canadian 16. society. For t h i s reason, p a r t i c u l a r emphasis w i l l be given to those problems having a c u l t u r a l basis which are encountered by the Indians in seeking or while In employment. For reasons of time, a c c e s s i b i l i t y , and economy, the scope of the survey has been r e s t r i c t e d to the metropolitan areas of the p r o v i n c i a l l i t t o r a l , that i s to say, the majority of the native people interviewed were resident in, or on reserves near, the urban centres of the province, c h i e f l y Vancouver, Prince Rupert and Port Alberni. I t was thought that these people w i l l have f e l t the impact of European culture more than those l i v i n g i n the i n t e r i o r of the province or i n the more Isolated coastal areas. As the f i s h i n g industry, both a f l o a t and ashore, offers the largest scope f o r the examination of the economic and s o c i a l status of the native Indian through his employment therein, i t w i l l receive f u l l e r consideration than the others. That i s not to say, however, that the other industries are less important fo r the purposes of t h i s study. It i s a matter of coincidence that a food product that was important to the Indian i s also of importance to the economic l i f e of the province of B r i t i s h Columbia. CHAPTER II  INDIANS IN THE FISHING- INDUSTRY The f i s h e r i e s of the P a c i f i c coast of Canada form a r i c h hut competitive industry. The salmon f i s h e r i e s i n p a r t i c u l a r are of v i t a l Importance to the economy of the province. The f i v e major species of salmon, spring, sockeye, pink, coho, and chum, " o r d i n a r i l y account f o r three-quarters or more of the annual d o l l a r value of f i s h produced i n the province. More than three-quarters of the salmon catch of B r i t i s h Columbia, i n turn, i s used by canneries, and the remainder i s sold i n fresh, salted, or smoked form... Halibut comes next i n importance to salmon. Other commercially less important types of f i s h caught In B r i t i s h Columbia are, i n order of importance, herring, pilchards ( u n t i l 19^6), tuna (since 1947), cod, and d o g f i s h " . ^ Part Played by the Indians i n Fishing The native Indians, f o r whom f i s h i n g had long been a natural pursuit, have assisted i n the catching and processing of salmon ever since the f i r s t cannery was b u i l t i n 18?0 at A n n i e v i l l e on the Fraser R i v e r . ^ The Indians shared employment in the indus-t r y , a 3 i t grew i n proportions, with the Europeans and l a t e r the 0*apanese. "The extent to which the native t r i b e s are engaged i n commercial f i s h i n g (today) may be Judged by the fact that approx-imately 40$ of the catch of the entire f i s h Industry i n B r i t i s h 14 Stuart Jamieson and Percy Gladstone "Unionism in the Fishing Industry of B r i t i s h Columbia", Canadian Journal of Economics and  P o l i t i c a l Science, v o l . 16 (Feb. 1950), p. 3 . 15 George J . Alexander, The Commercial Salmon Fisheries of  B r i t i s h Columbia. V i c t o r i a , King's Printer, 1947, p. 7. 18. Columbia i s credited to our native fishermen."^ The history of employment i n the f i s h i n g industry from the beginning of t h i s century to World War II consists largely of negotiations between the fishermen and the cannery operators on the one hand and r i v a l r y - with a good deal of open h o s t i l i t y -between the white fishermen and the Japanese on the other hand. The native fishermen have usually sided with the whites. From the e a r l i e s t days u n t i l World War II a great many of the Indian fishermen struggled along as marginal producers. When the Japanese were evacuated from the B r i t i s h Columbia coastal area i n 1942, the native Indians acquired many of the confiscated f i s h i n g boats and partly f i l l e d the gap i n the industry l e f t by the evacuees. Because of the high prices f o r f i s h and low outlay required to purchase a former Japanese f i s h i n g vessel, the Indians of the coastal region became more s o l i d l y entrenched i n the f i s h -ing Industry than they had ever been before. To a s s i s t him i n his dealings with the cannery operators the Indian fisherman has his own organization, the Native Brother-hood of B r i t i s h Columbia, which was formed i n 1930. It i s a province-wide f r a t e r n a l organization devoted to the interests and welfare of the Indians In every walk of l i f e . Since 1936, however, i t s main function has been the negotiating of c o l l e c t i v e bargaining agreements on behalf of native fishermen, along with the other fishermen's organization, the United Fishermen and A l l i e d Worker's Union. 16 W.S.Arnell, Indian Commissioner f o r B r i t i s h Columbia i n Western Goals f o r Social Welfare. Second Biennial Western Regional Conference on Social Work, V i c t o r i a , May 1949, p. 142. 19. Return of the Japanese-Canadians. The chief problem which seems to exist i n the eyes of the Indian fisherman today i s the threat of displacement by the Japanese-Canadians. The l a t t e r were allowed to return to the B r i t i s h Columbia coast a f t e r the war-time Orders-in-Council r e s t r i c t i n g t h e i r movements expired on March 3 1 s t , 1949. At the same time, the pre-war r e s t r i c t i o n s as to the number of f i s h i n g licences Issued to those of Japanese ancestry i n any one area were not re-imposed. The most vocal Indian group protesting the return of the Japanese-Canadians to the f i s h i n g Industry has been the Skeena River branch of the Native Brotherhood. Two a r t i c l e s have appeared i n the o f f i c i a l organ of the Brotherhood objecting to the N i s e i being allowed to come back to the c o a s t . T h e Indian's spokesman charged the cannery operators with being i n favour of, and fostering, the return of the Japanese-Canadians and also with discrimination against the Indian fisherman. There has been an attempt by the parties concerned to solve t h i s problem before i t becomes aggravated. Breaking a l l precedents i n so doing, northern members of the Native Brotherhood of B.C., the Japanese Canadian Citizens' Association and the United Fishermen and A l l i e d Workers' Union at a fishermen'3 meeting at Port Edward on June 11, decided to set up a special committee of six representatives from each to deal with problems a f f e c t i n g the three groups. At a meeting of the Native Brotherhood p r i o r to June 11, Buck Suzuki, chairman of the f i s h e r i e s com-mittee of the Japanese-Canadian Citizens' Association, 17 "Skeena Chiefs Speak on Return of Japanese", Native Voice. February, 1 9 5 ° , p . 7 and " S i n c l a i r Renews Protest re Japanese i n North", Native Voice. February, 1951, P . 8 . 20. explained the s i t u a t i o n of Japanese Canadians and that meeting decided to put forward the idea of the Joint committee at Sunday's meeting. It was the opinion of both organizations that the committee could serve a useful purpose in helping to bring closer harmony between the d i f f e r e n t groups and avoid f r i c t i o n within the industry. I t was reported that a l l Japanese-Canadians were now members of the United Fishermen and A l l i e d Workers' Union and that i t would, there-fore, be possible to have such a committee working within the organization to take up griev-ances that might a r i s e . Suzuki, spokesman f o r the Japanese-Canadians, assured both the Brotherhood and the Union members present that they had resolved not to accept gear or boats that had been confiscated from native or white fishermen u n t i l a f u l l i nvestigation was made for the reasons of the seizure. It was further reported that there were approximately 90 Japanese-Canadians f i s h i n g the Skeena t h i s year, a l l of whom are members of the Union. 1 8 The threat of displacement by Japanese-Canadian fishermen i s also being f e l t i n the southern coastal area. In an i n t e r -view with an Indian on a Vancouver reserve who operates two f i s h c o l l e c t i n g boats, the fear was expressed that the Indians would be out of the f i s h i n g industry i n the near future. He gave as an example h i s own experience as a c o l l e c t o r . Last year he was c o l l e c t i n g from ten g l l l n e t t e r s operated by fishermen of Japanese ancestry. Then a c o l l e c t o r of the same r a c i a l o r i g i n came down from the Skeena d i s t r i c t . The ten g i l l - n e t t e r s immediately went over to him. 1^ Recent s t a t i s t i c s tend to substantiate this informant's fears. The greatest number of f i s h i n g licences 18 "Fishermen Form Joint Group", Native Voice, June 1950, p. 9 . 19 Interview with Edward Guerln, Musqueam Reserve, May 2 5 t h , 1950. 21. issued to Indians was i n 194-5; since then the trend has been downward. No f i s h i n g licences were issued to persons of Japanese ancestry from 1943 to 1949 Inclusive. In 1950 5^2 20 licences were Issued to Japanese-Canadians. Attitude of the Canning Companies The attitude of the fish-packing companies toward the employment of Indian or Japanese-Canadian fishermen and shore-workers can be summed up i n terms of production. In the opinion of the cannery operators the Japanese-Canadian Is a harder-working, more e f f i c i e n t and r e l i a b l e fisherman. The personnel manager of one large packing company credits the Indians with having f i l l e d the gap when the Japanese were evacuated i n 1942. Since the war, however, there has been a noticeable slackening o f f i n production by the native fishermen, which this o f f i c i a l attributed i n part to the use of liquor while on the Job. As competition between the canning companies i s based on production, the companies are forced to hire the most e f f i c i e n t labour. x An executive of another large f i s h i n g company who has had many years experience i n dealing with native fishermen and cannery workers states that they are too easy-going and unreliable to compete successfully with the Japanese-Canadians. He predicted that the Japanese-Canadians w i l l d e f i n i t e l y replace the Indians i n the Skeena River f i s h e r i e s . This informant thought that most of the drunkeness that occurred among Indian fishermen during f i s h i n g hours could be 20 Canada, Department of Fisheries, Annual Reports. 21 Interview with the personnel manager, Nelson Brothers Fisher-i e s Limited, May 21st , 1951. 22. traced to the restrictions on the use of intoxicants imposed by the Indian Act. Because the Indian is barred from beer parlours he gets his alcoholic beverages from bootleggers and drinks i t on board his own boat without reference to time or day. On the larger vessels, according to this o f f i c i a l , i t has been the practice for the native crew to employ one "renegade" white man for the sole purpose of purchasing liquor for consumption in the boat. The result is that the crew are frequently incapacitated when they should be ready for work. Particular Problems Two other problems connected with Indian cannery workers were raised in this interview. The f i r s t concerned the misuse of company houses. The company provides adequate and sanitary l i v i n g accommodation for i t s employees who are working in out-of-town canneries. The experience has been that many Indian employees have been unable to take care of the houses properly. Housing on the reserves and elsewhere, with a, few exceptions, was of such a low standard that the native employees were unfamiliar with the proper upkeep of company-built housing. Holes were punched in the floor for garbage disposal and partitions were used for f i r e -wood when other fuel got wet. The second problem, from the employer's point of view, is the unpredictability of the Indian nature. The native cannery workers, in the Skeena River d i s t r i c t part icularly, cannot be re l ied upon to stay on the job for the f u l l season. A good many of them come from the Bulkley valley where they operate small subsistence farms. When haying time comes around, the head of 23. the household gathers up his family from their various jobs in the cannery, and takes them home to get in the hay for the winter. The fact that a couple of days* work at the cannery would pay for a l l the hay he needs does not seem to make any difference. ^2 In assessing .the foregoing statements, i t must be borne in mind that they are the opinions of one man. Mixed crews on Indian-owned seine boats do exist in some loca l i t i e s due to the shortage of native fishermen. Some Indians go to the canneries as soon as they hear there is work and do not leave u n t i l they are told there is no more work. A problem which affects the children of Indian cannery workers is created by the fact that the canning season begins before the end of the school term. Usually, for the Indians, employment in the fishing industry is on a family basis. While the father and older sons are away fishing, the mother and older daughters work in the cannery. This is almost necessary because of the seasonal nature of the salmon canning industry. But the younger children must l ive in the cannery houses with the mother and therefore miss some schooling at the beginning and end of each terra. Another problem which concerns the Indian women cannery workers is the lack of a minimum monthly guarantee of wages in the Native Brotherhood agreement such as is granted to female employees covered by the United Fishermen and A l l i e d Workers1 22 Interview with an officer of the Canadian Fishing Company Limited, May 2 6 t h , 1951. 24. Union agreement. The result of this is that the native women are the f i r s t to be l a id off when work becomes slack in the processing plants. The cannery operators explain this difference by saying that white women in the isolated canneries are usually in supervisory positions and able to command such guarantees. Furthermore, they w i l l not work in isolated plants unless they are granted some wage security. In the actual fishing operation Itself , there are no problems facing the Indian which does not also affect the non-Indian fisher-man, with perhaps one exception. This is a minor problem which concerns only those Indians who aspire to command a fishing vessel of over f i fteen tons registry. Department of Transport regulations require the skippers of such vessels to be holders of a coastwise master's cert i f icate . As many native skippers are i l l i t e r a t e they are unable to s i t for written examinations and would therefore be disqual i f ied from this type of employment. The significance of this problem becomes apparent when i t is realized that in 195°» Indian skippers were operating 31 out of the 186 packers on the coast and 1?6 out of the 3^3 seine and herring boats, a l l over f i f teen tons. The Indian Affairs Branch has made representations to have i l l i t e r a t e native skippers granted certif icates of compet-ency on the basis of experience. 23 Supervisory Positions Indians do not seem to rise to positions of great respons-i b i l i t y in the fishing industry. Some do become linemen (in 23 Interview with Mr. W.S. Arne i l , Commissioner of Indian Affairs for Br i t i sh Columbia, March 1 s t , 1951. 25. charge of a production l ine ) , charge hands, talleymen, and net men. & type of supervisory position is held by those Indians who secure contract native labour for the canneries. They are made responsible for the people they recruit . There is usually one contractor for each general f ishing area, (Skeena, Rivers Inlet, and Fraser) so that their numbers are l imi ted . 2 i * There are some Indians working in the cannery offices but none in managerial positions. Dual Unionism disadvantages Some of the Indians'/in the fishing industry can be attributed to the dual unionism that exists. The Native Brotherhood's entrance Into the collective bargaining f i e l d came as a result of a fishermen's strike in northern waters in 1936. "One important aftermath of the strike was a revival of 'race-conscious* organ-izat ion among native Indian fishermen. Feeling that they had been misled or 'sold-out' by the whites a group of Indian strikers in Alert Bay late in 1936 formed the Pacif ic Coast Native Fishermen's Association. The primary aim of the new organization was to 'protect the interests of a l l Indians engaged in the fishing industry*. It later joined the more inclusive. . .Native Brotherhood of Br i t i sh Co lumbia . . . " ^ ^he tendency has been, however, for the Native Brotherhood to follow in the footsteps of the United Fishermen and A l l i e d Workers' Union when i t comes to negotiating agreements with the Salmon Qanners Operating Committee which rep-resents the major f i sh packing companies.. 2i+ Interview with Mr. Frank Calder, M.L.A. (At l in) , February 18, 1951. 25 Percy Gladstone and Stuart Jamieson, "Unionism in the Fishing Industry of Br i t i sh Columbia"7 Canadian Journal of Economics and  P o l i t i c a l Science, vo l . 16, (May, 1950) p. 165. 26. The result has been that the native people in the canning end of the industry do not get quite the same benefits as these workers covered by the more aggressive labour organization. This lack of aggressiveness may be due to the fact that the Native Brotherhood does not represent only the native fishermen. Its interests are also those of the whole Indian population of the province. Nor Is i t a f f i l i a ted with either of the two great labour congresses which could give i t support. Dual unionism has also spl i t the native fishermen and cannery worker between the two organizations. Although no record i s kept of rac ia l origin by the United Fishermen and A l l i e d Workers' Union, the business agent estimates the number of Indian members to be around 2 5 0 . 2 ^ Many of these would also be members of the Native Brotherhood. Membership figures for the latter organization were not available. Effect of Technological Progress Although fishing is closely linked to the native Indians' cultural and economic heritage, the changes brought about toy technological progress have made i t harder for the Indian to com-pete v/ith other groups in the industry. In pre-European days the f i sh were p lent i fu l and enough could toe taken in a f a i r ly short time to supply the wants of the community. This left plenty of time for other vocations and pursuits such as creative art and other recreations. Fishing was not something at which he spent a l l his time. Nor was fishing in the early days of commercial salmon canning 26 Interview with tousiness agent of United Fishermen and A l l i e d Worker ls Union, March 9th,_1951. 27. a year-round vocation. The canneries hired the fishermen to work the boats the company supplied, two men to a boat, one to row and one to tend the net. Before World War I the pay was two d o l l a r s a day .27 "The development of the gas engine and other technolog-i c a l changes have s h i f t e d the ownership of boats and nets more and more from the canning and f i s h i n g companies to the fishermen themselves.. The l a t t e r have become more mobile within the industry but less mobile with regard to other employment. An increasingly heavy c a p i t a l Investment i s required of each fisherman to succeed In competition with the other. Fishermen consequently are required to devote themselves more and more exclusively to f i s h i n g as a 2ft permanent and, as much as possible, full-time carreer." ° i t i s t h i s trend away from the seasonal nature of f i s h i n g that creates d i f f i c u l t y for the Indian. Technological improvements have alsoxseduced the crew of a g l l l - n e t t e r from two men to one. A power-driven, drum-like, r e e l , has been devised which winds the net i n so that the operation can be done single-handed. This has tended to increase the number of boats engaged i n f i s h i n g and i s creating a danger of overcr.owding. The sons i n the Indian fisherman's family must either get boats of t h e i r own or f i n d other employment. As previously mentioned, f i s h i n g amongst the Indians i s on a family basis and this new development forms a threat to t h i s c u l t u r a l pattern. The f i s h i n g industry i s gradually changing from a short season to a year-round basis. Formerly there were numerous 27 Interview with Johnny Guerin (age 77) , Musqueam Reserve, May 22nd, 1951. 28 Jamleson and Gladstone, "Unionism i n the Fishing Industry of B r i t i s h Columbia," p. 1G. 28. canneries up and down the coast which opened f o r a few weeks during the salmon run and packed the catch of the hand-rowed g i l l - n e t boats. The Indian v i l l a g e s i n the v i c i n i t y provided a ready labour supply. Now the canneries are reduced i n number and are operating for a longer period of time. The f i s h i n g f l e e t moves from area to area and the catch i s spread over a longer period. This has had a f a r reaching e f f e c t on the Indian labour force. To some the f i s h i n g industry has almost become a year-round occupation. The employment experience of the family of X of the Musquem Reserve i s a good i l l u s t r a t i o n of t h i s trend. The family con-s i s t s of Mr. and Mrs. X, the eldest son, his wife and two children, and a younger son and a daughter. Mr. X and his elder son work at the C e l t i c Shipyard, f o r two or three months before the f i s h i n g I season opens. This plant i s operated by B.C. Packers to maintain t h e i r f i s h i n g vessels. Mr. X and h i s son are mostly engaged i n copper-painting the bottoms of vessels hauled out on the marine railway. As soon as the f l e e t has l e f t the yard f o r the f i s h i n g grounds, a truck c a l l s f o r the belongings of the X family and takes them to St. Mungo Cannery, South Westminster. The whole family then moves into the company (Nelson Brothers Fisheries Limited) houses at the cannery f o r the season. Mr. X tends a battery of r e t o r t s and i n t h i s capacity works overtime a good deal which he appreciates because of the extra wages. Mrs. X i s i n a sort of supervisory p o s i t i o n . She r e c r u i t s female Indian labour, from Vancouver to the Harrison River, f o r work i n the cannery. This year she secured about 29. f i f t y women. When work starts at the cannery Mrs. X i s respons-i b l e f o r the welfare of her r e c r u i t s and acts as a production l i n e forewoman. The younger members get Jobs where they are required. When the season ends, they draw Unemployment Insur-ance f o r as long as benefits l a s t . 2 ^ In a separate interview with the second son, Mr. X J r . , the question of r i s i n g to a higher p o s i t i o n i n the Industry was d i s -cussed. He 3aid the highest paid Job he had held was tallyman and a t t r i b u t e d his i n a b i l i t y to go higher to h i s lack of educa-t i o n . Mr. X J r . l e f t Alberni Residential School when he was i n Grade 11 as he found the work too hard. In regard to employment generally, he made the observation that f i s h i n g and lumbering appeal to the Indians because of the seasonal nature of the work. These occupations f i t t e d into the c u l t u r a l pattern of the Indian people.30 This family, with the exception of the married son, l i v e s i n a neat, well-furnished, four-roomed house, beside a small creek and away from the main v i l l a g e on the reserve. The married son i s b u i l d i n g a new house f o r himself nearby with Indian A f f a i r s Branch assistance. The only public u t i l i t y they have i s water. Both households have f a i r l y late model cars. Yet, i n spite of t h i s low household operating overhead and the f a c t that a l l adult members of the family work f o r six months steadily at the cannery, they are unable to meet expenses the year around. 29 Interview with Mr. X, Senior, June 8th, 1951. 30 Interview with Mr. X, J r . , Musqueam Reserve, June 6th, 1951. 30. This family are t y p i c a l of many Indian f a m i l i e s with excep*. t i o n that the subsidiary employment ( i n this case shipyard work), varies with the l o c a l i t y . To sum up, the d i f f i c u l t i e s encountered by the Indians i n the f i s h i n g industry are of two kinds, external and i n t e r n a l . The external d i f f i c u l t i e s are the threat of d i s -placement by the Japanese and onward march of technological pro-gress. The l a t t e r , of course, besets a l l fishermen, but more so the Indian because of h i s general inexperience with modern devices. The i n t e r n a l d i f f i c u l t i e s are the clash of c u l t u r a l background with the dictates of modern methods of production, dual unionism, the i n a b i l i t y to r i s e to supervisory positions. Some of these problems are peculiar to the f i s h i n g industry, but others are common to a l l types of employment. Some of these d i f f i c u l t i e s r a i s e s o c i a l welfare questions. What to do with the "native v i l l a g e s " that spring up around canneries? Education f o r the children of cannery workers? The f i s h i n g industry has a long future and solutions must be found f o r the s o c i a l and economic problems of the native Indians created by t h e i r employment i n t h i s industry. CHAPTER III  OTHER EMPLOYMENTS The f i s h i n g industry d i f f e r s from the other major industries i n B r i t i s h Columbia i n that i t offers employment on a family basis rather than on a s t r i c t l y i n d i v i d u a l footing. There i s a greater range of types of a c t i v i t y i n t h i s industry than i n others. The f i s h i n g proper varies from the i n d i v i d u a l g i l l -netter or t r o l l e r to the organized operations of a seven-man seine-boat crew. The canning process i s c a r r i e d out with a l o t of group a c t i v i t y , e s p e c i a l l y for the women on the production l i n e . The Indian family i s concerned with nearly every phase of the industry i n some way or another. In the lumbering, longshoring, construction, and other indus-t r i e s there i s no such p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The only exceptions to t h i s are the highly seasonal berry and hop-growing industries where the harvesting operations a t t r a c t a progressively diminishing number of Indian families each year. In the other major indus-t r i e s only the adult males f i n d employment and then on an i n d i v i d u a l footing. As these are more stable industries, (with the exception, perhaps, of logging which, for some Indians, becomes somewhat of an adjunct of f i s h i n g ) the pattern of employ-ment approximates more clos e l y the work habits of the majority of Canadian families where the head of the household i s the chief earner and the wife and children remain i n the home. Another difference between the f i s h i n g and other industries i s the d i s p a r i t y i n numbers between those employed i n a l l aspects of the former and any one of the l a t t e r . As Tables 1 and 2 w i l l 32. prove, there were in that period more Indians employed i n f i s h i n g and canning than i n a l l of the other categories of industry com-bined. For t h i s reason a l l other types of employment engaged l a by the B r i t i s h Columbia Indians are being considered together i n t h i s chapter. Employment i n the Lumbering Industry From the information that i s available, i t would seem that the Indians enter t h i s industry on a basis of equality with other r a c i a l groups. The forest products industry i s almost e n t i r e l y unionized, the International Woodworkers of American being the largest organization i n t h i s f i e l d of endeavour. An interview with a leading o f f i c i a l of t h i s union disclosed that no record i s kept of the r a c i a l o r i g i n of any of i t s members. No problems have been raised by the Indian members nor have any Indians sought union o f f i c e . 3 1 The Indians have been employed i n logging operations to a l i m i t e d extent ever since the Europeans f i r s t began to exploit the forest wealth of the province. One man on the Musqueam Res-erve told of being employed i n 1895 as a f a l l e r by the operator who was logging off what i s now the University Endowment Lands i n Point Grey.^ 2 As shown In Table 1, on page 11 , the average number employed i n logging, sawmills, woodworking, etc. from 1942 to 19^5 was 7 9 2 . I t can be assumed that some-thing l i k e t h i s figure - seven or 31 Interview with Mr. Joe Miyazawa, Regional Director, Inter-national Woodworkers of America, May 2 5 t h , 1951 . 32 Interview with John Guerin, Musqueam Reserve, May 2 5 t h , 1 9 5 1 . 33. eight hundred - would apply today. One young informant on the Musqueam Reserve had just returned from Bloedel, Stewart, and Welch's camp Number 5 at Campbell River. He was employed there as a whistle-punk at an hourly wage of $1.45. He said he experienced no d i f f i c u l t y e i t h e r i n obtaining employment or while actually working on the Job. The only factor with distinguished him i n the eyes of the company as having Indian status was his exemption from pay-ment of B r i t i s h Columbia Hospital Insurance premiums. These are paid by the Indian A f f a i r s Branch f o r a l l reserve Indians. This young man has worked variously as a bricklayer's helper i n Van-couver, as a fisherman, and l a t t e r l y as a logger. He said there are a number of other Indians from d i f f e r e n t parts of the province working i n the same camp. They are mixed i n with the whites and 33 there i s no segregation i n the bunkhouses. J  Sawmill Work Another informant on t h i s same reserve has been working i n sawmills since 1929. P r i o r to that he was employed i n logging camps on Vancouver Island. Since 1942 he has been an employee of the Universal Box Company and i s the only Indian working there. He i s a boom-man, a category of employment for which the native Indian seems p a r t i c u l a r l y adapted. This Informant said he has run into no problems i n his employment. He remarked that a l o t of Indians w i l l work f o r a couple of months and then quit. They eould get away with t h i s during war-time but now employment 13 tightening up. The m i l l s 33 Interview with Dominic Point, Musqueam Reserve, May 31, 1951. 3 4 . w i l l only hire experienced men. Even university students work there i n the summer to get experience. Some logging i s done on Indian reserves i n the Fraser Valley, on Vancouver Island and i n the Queen Charlotte Islands. In some cases the Indians perform the whole operation themselves. In other instances they s e l l the timber as It stands to a lumber firm and are employed themselves to get i t out, using the firm's equipment. In a l l cases t h e i r interests are protected by the Indian A f f a i r s Branch and, occasionally, negotiations for a contract may be carried on f o r them by the Native Brotherhood.-^ As a rule, logging i s a more seasonal employment than m i l l work. Because i t i s easy to enter t h i s industry, with i t s f l u i d labour force, i t makes a convenient source of employment f o r the native fishermen i n the off-season. For these two reasons there are considerably more Indians i n logging than i n other phases of the lumber industry, such as sawmills, plywood plants and wood-working generally. The Indian as a Longshoreman Longshoring or stevedoring on the B r i t i s h Columbia coast began with the loading of logs and lumber into the occasional s a i l i n g vessel. As about this time the Indians had just been r e s t r i c t e d to reserves and there v/ere usually one or two reserves i n or near the chief 3ea ports on the coast, they formed a useful labour supply f o r the loading and unloading of ships. According 34 interview with Leonard Point, Musqueam Reserve, Mar. 4 t h , 1951 . 35 Interviews with Mr. J . G-illett, Superintendent, New Westminster Agency, May 2 3 r d , 1951 and with Mr. Ed. Nahaney, Southern D i s t r i c t Business Agent, Native Brotherhood of B r i t i s h Columbia, October 2 7 t h , 1 9 5 1 . 35. to Mr. John Barrie, Regional Director o f the International Long-shoremen's and Warehousemen's union, the Indians were the f i r s t longshoremen i n the Port of Vancouver. They are especially adept at the loading of logs and lumber which were the chief exports of the province i n the days before the railways began to bring grain f o r shipment through the Panama Canal. Before 1935 the Indians on the several North Vancouver reserves had t h e i r own union l o c a l . They were popularly known as "the bow and arrow" gangs. In 1935 there as a violent long-shoremen's s t r i k e which, before i t was settled, resulted i n a re-organization of the International Longshoremen's and Warehouse-men's Union. The Indian l o c a l was disbanded during the s t r i k e and was not reformed a f t e r . Since then the Indians have joined the regular l o c a l s . At present there are two Indian members on the executive committee of the union. Several Indians are gang foremen. In the early 1930 !s the Indians comprised about f o r t y percent of the longshoremen i n the union. Today they form not more than three percent of the membership. This decline i n membership seems to be i n inverse r a t i o to the degree of s t a b i l i z a t i o n of employment i n longshoring industry. The union has striven to de-casualize longshoring. To t h i s end i t has received the co-operation of the Shipping Federation which represents the shipping companies and the stevedoring firms. The union now provides the labour for a l l longshoring operations i n Vancouver, New Westminster, Nanaimo, V i c t o r i a , Port Alberni, Chemainus and Prince Rupert. It maintains a r o s t e r whereby each 36. union member Is guaranteed a f a i r share of the available work. New members are put on a probationers l i s t for s i x months and then accepted into the union on the sponsorship of two other members as soon as a vaoancy occurs. Union membership i s main-tained at about eight hundred. By exercising t h i s control, the union has done much to s t a b i l i z e what was once casual employment. The regional di r e c t o r hopes to have i t completely de-casualized within the next f i v e years.36 The reason for the decline i n the number of Indian members can be p a r t l y attributed to a resistance to the steps necessary to maintain union membership i f a longshoreman wants to go f i s h i n g during the summer. He must f i r s t apply f o r leave of absence of t h i r t y days from the union and on t h i s being granted he i s given a withdrawal card. He must then present t h i s card to the United Fishermen and A l l i e d Worker's Union and obtain a temporary mem-bership i n that organization. Thirty days i s usually long enough to take part i n the f i s h i n g at Rivers Inlet during the summer. On returning to Vancouver the fisherman must re-apply for another leave of absence which, i f granted, i s sixty days. This gives him time to par t i c i p a t e i n the Fraser River run. The system works w e l l f o r a l l normal purposes but the union's experience has been that Indian longshoremen f a l l to go through with the required pro-cedure i n many cases and thus lose t h e i r standing. One informant on the Capilano Reserve expressed the opinion that the younger men on his„own and the Mission reserve do not 36 Interview with Mr. John Barrie, leglohal-Director,''inter-national' Longshoremen and Warehousemen's Union, May 23rd, 1951. 37. take to longshoring as the older men did. There seems to he a f e e l i n g among the younger men that the Indian A f f a i r s Branch w i l l look a f t e r them. The union does not take i n everyone that comes along and wants to he a longshoreman. The new worker must apply to the union who has his name put on the "casual board" at the Shipping Federation H a l l . He then may work as a "spare" f o r one or two years. Meanwhile, his work habits, punctuality, absenteeism, are recorded. If at the end of the probation period he i s proposed and seconded f o r membership and nobody i n the 37 union has anything against him, he i s accepted as a f u l l member. Another informant on the Musqueam Reserve said he found longshoring work too heavy and i s contemplating getting a job i n a sawmill. He has been longshoring since 1935- He works on an average of 130 to 150 hours per month at the rate of f l . 7 3 per hour. The Indians work i n mixed and al l - I n d i a n gangs. This inform-ant says that Indians and whites get along w e l l o r d i n a r i l y . One or two whites do not l i k e the Indians but are a f r a i d to express t h e i r h o s t i l i t y i n the presence of the others. When there i s a l o t of ships to be unloaded the gang i s informed on the job, by the foreman, when to report next. The foreman gets this informa-t i o n from the union o f f i c e . When work i s slack, the reporting time i s telephoned, In the case of the informant, to the nearest store to the reserve, which passes the message on, there being no telephones on the Musqueam Reserve.3® 37 Interview with Mr. Y, Squamish Band Councillor, Capilano Reserve, May 24, 1951. 38 Interview with Mr. Z, Musqueam Reserve, March 5, 1951. 38. Seasonal Employment Seasonal employment i s a term which requires some d e f i n i -t i o n as far as t h i s survey i s concerned. It could be said that the three industries already discussed would come under the heading of season employment. They, however, are concerned with products and services whose components are seasonal. The salmon run comes at one season of the year while herring, halibut and tuna are caught at other seasons. Logging i s a more seasonal component than sawmill operations i n the lumber industry. Long-shoremen may be busy i n one port while they are slack i n another. Seasonal employment, fo r the purposes of this study, Is confined to the harvesting of hop, f r u i t , and berry crops. In the summer of 19^8 a study of the migration of groups of Indians from the Lower Fraser Valley and L i l l o o e t areas to the berry f i e l d s i n the Mt. Vernon d i s t r i c t of the State of Washing-ton was made by a group of anthropology students of the University of B r i t i s h Columbia under Dr. H. B. Hawthorn. As i n cannery work, berry picking i s a family a f f a i r . "Families, and i n some cases nearly entire bands.... t r a v e l to Washington by trucks, bus and car. Usually staying together as a band, they count on spending June or perhaps the entire season from June to September, pick i n g the crop at one farm and moving on to the next when i t i s done. The farms average perhaps forty acres i n t h i s area, and workers may stay at them f o r a month or more before the crops, f i r s t strawberries and l a t e r raspberries, are picked. Some stay on a f t e r the berry season to pick hops".^9 39 H.B. Hawthorn and others, Seasonal Labour of B r i t i s h Columbia  Indians i n Washington State, mimeographed, University of B r i t i s h Columbia February, 1950, p. 2. 39. The group making the study endeavoured to f i n d out xvhy the Indians took the trouble to t r a v e l t h i s distance to work f o r such a short time. The reasons varied from getting away from discrimination i n B r i t i s h Columbia, having a good time i n Wash-ington, to making more money. The fac t that these migrations were an annual a f f a i r even before European settlement and commer-c i a l i z e d berry growing took place gives a c u l t u r a l reason. Even today the Puget Sound Indians expect-the Coast S a l i s h people of B r i t i s h Columbia to par t i c i p a t e i n t h e i r annual celebrations. Witness a recent "stommish" or war-canoe racing carnival held recently at Lummi, Washington, and widely reported i n the press and on the radio. B r i t i s h Columbia Indians were conspicuously present among Che winners. In an interview with the head of a household on the Musqueam Reserve the statement was made that the family could earn a t o t a l of f i f t y d o l l a r s per day i n the Washington berry f i e l d s during the two summer months. But he Intimated that by the time they had bought a l l th e i r clothing requirements for the year, paid f o r their l i v i n g expenses while picking, and bought numerous items f o r the children, there was not much l e f t to bring home. Evidence that there i s no net f i n a n c i a l gain from t h i s type of employment can be drawn from the f a c t that t h i s man does not plan to go to the berry f i e l d s t h i s summer. He i s i n the process of b u i l d i n g a home for h i s rather large family and finds that his earnings as a longshoreman f a r outweigh the net returns from a. berry picking expedition.** 0 40 Interview with Mr. Z, March 5 t h , 1951. 40. According to the 1948 study, and t h i s would seem to apply i n the above instance, "the migration i s a hopeful but rather unrewarding f l i g h t from the drab l i f e of some reserves."^ 1 The group making the study f e l t that the migrations would gradually decline i n numbers. As with the Japanese-Canadians i n the f i s h i n g industry, the F i l i p i n o s and others are displacing the B r i t i s h Columbia Indians i n the Washington berry f i e l d s because they are said to be more e f f i c i e n t and dependable. Hop and f r u i t growing are two other seasonal industries that r e l y to some extent on Indian labour. These Industries are mainly located i n the Lower Fraser Valley and r e c r u i t pickers from the adjoining reserves. Employment i n the City The Indians have experienced d i f f i c u l t y i n gaining entry into other occupations, e s p e c i a l l y i n the urban centres. An instance of what can occur when a reserve Indian attempts to obtain employment i n u n s k i l l e d labour i n a c i t y i s the exper-ience of Mr. X, of the Musqueam Reserve, who was mention i n Chapter 2. This man secured employment as a labourer for the Vancouver Parks Board i n the 1930*s. He had not been on the job long before complaints were made to the Board that the c i t y was employing someone who was not a taxpayer. Soon afte r Mr. X*s employment was terminated.^2 Department stores and other firms whose s t a f f must meet the public w i l l not employ people who do not look l i k e an o r d i -nary European. The only exception amongst the department stores, 41 H.B. Hawthorn.and others, Seasonal Labour of B r i t i s h  Columbia Indians, p. 6. 42 Interview with Mr. X, June 8, 1 9 5 1 . 4 1 . that t h i s writer knows of, was i n Port Alberni. Woodward Stores Limited, i n that c i t y , employed some Indian g i r l s who were students at the Alberni High School and were l i v i n g i n a residen-t i a l school. These g i r l s worked on Saturdays only, to help cope with the week-end rush of customers. This departure from the general rule would not create too much surprise i n Port Alberni as the Indians form a large part of the surrounding population and belong to p a r t i c u l a r l y progressive and community-minded bands. Some g i r l s , who have had the t r a i n i n g , have been able to obtain employment as stenographers i n various o f f i c e s i n the c i t i e s . The Indian A f f a i r s Branch employs an Indian g i r l i n i t s Prince Rupert o f f i c e . Another has been employed by a large whole-sale hardware firm i n Vancouver f o r a number of years. Other g i r l s have gone into p r a c t i c a l nursing and teaching but t h e i r number i s very few. In summary, i t i s easy f o r an Indian to obtain employment i n logging or longshoring provided he i s w i l l i n g to put i n an eight-hour day, f i v e days a week. Sawmill work i s a l i t t l e harder to get into without previous experience. Seasonal work of the harvesting type involving migrations into the State of Washington i s becoming le s s popular with the B r i t i s h Columbia Indians because of the lack of economic gain from i t . Entry into the r e t a i l industry Is very d i f f i c u l t f o r an Indian because his appearance i s considered p r e j u d i c i a l to sales. Generally, there are very few Indians i n "white c o l l a r " jobs of any sort. CHAPTER IV  EDUCATIONAL FACTORS Employment opportunities and education are very closely r e l a t e d i n our western c i v i l i z a t i o n . The complexity of modern industry and commerce has made i t necessary to have at least a. high school education to be able to compete f o r a l l but the u n s k i l l e d Jobs. The high school today has become to some extent a technical college to supply the ever-growing needs of industry and business. It i s of interest, therefore, to see how the Indian has fared i n his adjustment to the methods of education our European culture has brought to him i n the comparatively short time they have been operating i n B r i t i s h Columbia. In many instances, and especially by the younger adults, a lack of education has been given as the chief reason the Indians f i n d i t hard to obtain employment i n any except the three main industries herein discussed - f i s h i n g , lumbering and longshoring. On the Musqueam Reserve there are older men who have had no education whatever. At the other extreme i s a young man, (recently interviewed by the writer) who has had two years uni-v e r s i t y t r a i n i n g and i s returning, a f t e r a year out, to commence the study of law. Between these two extremes i s a large majority of the Indian population who have had p a r t i a l schooling, very few having gone farther than grade nine or ten. One example of those who have had no formal education at a l l i s fisherman i n his early t h i r i t e s , l i v i n g on t h i s reserve. Last year he fished i n the Fraser River d i s t r i c t but hardly made enough to pay his debts to-the-fishing company which supplied 43. him with a net. During the winter he eked out an existence for himself, his wife, two small children and an aged mother by cut t i n g firewood f o r the Chinese vegetable gardeners who lease land on the reserve. When he was not doing t h i s he beach-combed f o r boom logs which he sold to a lumber firm. L a t t e r l y he has been cutting tomato stakes from d r i f t wood for the gardeners. It cannot be said that t h i s man i s not a successful f i s h e r -man because he has had no formal education. There are many who are successful who have never been to school. But i f thi s man had had the benefit of even elementary schooling, i t i s possible that he would have been able to take up some other vocation which would be more i n keeping with his temperament and aptitudes. As It i s he can neither read nor write. The reason he never went to school was that his father refused to l e t him be separated from the family i n order to attend r e s i d e n t i a l school. The man was born on the Musqueam Reserve i n South Westminster and there were schools adjacent to the reserve, but i n those days Indians could not attend public day schools. In contract to t h i s man's lack of education i s another, younger man, on the same reserve who has had quite extensive education. He started i n the r e s i d e n t i a l school, spent three years i n a seminary studying for the priesthood, gave that up and completed his university entrance requirements at a private college. He completed two years at university and took a year o f f to work. His f i r s t job was i n a reduction plant at Steveston. When this closed down he went to Sechelt and worked i n a logging operation where he did slashing. Then he returned to Steveston 44. with his family, (his father and brother are fishermen), and was given a job in the cannery office. This w i l l last unt i l the f a l l term begins. The young man, either because he is educated or because of the contacts he has made in the process of being edu-cated has had no trouble in getting employment. Another young man on this reserve left St. Pauls Indian Residential School at North Vancouver after he had completed grade nine. He is now awaiting an opportunity to enrol in an auto-body course at the Vancouver Vocational Institute. He rep-resents the great majority of Indians who have had only par t i a l education. Had his father not persuaded him to take this voca-t iona l training, he would have gone off on a. seine boat and have become a fisherman. His father, however, wants him to learn a trade and not be an unskilled labourer l ike himself. Educational Fac i l i t i e s The Indian Affairs Branch of the federal Department of Citizenship and Iriimigration is responsible for the education of Indian children in Canada. In order to indicate the size of this task in B r i t i s h Columbia, figures are available showing the age and sex groupings of the Indian population of the province in 194-9. Table 5. Age Distribution b y Sex of Br i t i sh Columbia Indians 1949 Under 7 7 and under 16 16 and under 21 21 and under 70 70 and over Male Female 3,3*7 3,144 3 , 0 0 3 3,L49 1,^23 1,412 6,332 5 , 2 4 5 550 531 Totals 6,291 6 , 1 5 2 _ 2,835 11,577 1,081 Source: Adapted from the 1949 quinquennial Census of Indians, taken by the Indian Affairs Branch. 45. As at the time this census was taken the compulsory school age for Indian children was from seven to sixteen years, ( i t was recently extended so that they could be required to attend from six to eighteen years) the figure 6 , 1 5 2 represents the number of children for whom education would have had to be provided in that year. It must be realized, however, that these children were scattered in every part of the province. To provide educational f a c i l i t i e s for this dispersed school population the Indian Affairs Branch makes use of residential schools (sponsored and staffed by various religious denominations), day schools on the reserves, and the municipal and d i s t r i c t schools throughout the province. In 1949, the latest year for which figures are available, there were twelve residential schools; nine operated by the Roman Catholic Church, three by the Anglican Church, and one by the United Church of Canada. The Indian Affairs Branch operates fifty-two day schools on the reserves.^ With these f a c i l i t i e s , and the addition of the white schools where arrange*, ments have been made with the municipalities concerned, i t i s of interest to note the proportion of enrolment in the three types of school. (See Table 6 on next page.) It is estimated that the total school enrolment of Indian children for the 1 9 5 0 - 5 1 session is 5 8 0 0 , of which approximately 900 are attending white schools. In the current school year also, there are 250 Indian students in high school, three at normal school, one training for nursing, three training as practical 43 Canada., Department of Citizenship and Immigration, Indian Affairs Branch, Annual Reports Ottawa, King's Printer, 1949-50 p.84. 46. nurses, three In business college, one training to be a d i e s e l mechanic, and eight at university l e v e l . ^ Table 6. Enrolment of B r i t i s h Columbia Indians by Type of School, 1946 to 1950  Type of School 1946-47 1947-48 1948-49 1949«50 R e s i d e n t i a l Day Schools White Schools 2 , 1 0 9 2,010 124 2,177 2,076 311 2,143 2,442 525 2 , 193 2,643 651 Totals 4,242 4,564 4,110 5,487 Attendance (Day Schools only) 65$ 69% 84$ not available Source: Adapted from data supplied by Mr. R. Davie, Inspector of Schools, Indian A f f a i r s Branch, March 2 n d , 1951. Using the figure of 6 , 152 Indian children of school age derived from Table 5 and the t o t a l enrolment In a l l schools of 5,487 i n 1 9 4 9 - 5 0 i n Table 6 , a difference of 665 children i s found. This number, however, Is a. considerable improvement on the figure of 1200 Indian children out of school, cited by Mr. W.S. A r n e i l , Indian Commissioner f o r B r i t i s h Columbia, i n May, 1 9 4 9 . On t h i s occasion, he stated that these children were located mainly i n 45 the northern areas of the province and were of nomadic parents. Vocational Training The p o l i c y of the Indian A f f a i r s Branch i s to increase the number of students attending vocational training schools by encour-aging the superintendents of the eighteen agencies i n the province and the various school p r i n c i p a l s to foster any interest the young people under t h e i r care may have i n t h i s type of t r a i n i n g . As 44 Interview with Mr. R. Davie, Inspector of Schools, Indian A f f a i r s Branch, March 2 n d , 1951 . 45 W.S. A r n e i l , Western Goals i n Social Welfare, p. 147. 47. soon as arrangements can be made to provide accommodation f o r such students i n Vancouver, the f a c i l i t i e s of t h e Vancouver Vocational I n s t i t u t e w i l l be used more extensively. For the purpose of ascertaining the amount of vocational t r a i n i n g given i n r e s i d e n t i a l schools, v i s i t s were made by the writ e r to two of them i n southwestern B r i t i s h Columbia. One was the Alberni Indian Residential School operated by the United Church of Canada. It had an enrolment of two hundred and f i f t y students ranging from six to eighteen years of age and from a l l parts of the coast. Twenty of these students were attending the Alberni D i s t r i c t High School. This scheme started four years ago. Two Indian g i r l s graduated from th i s high school l a s t year, one of whom i s now t r a i n i n g f o r nursing, the other one for teaching. The r e s i d e n t i a l school has an excellent woodworking shop f o r the elementary grades and the p r o v i n c i a l curriculum i s followed. A l new class room building i s i n course of construction and w i l l con-t a i n f a c i l i t i e s for a. home economics department f o r the g i r l s . In addition to t h e students from the r e s i d e n t i a l school, a l l the e l i g i b l e children from the adjacent reserve attend the white high school. F i f t y children from the same reserve attend the nearby d i s t r i c t elementary school. The other r e s i d e n t i a l school v i s i t e d was St. Mary's at Mission C i t y . This school i s operated and staffed by the Roman Catholic Church and had an enrolment of two hundred and twenty students. I t draws i t s students mainly from th e Fraser Valley and Pemberton-L l l l o o e t areas. Vocational t r a i n i n g consists of woodworking and mechanics (gas engines) f o r the boys, and sewing and home economics 46 Interview with Mr. Caldwell, P r i n c i p a l , A l b e r n i Indian Residen-t i a l School, March 2 3 r d , 1 9 5 1 . 48. f o r the g i r l s . The high 3chool curriculum has just been put into e f f e c t i n t h i s school. The woodwork Instruction was l a r g e l y taken up with elementary Joints and pieces of f u r n i t u r e for the school. The instructor found i t hard to get the boys to make the routine Joints and exercises l a i d down i n the curriculum. They l i k e to see some p r a c t i c a l use f o r the thing they are making, such as a picture frame or sewing box. The shop has a few power tools but the i n s t r u c t o r f e l t that they tend to make the boys lazy; they do not master the manual tools f i r s t . Two graduates of the r e s i d e n t i a l school system were asked what t h e i r opinions were regarding t h i s type of schooling. The f i r s t , who went through the Alberni school at a much e a r l i e r date, thought that the r e s i d e n t i a l school system tended to deprive him of i n i t i a t i v e because his thinking was done f o r him and there was a c e r t a i n amount of regimentation. One thing he d i d not learn was to save money. Now, i n order to save, t h i s successful operator of two f i s h c o l l e c t i n g vessels buys a new boat or a 1951 Meteor car. He favoured the method of education his children were experiencing, that i s , attending the white day school. The other graduate i s the young man referred to at the beginning of t h i s chapter who went on to University. In p a r t i c u l a r we must remember ... that the gram-mar ( r e s i d e n t i a l ) school i s satisfactory at present. This has only reached the stage of s a t i s f a c t i o n during the past couple of years, where a more l i b e r a l approach has been arrived at i n regard to treatment of Indian children at r e s i d e n t i a l school. They are now allowed freedom to a large extent and have been afforded many more p r i v i l i g e s than were prevalent i n say 4 or 5 years back. Hence theyknow now that they are not 49. r e s t r i c t e d i n out of school hours and take a better l i k i n g to a r e s i d e n t i a l school, which, of course, means more devotion to t h e i r studies. You may take t h i s point conversely then and say that i t was the out of school treatment, which was at times as harsh and as old-fashioned as the many convents we read about, rather than the actual studies which affected the a c q u i s i t i o n of knowledge by Indian students In the past. As fa r as t h i s i s concerned, I believe the teaching I t s e l f was absolutely up to par, but the t r y i n g duties of out-of-school hours was a d e f i n i t e set back to morale of children... He re f e r s here to the half-day system i n force p r i o r to 1949 mentioned e a r l i e r . He went on to summarize:« (1) Recreation was not properly accounted f o r . (2) The teachers did not show t h e i r interest i n the children but on the contrary seemed more as an imposing figure. (3) ... It i s too early to see the f r u i t s of the new approach. (4) Further, a grammar school education Is insuf-f i c i e n t , ... to acquire a job such as i n a hank, etc. and the overcrowded s i t u a t i o n i n common work jobs i s common knowledge i n c i t i e s . I am of course using my past experience i n school (St. Paul's at North Vancouver) and observations and questioning of friends who attended other schools. (5) I t Is, of course, to the c r e d i t of the r e l i g i o u s organizations that they have pr o f i t e d by the i r mistakes and taken a l i b e r a l system of running r e s i d e n t i a l schools by providing children with forms of recreation, more freedom hence an attitude stressing interest i n the welfare of the children under their care, s p i r i t u a l l y , s o c i a l l y and educationally. ' It i s evident from these two opinions that not a l l Indians think a l i k e regarding t h i s type of educational f a c i l i t y . There i s a good deal of difference i n the operation of r e s i d e n t i a l schools by the several denominations. The Roman Catholic schools use the services of teaching orders to provide 47 Letter to the writer, June 2nd, 1951. 5 0 . s t a f f . The P r o t e s t a n t schools must pay l a y teachers out of the grants made by the Indian A f f a i r s Branch, and have d i f f i c u l t y i n f i n a n c i n g the operation of t h e i r schools. Because the Indian  A c t s p e c i f i e s that every c h i l d must go to the school of the r e l i -g i o n of h i s parents, some c h i l d r e n have to go a long way t o 48 a t t e n d a r e s i d e n t i a l s c hool. Admission to these schools i s on the b a s i s of (a) c h i l d r e n whose home circumstances require that they be given i n s t i t u t i o n a l care, (b) c h i l d r e n from reserves where there i s no day school or Inadequate f a c i l i t i e s , (c) c h i l d r e n who have reached high s c h o o l l e v e l , i n that order of precedence.^ The t r e n d i n education on reserves near urban centres i s more and more toward making use of municipal school f a c i l i t i e s f o r Indian c h i l d r e n . On the Musqueam Reserve there are three c h i l d r e n a t t e n d i n g the c i t y schools. There are at l e a s t two other f a m i l i e s on t h i s reserve who intend to send t h e i r c h i l d r e n t o the c i t y schools. There i s no day school on the reserve. On the Capilano Reserve the c h i l d r e n of one f a m i l y a l l attend the municipal schools, even t o the extent of t r a v e l l i n g some distance d a i l y t o do so. In an i n t e r v i e w w i t h the p r i n c i p a l of a school near the Musqueam Reserve, where two Indian g i r l s are a t t e n d i n g , some in f o r m a t i o n as t o how these c h i l d r e n f i t i n to the school programme was obtained. These two c h i l d r e n , age seven and nine, s t a r t e d school i n October i n grades one and two r e s p e c t i v e l y . To add t o t h i s l a t e s t a r t , t h e i r attendance has been poor, w i t h a record of forty-two days absent up to the time of the i n t e r v i e w . Now, t h e i r mother wants to take them out of school i n the middle of 48 Section 10, subsection (2) of the Indian A c t . 49 Interview w i t h Mr. R. Davie, March 2, 1951. 5 1 . June because she i s going away to work somewhere.These c h i l d -ren come from a f a i r l y enlightened family but even so the exigen-c i e s of employment s t i l l take precedence over education. This example, however, cannot be taken as c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a l l Indian c h i l d r e n attending white schools, as shown by the Alberni experience. In reviewing the educational f a c t o r as i t a f f e c t s the employ-ment of the B r i t i s h Columbia Indians, i t i s evident that the native people are themselves quite conscious of the part i t plays, Those, es p e c i a l l y , who have had the benefit of higher education are made aware of the shortcomings of the educational system, as i t stands today, through their contact with people i n the higher positions i n industry. The Indian A f f a i r s Branch i s endeavouring to overcome the segregation of education f o r the Indians by e n r o l l i n g as many children as possible i n the white schools of the province. In the opinion of t h i s writer, this p o l i c y w i l l have a b e n e f i c i a l e f f e c t on the coming generation, both s o c i a l l y and economically. If we are to assimilate the Indian people into the economic l i f e of the province, they must be given an equal chance with the r e s t of the population. The r e s i d e n t i a l schools have t h e i r place i n Indian education. They are necessary for the accommodation of students from i s o l a t e d reserves and of nomadic parents where day schools would be imprac-t i c a l . The day school on the reserve i s suitable f o r stable bands on iso l a t e d reserves and i n cannery and logging locations. But on reserves adjacent to urban centres or even r u r a l school d i s t r i c t s , 50 Interview with Miss Robb, P r i n c i p a l , Kerrisdale School Annex, May 31st, 1 9 5 1 . 52. ths education of Indian children i n association with t h e i r white compeers i s highly desirable. In th i s way, only, can they be placed on an equal footing f o r competitive employment. CHAPTER V  AN EVALUATION Having considered the e f f e c t s of c u l t u r a l background and education on the employment problems and economic status of the B r i t i s h Columbia Indians, some thought must now be given to the r o l e played by government i n the every-day l i f e of the native people. Since B r i t i s h Columbia entered confederation i n 1871, the Indians of the province have been subject to the Indian Act. This federal statute, which provides f o r the protection of the Indians of Canada and f o r t h e i r education and general welfare, i s one of the oldest pieces of s o c i a l l e g i s l a t i o n i n Canada. Beside safeguarding the Indians, the act also assumes that they are not q u a l i f i e d to manage t h e i r own a f f a i r s and places them l e g a l l y very much i n the position of minors. An Indian cannot vote i n fe d e r a l elections, (the B r i t i s h Columbia Indians were given the p r o v i n c i a l vote i n 1949), he cannot obtain l i q u o r or keep i t on the reserve, nor can he borrow money from a white man because as a minor he cannot be sued for debt. Under these circumstances, i t i s of interest to hear what the Indians themselves think about l i f e Under t h i s p a t e r n a l i s t i c regime. The university student whose views on the r e s i d e n t i a l school system were quoted i n the preceding chapter wrote as follows regarding the Indian Act and i t s effect on his people. In t h i s (the Indian Act) y o u ' l l see the conditions and r e s t r i c t i o n s under whieh we have l i v e d and even i f It i s changed, the present Old Act w i l l have atremendous effect on the people in-future years. In other words 5k. i t w i l l have a l a s t i n g effect as i t i s wicked and very unfair to be p e r f e c t l y frank and people regardless of race, never forget i n j u s t i c e . If i t was changed before the Indians had s u f f i c i e n t education to r e a l i z e that i t was an unjust l e g i s -l a t i o n , then, I am sure there would be a better foundation f o r better co-operation between (the) Indians and the whites through t h e i r representative, the government. As long as that representative con-tinues to have us as t h e i r wards, as i s the case now, there can be no advancement. If we continue to be wards of the government, we automatically assume and remain i n an i n f e r i o r p o sition which only r e s u l t s in the Indian being desirous of a better p o s i t i o n and these desires being deflated they despair of continu-ing on the b i t t e r t r a i l of advancement i n a l l f i e l d s . The l e t t e r goes on at length to say that given the opportunity to handle t h e i r own a f f a i r s the Indians would gain confidence i n themselves and would have an incentive to take t h e i r place i f i t h the Canadian community. In this I have endeavoured to say that the big problem for seeking employment i s not the lack of education, but the reason behind the lack of education, the reason behind the minds of the Indian. In other words the problem Is complex and as such one cannot speak of education amongst Indians without ranging into other f i e l d s , without digging at the root of the Indian problem, without inquiring into his true position and the e f f e c t of his position on every-day l i f e . The Indian i s struggling f o r existence i n a mixed world, leaving the world of his past to the present white c i v i l i z a t i o n , which i s a d i f f i c u l t t r a n s i t i o n , because we hate to leave our past, the very same as you do. Our ways and our t r a d i t i o n s are part of us. We know them but as a people we do not know yours s u f f i c i e n t l y to l i v e i n a proper way i n your community. But i n spite of a l l you must concede that the t r a n s i t i o n so f a r has been marvellous and given the opportunity, I'm p o s i t i v e the Indian can make i t more marvellous to the point of per-f e c t i o n . Give him an independent atmosphere not a ward-l i k e one. Give him your confidence and not the sneer-l i k e attitude which we have become so accustomed to accept. 51 51 Letter to the writer, June 2nd, 1951. 55. S o c i a l Attitudes The attitude of the European population toward the Indians has had a l o t to do with th e i r i n a b i l i t y to obtain employment i n the c i t i e s . The white c i t i z e n ' s impressions tend to be gained by the reading of accounts i n the press of Indians who have run a f o u l of the law. According to one Indian, however, there has been a marked Improvement i n the attitude of the white man to the Indian i n t h i s province since the l a t t e r were given the p r o v i n c i a l franchise. 5 2 This was Just the experience of one man In one area but i t i s conceivable that this progressive step on the part of the p r o v i n c i a l government has enhanced the po s i t i o n of the native Indian to same extent. It i s f e l t by some people that the attitude of the European population i n the State of Washington toward the Indians i s much more favourable than that which i s prevalent i n t h i s province. There, the Indian has the federal vote and shares i n state welfare programmes. The group who studied the migration of B r i t i s h Columbia Indians to the Washington berry f i e l d s found that one reason given for going there was the enjoyment of ethnic equality. The study quoted the migrants as saying; 'The American people are pretty good for Indians.' •They treat us better.' 'We t r y to tal k to whites i n Canada, they Just turn t h e i r back on us. Down here the whites are l i k e brothers to us. When we get to Canada they treat us l i k e a bunch of dogs. We can't even t a l k to them. These people around here, they're more gentle to us.' 53 52 Interview with George Clu t e s l , Alberni, March 23rd, 1951. 53 H.B. Hawthorn and others, Seasonal Labour of B r i t i s h Columbia  Indians i n Washington State. 1948, p. 4. 56. The a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s noted, however, that "ethnic i n e q u a l i t y p r e v a i l s i n Washington t o much the same extent as i n B r i t i s h Columbia. Under camp l i f e the v i s i t i n g Indian does not f e e l the r e s t r i c t i o n s of the permanent resident."5^ Nevertheless the United States Indian does have fewer r e s t r i c t i o n s under the law than do the Canadian Indians. Welfare S e r v i c e s f o r the Unemployed and Aged Indian When the Indian i s unable to go out and f i s h or work i n the woods by reason of age, p h y s i c a l d i s a b i l i t y or I l l n e s s he and h i s f a m i l y become charges on the Indian A f f a i r s Branch. R e l i e f i s g i v e n i n the form of a monthly r a t i o n of food and In a d d i t i o n , a cash allowance of eight d o l l a r s per month. Where necessary, f u e l , b l a n k e t s and c l o t h i n g are provided and i n some necessitous cases p r o v i s i o n i s made f o r the care and keep of aged persons i n s u i t -able homes. S p e c i a l foods are s u p p l i e d when i n d i c a t e d by medical authority.55 In 1950 a l l indigent aged Indians were granted and Old Age Pension of twenty-five d o l l a r s per month. This sum, h a l f t h a t p a i d t o a white o l d age pensioner i n t h i s province, does not buy the same amount of g r o c e r i e s given i n kind w i t h the o l d allowance, according to one i n f o r m a n t . ^ Mr. George C l u t e s i , a promiment Indian of A l b e r n i , B.C., has attempted to e x p l a i n , i n h i s own vrords, why many of the o l d e r Indians have found i t hard to adjust to the white man's economy. 54 H.B. Hawthorn and others, Seasonal Labour of B r i t i s h Columbia  Indians i n Washington State, 1948, p. 5. ~ 55 W.S. A r n e i l , " E x i s t i n g Health and Welfare Services f o r Native Indians", Western Goals i n S o c i a l Welfare, p.l49. 56 Interview w i t h Mr. Y, Capilano Reserve, May 24th, 1951. 5 7 . His creed, h i s doctrine, his philosophy of l i f e was to give, to provide, to bestow, upon his fellow man. From early childhood t h i s teaching was hammered into his very heart u n t i l i t was ingrained into his mind, yea, i n s t i l l e d into his blood. He grew up with t h i a as his sole aspiration, hia goal i n l i f e . More-over he carried i t out. Then the advent of the white man and c i v i l i z a t i o n . . . . I t became unlawful f o r the Indians to give away thei r wordly possessions to t h e i r fellow man, or to engage i n any manner whatsoever i n any f e s t i v a l , dance, or other ceremony. ...So when he saw that he could no more provide or bestow he, unconsciously mind you, straightway began giving i t back from whence i t came -back to the white man. That i s why he spends a l l his earnings. That urge to give i s s t i l l i n his blood Just as i t i s i n yours to save and stow away f o r the morrow because i t has been hammered into your very soul for centuries and more. That i s why he (the Indian) i s i n a quandary this day. He yet f e e l s the old teaching in a world that demands one to grab, to take, to hoard.57 Mr. C l u t e s i , i n his l a s t two sentences, has pointed out the troubled f e e l i n g s of the younger generation on the reserves i n B r i t i s h Columbia today. Unlike the older people who s t i l l have remnants of the old culture to f a l l back on, the younger Indians who have been reaching out to the white man's culture have found 9 themselves l o s t between two sets of values. What these young people need now i s some incentive to take what they require from t h e i r own culture, and to choose what they need from the new, and to go on from there to make th e i r contribution to Canadian l i f e . But the way w i l l be hard and the necessity f o r compromise w i l l be ever-present. A\ process of adjustment such as we are witnessing and hope to witness i n ever-increasing volume can be3t be accelerated by an understanding on the part of Indian leaders and white people alike of the part that each must play. A f u l l acceptance of equal status f o r the Indian by the white population can only come when the former have a wholesome desi r e ^ f o r i t and a willingness and a b i l i t y 57 Mr. George C l u t e s i , "The Viewpoint of the Native Indian," Western Goals In Social Welfare, p . 1 5 1 . r 58. to accept the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s that go along with f u l l c i t i z e n s h i p . While the general population should be tolerant towards a l l minority groups, the Indian no more than any other can expect the majority group to modify i t s standards to accommodate them. Where there i s free interplay of relationships the majority group cannot be depended upon to make special adaptations to the needs of a minority. The struggle f o r s u r v i v a l i s just as d e f i n i t e today as i t ever was and the few must adjust to the many i f they are to hold t h e i r own i n the struggle.58 The problems of employment for the Indian minority group are part of the o v e r - a l l problem of adjusting to the ways of the pre-dominant majority group. Conclusions The main conclusion that can be drawn from t h i s survey i s that the majority of B r i t i s h Columbia Indians are limited to the primary industries of f i s h i n g and lumbering f o r t h e i r means of l i v e l i h o o d . This i s so p a r t l y because employment i n these types of industry appeals to the native people and p a r t l y because many of them are not yet prepared to enter any other occupation. C u l t u r a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n has made seasonal work the accepted form of t h e i r economic l i f e . Variations i n degree of education have prevented them from being raised as a group to a position where they can assimilate into other industries e a s i l y . In the eyes of the Indians, the chief problem of employment i n the f i s h i n g industry at the present time i s the threat of d i s -placement by the Japanese-Canadians, another minority group who have developed more e f f i c i e n t and tenacious work habits than most other fishermen. For t h i s reason, the Japanese-Canadians are favoured over the native Indians by the employers for operating 58 H.E. Blanchard " S o c i a l Education and Assimilation of the Native Indian", Western Goals i n S o c i a l Welfare, p. 157. 59. cannery-owned f i s h i n g vessels. There seems to be a tendency on the part of the employers to judge a l l Indians by the actions of a few who have allowed l i q u o r to i n t e r f e r e with t h e i r f i s h i n g . The existence of a separate native fishermen's and cannery workers' union has m i l i t a t e d against the strength of the Indians i n c o l l e c t i v e bargaining with employer groups. There i s , however, no b a r r i e r to the Indians Joing the other, numerically stronger, union. The logging industry offers employment to any Indian who i s w i l l i n g to work an eight-hour day, f i v e and a h a l f days a week. The problems presented by employment i n logging are common to everyone i n the Industry; absence from the family, a high accident rate, time spent getting to and from the Job, etc. Sawmill and other woodworking employment, while having the advantages of proximity and permanency, are requiring more and more experience as a pre-requislte to h i r i n g . Longshoring i s the chief service industry i n which Indians are engaged. It i s l i m i t e d to the Indians l i v i n g on reserves adjacent to the more important seaports on the B r i t i s h Columbia coast. The problem for the Indian i n t h i s industry Is the estab-lishment of f i x e d hours of work i n a c a l l i n g that was once a casual type of employment. Rigid union rules makes movement into other industries d i f f i c u l t . Evidence that this change i n the nature of longshoring over the years i s d i s t a s t e f u l to many Indians i s shown by the dwindling numbers of native workers on the union r o l l s . The overshadowing problem In Indian employment generally i s the l e g a l r e s t r i c t i o n placed_upon him by the Indian Act. As a. 60. minor in the eyes of the law, he i s precluded from bettering his economic status by many of the usual means available to the non*» Indian. His education has been, and is to a large extent today, carried on in such a way that he i s at a disadvantage social ly and economically when thrown into the company of other Canadians. But the answer does not l i e in legis lat ion alone. It rests on a combination of cultural understanding, social accpetance, and educational and economic assimilation. 


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