UBC Undergraduate Research

The everyday experiences of a north coast Japanese-Canadian fisherman, at home and in the workplace Staeck, Justin


For many years before World War II, the Japanese workmen at North Pacific Cannery in Port Edward, BC, were subject to what was believed to be racial discrimination based on unfair economic competitiveness. By focusing on different aspects of the lives of Japanese workmen at NPC, this historical narrative aims to fill some of the gaps still existent in Japanese-­‐Canadian history. The essential experience and direction that was transferred from Japanese fishermen to the fishing industry was unmatched yet with it came little respect and acknowledgment rooted in social, political, and economic reasons. Some scholars have emphasized the roots of Canadian discrimination against the Japanese were sewn out of the Japanese’s’ own economic competitiveness in a place that was then referred to as a ‘white man’s province’. This argument is misleading and, after undertaking archival and oral history research, it has since shown that what first began as anger towards Japanese immigrants born of economic aggression very quickly shifted towards hostility entirely based on racial prejudice.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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