UBC Undergraduate Research

Ethnic and social divides within the BC salmon canning industry : a study of the North Pacific Cannery Moon, Connor


British Columbia’s fishing industry rose to great success over the course of the twentieth century, but in spite of its overall achievement, the industry’s workers faced massive differences in access to opportunity and economic provisions. This essay examines the employment characteristics of BC’s fishing industry, by conducting a case study of the North Pacific Cannery, to reveal how ethnic and social divides at once separated workers while unifying and strengthening the industry as a whole. An examination of the differing Native, Chinese, Japanese, White and Female groups will serve to demonstrate how each group was assigned a role within the cannery as the product of individual historical and social experiences. Each group was subject to differing adversities that ultimately contributed to their overall success or lack thereof, but ultimately, the sum of these differences helped create the fishing industry as it came to be. The specific combination of roles and duties assigned to each group is ultimately deemed to be an integral player in creating the behemoth that the BC fishing industry came to be.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada