ADAPTING TO NEW ECONOMIES

Report
ADAPTING TO NEW
ECONOMIES
Chapter 7
COLONIALISM AND RESOURCE
APPROPRIATION
•
•
relationship between nonAboriginal and Aboriginal in BC
revolved around exploitation and
appropriation of natural resources
fur trade
o lost control of trade
o new lifestyle of farmer
introduced
o rights of land denied
o control of land and resources
destroyed by laws of
government
• loss of fishing rights
o law passed for “food fishing” only
o lost traditional and customary rights to fishing resources
o ownership to industrial firms
 First Nations as employees
• struggle to regain control of traditional land and resources continues in
conflict
o needs of market economy supersede those of Aboriginal land title and
resources
FISHING FOR A LIVING
•
•
1880 – 1970s primary industries were
major industries in BC
o First Nations men and women as
employees
o supplied bulk of labour force for
fishers and canneries
 recruited as family units
1890s allies with non-Aboriginals in
trade union in fishing industry
o critical strike in 1900
 demonstrated labour force of
diverse cultural background
could work together
 established employers had to
share some profits with workers
 prior to strike, fish processing
firms had almost complete
control of terms of employment
and pricing
• until 1930s labour unions included both First Nations and non-Aboriginals
o First Nations fishers chose to join rather than organize themselves
o finally in conflict when unions failed to develop a united policy of
recognizing First Nations rights and title
• 1931 Haida and Tsimshian commercial fishermen formed Native
Brotherhood of British Columbia
o for recognition of Aboriginal rights in hunting, fishing, trapping, and
off-reserve logging
o Sisterhood – led struggle for better working conditions and wages for
women in canning
• in role as labour brokers, some First Nations leaders able to accumulate
wealth and higher social position
o able to purchase own motor boats and control labour supply
 some unable to do so because government regulations prevented
them from borrowing money from banks
 driven out by increasing operation costs
• Euro-Cdns under different set of rules
o fish companies maintained control through monopolies
o most workers had to work in different industries
 had to collectively organize – trade unions
WORKING IN AGRICULTURE
•
•
common false assumption of
colonization is that agriculture is the
hallmark of civilization – agriculture
shows more advanced society
o government and missionaries
determined to make First
Nations into farmers
 most coastal farmers had
little arable land
Interior First Nations tried to farm
o discriminatory laws favoured
settlers
o agricultural interests displaced
people from territories
o formed important segment of
workforce
• large differences between First Nations resource-gathering and Euro-Cdn
farming
o First Nations wide variety of plants and animals
 farmers limited crops and livestock
o First Nations needed larger space
 farmers in one place year-round
 farming more labour intensive
• principal resources in farming – land and water
o First Nations denied access to both
o settlers could pre-empt land 160-320 acres
 prohibited from taking land that were burial sites, First Nations
villages or cultivated fields
 often ignored
 First Nations tried to seek justice but legal system against
them
• people in despair
o survivors of epidemics finding land disappearing
o animal habitats gone
o salmon run failed (1879)
• First Nations in agriculture
o subsistence farming
 provide food for family
o commercial farming
 few areas – Cowichan Valley, Fraser Valley, Okanagan
 difficult to succeed
 restricted to land reserves
 no access to water irrigation
o couldn’t get water licence
 could make more money as labourer than owner
o farm labourers
 seasonal work suited lifestyle
LABOURING ON HOP FARMS
• hop industry one of first
agriculture to hire large
numbers of First Nations as
seasonal workers
o flowers ripened late
August-September
o plantations required
hundreds of workers
 depended on First
Nations until
mechanization
• hundreds families to hop
farms usually after salmon
canning
o more than extra income –
social gathering
RANCHING
•
•
•
•
cattle ranching in interior since
1860s
o Okanagan Valley, Nicola Valley,
Cariboo, Chilcotin country
fit First Nations lifestyle –
already expert with horses
some First Nations successful
owners, but few
o one – Chief Johnny Chillihitzia
(Okanagan)
 strong leader for interior
people in politics
Thomas family in Peace River
o had to give up Indian status
and Treaty (8) rights in order
to pre-empt land
IMPACT OF THE NEW
ECONOMIES
•
•
capitalist economy transformed
First Nations economic and social
structures
o became wage labourers
o changed from collective,
independent production to
dependent, single family
subsistence
had to move beyond local regions
to work
o seasonal
o disastrous result – smallpox
epidemic 1862
o difficult choices – stay at
home on reserves and
communities or more to urban
centre for more economic and
educational opportunities
 population decline in rural
reserves
• family changes
o no longer families working together
o roles of men and women diverge
 men resource gather, women processing or stay at home
• women
o primary role in processing food for family, but demands of jobs put
pressure on production
o traditional diet changed to Euro-Cdn
 spend cash at grocery store, because less time in food production

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