First Nations in the Industry
When the first salmon canneries were built on the Fraser River, First Nations peoples made up the initial workforce.
Coast Salish peoples had for centuries occupied seasonal villages at the Fraser River's mouth, in and around present-day Steveston. The excellent fishing grounds contributed a variety of fish to feed First Nations peoples throughout the year. Salmon was the most important fish. They fished sockeye in summer, then coho, pink and chum in fall. While the men looked after catching the fish, the women looked after preparing it for winter use.