In Their Words : The Story of BC Packers
Indo-Canadians unloading salmon
Indo-Canadians unloading salmon.
British Columbia Archives, G-3515.
Indo-Canadians unloading salmon

Indo-Canadians in the Industry

The first Indo-Canadians to settle in British Columbia were Sikh men from the Punjab province of India.

They had learned about British Columbia from Indian soldiers who had travelled through Canada on their way to and from Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebration in London, England in 1897. These Sikh troops reported that it was possible to make as much as $2.00 a day in the lumber mills of British Columbia, nearly ten times the average wage in Punjab at the time. It was a time when thousands of Chinese and Japanese immigrants were coming to Canada and sending good earnings back to their families back home. Many young Indian men chose to try their luck in Canada, ignoring concerns about the racism to be endured from the European population. They were sure that they would not receive the same treatment because they were British subjects and Canada was a part of the British Empire.

To learn more about the history of Indo-Canadians in British Columbia and the industry click here.

To learn more about the challenges faced by Indo- Canadians working in the industry click here.

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