Abstract: Despite a valuable body of scholarship on Native American and Indigenous labor, few studies explore the unionization of Indigenous workers or their participation in labor movements. The Fraser River Fishermen’s Strike of 1893 was the first major strike in British Columbia’s history. The Indigenous history of this strike illuminates how settler colonialism built the commercial fishing industry, defined the interests of settler workers, and led to the development of the labor movement. The strike also demonstrates how Indigenous people’s anticolonial struggles were embedded in their actions as workers. A range of historical sources, including provincial and federal legislation, legal cases, hearings, the reports of Indian agents, newspaper articles, and autobiographies, document the longer history of colonial expansion and Indigenous labor and resistance leading up to the 1893 Fraser River Fishermen’s Strike. I argue that Indigenous people’s early participation in British Columbia’s labor movement was tied to their efforts to resist colonial encroachment on their fishing rights. The interests of a number of Indigenous leaders from across the province in asserting their sovereignty and retaining power over their labor ultimately led to the creation of a new Indigenous political movement that centered on the Native Brotherhood of British Columbia and its counterpart, the Native Sisterhood. This history challenges labor historians to further address the gaps between labor history and Indigenous histories.

Abstract: Researchers have often called for micro-scale analyses of residential displacement, and more recently, for work that acknowledges the importance of temporal and spatial relationships that influence current iterations of residential displacement. Relying on grounding in urban political ecology, and work in gentrification, racial capitalism, and settler colonialism, this paper highlights the historic relationships between development interests and resident groups in Gowanus, Brooklyn to examine how historic context shapes the development of displacement patterns. Relying on historic texts and images found in New York City archives, this work documents the developmental history of Gowanus, which has held a prominent place in New York City history since before the 1600s, when European settler colonists began to create farms and mills based on existing local knowledge of the landscape held by the Canarsee, a Munsee speaking Indigenous group of Lenape people who lived in the area now known as Gowanus. Over time, several groups of developers and industrialists dominated this space by morphing the tidal wetland into an industrial waterway, capitalizing on the waterfront as a commodity. Most recently, residents who can afford luxury rentals with views of waterfront have moved into the area. At the same time, city plans and the United States Environmental Protection Agency are addressing the legacy of contamination in the area. The varying access and attitude toward the canal over time continues to impact the development in the area, with some people being forced out, while others are moving in. This work builds on the growing literature on residential displacement to argue that even with embedded silence in archival materials, investigating the long-range historic patterns of development can be a useful method for understanding current iterations of development and displacement, including the most recent shift towards high-end waterfront living.


stats for wordpress