The Salmon People is a masterful history of Canada's west coast. From the first people's tales of salmon to BC's first cannery, to overfishing and the environmental concerns that still exist today, this comprehensive early history is a must-read for anyone interested in how BC's fishing industry reached where it is today. Told from the strong and witty voice of Hugh Wilford McKervill, who once fished alongside the First Nations peoples of Bella Bella, The Salmon People is both an historically accurate account of the fishing industry and a salty buoyant memoir.
In the author's own words, "so long as there fish surging from the sea there will be salmon people willing to brave the torments of nature to catch them, and the salmon will probably come forever . . . if man does not destroy them."
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Hugh W. McKervillReview:
"(The Salmon People) provides a colourful overview of the salmon fishing industry, especially the unique stories of some of the people involved, often found nowhere else. It also includes a passionate argument against fish farming and an examination of how we have seriously endangered the Pacific salmon."
— BC Studies
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Book Description Whitecap Books, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX1551100177
Book Description Whitecap Books Ltd., 1992. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: New. Doug Smith (illustrator). 25th Anniversary; Second Ed 1st Print. CONTENTS: Introduction; Chapter 1. The First Salmon; Chapter 2. The Salmon People; Chapter 3. Fish and Fur; Chapter 4. Canning Comes to the Coast; Chapter 5. On to the Fraser; Chapter 6. The Cannery Clan; Chapter 7. The Big Run; Chapter 8. Three Strikes - You're Out!; Chapter 9. Iron Chink Smith; Chapter 10. The Amalgamators; Chapter 11. The Price of Fish; Chapter 12. Rivers Inlet; Chapter 13. Coastal Characters; Chapter 14. Port Essington and The King of Skeena; Chapter 15. The Case of Bill Cook and His People; Chapter 16. Thirteen-hundred Boats for Sale - Cheap!; Chapter 17. To Hell's Gate and Back; Chapter 18. Don't Go Near the Water! SYNOPSIS: Now a regional classic, the reissue of The Salmon People comes as a timely reminder that many of the issues we faced in the sixties and earlier still confront us today. Author Hugh McKervill takes the reader to an aged native man's ancestral fishing grounds, into the heart of a Japanese fisherman at the time of the 1942 Emergency Powers Act, and throughout the vast Fraser River system on the backs of the migrating fish. Many of his stories reveal the salmon industry's leading role in some of our province's ugliest racial and ecological tragedies. Generations later, we are still contending with the aftermath of those tragedies. But The Salmon People also permits the reader to glimpse the lives of ordinary people, sometimes doing extraordinary things. In the end, we realize the problems facing the salmon as a resource today are not fundamentally different from those of twenty-five years ago. - and - The Salmon People captures the relationship of British Columbia's first west coast inhabitants - natives, earliest white settlers, and later, Asian and European immigrants - to the salmon that provided their livelihood and altered their lives. Greater than the promise of furs, stronger than the pull of gold was the lure of the salmon, and it was the "salmon people" who played out much of British Columbia's cultural, economic, and environmental history. McKervill's sensitive treatment of the individuals and cultural groups that people his stories, as well as the ethical issues they face, is remarkable considering the time in which he wrote. Few such works of that era could stand today, unchanged. Entertaining and informative, this special edition of The Salmon People is an exciting rediscovery of a rare find. Hugh W. McKervill is presently the Atlantic Regional Director for the Canadian Human Rights Commission. He spent ten years as a United Church Minister, four of them on the coast of British Columbia. During this time, he owned and operated his own gillnetter in the B.C. salmon fishery. McKervill lived in Bella Bella, B.C. from 1959 until 1963, where his first book, Darby of Bella Bella, was written. He now lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where his interests include bee keeping, organic gardening, wilderness canoeing, and fishing. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 000976