Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

"A Much-needed Class of Labour": The Economy and Income of the Southern Interior Plateau Indians, 1897-1910

Document type Article
Author Burrows, James K.
Journal BC Studies: The British Columbian Quarterly
Date 1986 Autumn
ISSN 0005-2949
Pages 27-46


Anthropologists have long been interested in the study of the Indians of British Columbia. Historians, however, have not until recently shared that interest. Little research has been conducted on the history of the Indians and almost all of what has been done has been confined to the early contacts between the indigenous people and the Europeans, leaving open a wide field of study. ...The Southern Interior Plateau is an area which provides significant potential for study. It had numerous economic opportunities for white settlers in farming, mining, logging and other industries, but because of its relatively small European population it was necessary for many settlers to rely on its Interior Salish Indian population for wage labour. The major road and rail projects in this area also required labour, and many Indians were able to fit into the region's economy as independent farmers and ranchers. --From introductory section