CVAMiP2N26 | Stevedores at Moodyville

Stevedores at Moodyville
1870-1900, 19th century
12 x 17 cm
This artefact belongs to : © City of Vancouver Archives
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Keys to History

This group of Native longshoremen posing on the Moodyville docks with a Kanaka laundryman and boy gives some insight into the town's amazing ethnic diversity. A population of about 400, made up of mill workers, longshoremen, logging-camp workers and their families, also included Africans, Chileans, Chinese, Americans, English, Irish, Scots, Swedes and Norwegians. One planked street was called Kanaka Row, and the Chinese lived in groups of shanties known as rookeries. While equality for minorities and women did not exist in British Columbia at the time, mill owner Sewell Prescott Moody made a point of getting along with everybody. The longshoremen in this photo appear rather proud of their strength and profession. In the background, the incredible complexity of the sailing ships' rigging is plainly visible.

  • What

    Squamish Native longshoremen and a Kanaka laundryman and boy pose in front of sailing ships on the Moodyville dock.

  • Where

    Native settlements expanded on Burrard Inlet, since much of the heavy labour in the lumberyards or for loading ships was done by local First Nations people.

  • When

    This photo was taken in 1889. The presence of Native people on Burrard Inlet increased as work became available, starting in the 1870s. Their settlements became permanent when the Dominion government introduced the reserve system in the 1880s.

  • Who

    Mill owner Sewell Moody made deals with local Native chiefs. He would supply tools and the promise of a cash market for logs, while they persuaded their men to go logging.