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Time Traveller: Picking hops was a major source of income for Indigenous workers

The Fraser Valley was the largest hop producing area in the British Commonwealth in the early 1900s

Did you know that in the early 1900s, the Fraser Valley was the largest hop producing area in the British Commonwealth?

As colonization rapidly impacted Indigenous economies, hop picking quickly became the top form of migratory labour for Indigenous workers. The crop, which was harvested in the late-summer months, provided seasonal income for thousands of Indigenous workers between the summer and fall salmon runs.

The above photo shows Lorne Thomas, from səlilwətaɬ, picking hops in Stó:lō Territory, near Sumas, probably in the 1930s. Thomas went on to serve in the Second World War as a member of the Canadian Scottish Regiment. June is National Indigenous History Month.

Visit the MONOVA website for more information about the history of the North Shore and to plan your visit to MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver, now open at 115 West Esplanade in The Shipyards.

Currently, MONOVA: Archives of North Vancouver, at 3203 Institute Road in Lynn Valley, is open by appointment only. Contact: [email protected]

Navigate culture on the North Shore by using the North Shore Culture Compass.