Fishing Vessel Request Letters

Fishing Vessel Request Letters

The fishing vessel request letters are citizen enquiries from across Canada and the United States to the provincial and federal governments asking to purchase a confiscated Japanese Canadian-owned fishing vessel. A flurry of the letters arrived at the provincial Fisheries Department and the federal Department of Marine and Fisheries immediately after the boats were rounded up in January 1942 and impounded at the Annieville Dyke. This collection reveals the appetite for these vessels but many of the requesters were disappointed as the government had already “disposed” of the vessels thanks to the quick work of the Japanese Fishing Vessel Disposal Committee. Many of the requesters also knew next to nothing about marine fishing and requested information about Pacific coast salmon and herring fishing under the assumption that it was comparable to lake fishing or easy to learn. The Digital Archive team curated these letters from the following files: LAC RG-23, volume 2292, files GC1 and GC2; BCA GR-0435, box 48, file 438, box 87, file 833 and 834, and box 163, files 3, 4 and 5 which are also available in the archival section.



Fishing Vessel Request Letters
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Readers of these historical materials will encounter derogatory references to Japanese Canadians and euphemisms used to obscure the intent and impacts of the internment and dispossession. While these are important realities of the history, the Landscapes of Injustice Research Collective urges users to carefully consider their own terminological choices in writing and speaking about this topic today as we confront past injustice. See our statement on terminology, and related sources here.