Highliners and Moneymakers: Understanding Accommodation and Resistance in the Sto:lo Commercial Fishery


  • Kimberly Linkous Brown University of British Columbia


Aboriginal right to fish, Indian Food Fishery, commercial fishery, Pilot Sale Program, resistance, accommodation, capital accumulation


Sto:lo fishers maintain that they are the original commercial fishers. However fisheries regulations enacted in 1888 pushed commercial fishing for the Sto:lo to margins outside the law. The Sto:lo continue to fish and engage in the commercial activity of fishing. Programs arising from a new Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy adopted in 1992 provided for a commercial opportunity after 100 years of fishing outside the margins of the law. Sto:lo fishers continue to fight for an aboriginal right to fish and continue to protest regulations that turned the everyday economic activity of fishing into a criminal act. Questions and conflicts arise over the place of this legally sanctioned commercial fishery as it relates to Sto:lo tradition. Some writing on this subject, describe the outlaw fishery as one of resistance to regulation. Others maintain is falls outside the realm of tradition in particular as regards capital accumulation. As a part of my discussion I seek to describe how the legal commercial fishery is as much an act of resistance conducted within the bounds of tradition as the outlaw fishery. Additionally, I seek to demonstrate that capital accumulation as a result of participation in the legal, commercial fishery is indeed embedded in tradition.

Author Biography

Kimberly Linkous Brown, University of British Columbia

Sessional instructor, anthropology department






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