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Featured Article: Haida Gwaii as North Pacific Borderland, Ikeda Mine as Alternative West, 1906-1910 – Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest

By Andrea Geiger

Article PDF (with images)

In the fall of 1907, Arichika Ikeda, owner and operator of the Ikeda copper mine on Haida Gwaii, known to British settlers as Queen Charlotte’s Islands,1 met with the 27-year-old miner and prospector Joseph Marko in Vancouver, B.C., regarding a position open at Ikeda Mine as mine supervisor. Both men had been born in other parts of the world, Ikeda in Japan and Marko in Germany, but had been drawn to the western coast of North America by its industrial potential, one settling just north and the other just south of the Canada-U.S. border. Ikeda, an entrepreneur who figured prominently in the early development of the Japanese immigrant community in British Columbia, was a principal in the firm of Awaya, Ikeda and Company Ltd.2 Marko, a naturalized U.S. citizen, had settled in Washington State and had traveled north to meet with Ikeda in Vancouver. Their exchange that day was clearly a cordial one. By the time it concluded, Ikeda had hired Marko as mine superintendent. Less than three weeks later, just six days after the birth of his son, Marko left his home in Washington State for Ikeda Bay on Moresby Island, some six hundred miles north off the coast of British Columbia, to take up his new position.3 Over the next year and a half, Marko kept a journal in which he recorded details related to the daily workings of the mine and his interactions both with Ikeda, his boss, and other Japanese employed as miners, as well as their dealings with the non-Japanese who had settled in Jedway, just four and a half miles to the west on the shore of Skincuttle Inlet, where a government mining office had recently been established.4

Based on trust and mutual regard, Marko’s friendship with Ikeda would end only with Marko’s death in a mining accident in May 1909. Each man appears to have taken genuine pleasure in the other’s company at a time when ever more rigid racialized divides ordered social relations in most parts of British Columbia and the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Unusual as it was in its time, their friendship arguably gives us a glimpse of an “alternate frontier” that might have evolved in the North American West—made possible in part by the fact that Haida Gwaii itself functioned as a North Pacific borderland during the early 20th century.5 Borderlands, as Mary Dudziak and Leti Volpp remind us, are not just “physical zones where . . . the ‘territorial and legal limits of [nation states] are . . . negotiated.’” They are also “contact zones between ideas [and cultures], . . . spaces of ideological ambiguity that can open up new possibilities of both repression and liberation.”6 Often transient and unstable, they function as “interstitial zones of hybridization,” “where political designations and absolute demarcations [are] contested and subverted.”7 As such, they are also regions that can give us glimpses of “other Wests” or alternate frontiers such as those contemplated by Richard White and Jay Gitlin.8 Formed at a time when a center of colonial government had only recently been established on Haida Gwaii and when developers from various parts of the world—Canada, Japan, the United States, and Europe—were just beginning to explore the islands’ economic potential, the distinctive society that existed for a time at Ikeda Bay was made possible in part by the very instability and transient nature of this borderland region, as well as by the distance that set Haida Gwaii apart from the B.C. mainland.

Located roughly 80 nautical miles off the coast of northern British Columbia, Haida Gwaii comprises two major islands known to British settlers as Moresby and Graham Islands as well as a number of smaller islands. Even today, the islands of Haida Gwaii remain relatively remote, especially in the fall and winter when the rough waters of the Hecate Strait regularly force the cancellation of the weekly ferry from Prince Rupert on short notice. The islands were even less accessible a century ago, when settler contact with the mainland depended on oceangoing steamers that visited just once or twice a month to deliver supplies or to load mineral ore and other raw materials for shipment to various locations along the B.C. coast and beyond.9

Despite its remoteness—or perhaps because of it—Haida Gwaii was imagined by both Japanese- and Euro-Canadian settlers and colonists as a place ripe for development, capable of functioning as an empire in its own right. After visiting the islands in 1908, a trip that included a stop at Ikeda Mine, British Columbia’s attorney general, William J. Bowser, compared the Queen Charlotte Islands to New York State, declaring that they made “an empire [all] by themselves, lying out there on the Pacific Ocean.”10 The optimistic editors of Queen Charlotte Notes were equally convinced of Haida Gwaii’s potential for exploitation. The Queen Charlottes, they declared in 1909,

are destined to become a busy commercial and mining centre. Already their coal, gold, farming, fisheries and lumbering have attracted universal attention and capitalists are already investing—while sufficient development work has been done to demonstrate beyond a doubt a bright and prosperous future for this new empire of vast resources.11

Also of interest to the Japanese- and Euro-Canadian investors who viewed Asia as a promising market for fish and timber produced on the islands were the rich copper and iron ore reserves on Haida Gwaii.12

In addition to its rich timber and mineral resources, the geographical location of Haida Gwaii some 80 nautical miles off British Columbia’s mainland was itself key to the intense interest in the settlement and industrial development of the islands. Like Euro-Canadian and other boosters, Japanese developers believed that once the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway was completed, Prince Rupert, its terminus, would quickly become the major port on the Canadian Pacific coast and would develop close trading ties with Japan and other parts of Asia, given that the ocean journey across the Pacific from Prince Rupert to Japan took just 12 days, fewer than that from Vancouver.13 In the 1920s, Jinshirō Nakayama, editor of a seminal prewar history of Japanese immigrants in Canada, reported that Mitsui, one of the leading zaibatsu (industrial conglomerates) in Japan, was just one of several Japanese companies that had planned to establish direct shipping routes between Japan and Prince Rupert as soon as the railroad was completed.14 The Meiji government’s own keen interest in Prince Rupert was reflected in the award it presented to Charles Melville Hays, president of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, in 1904 to express its appreciation for his efforts in aiding in the development of closer ties between Japan and Canada’s Pacific coast.15

While Prince Rupert sparked interest among industrialists because the trip from there to Asia was shorter than that from Vancouver, Queen Charlotte Islands appealed because the ocean journey across the Pacific to China and Japan was shorter still than that from Prince Rupert by more than a day.16 As did investors in Japan, local Japanese settlers also envisioned the archipelago they called Kuichi Airan (a phonetic adaptation of Queen Charlotte’s Islands) as a place where Japanese communities and businesses could readily expand, unhindered by race-based animus and constraints. As early as 1902, Nakayama reported, one Japanese entrepreneur invested the profits he made from producing and selling canned and dried fish and fish oil to China in the purchase of 640 acres on one of Haida Gwaii’s smaller islands, which he asserted had already been abandoned by hakujin (白人) (white people), in order to establish a Japanese village there.17 On the one hand, Japanese settlers on the islands shared with their Euro-Canadian neighbors both the assumption that Haida Gwaii was terra nullius and the belief that any indigenous people who had once lived on or near Moresby Island where Ikeda Mine was located had abandoned it in the wake of the epidemics that swept through the islands during the 19th century.18 On the other hand, even as Japanese immigrants generally used the word dojin (土人) (barbarian) to refer to indigenous people in North America,19 some imagined that they had a special “blood” connection to those who lived on Haida Gwaii and the western coast of Vancouver Island.20 Although such claims were partly grounded in a determination to resist white racism, they also suggested that those who asserted such claims believed that the presence of Japanese on these islands was justified in ways that the presence of Euro-Canadians, who did not share such ties, was not. Reflecting on the number of items originating in Japan that regularly washed up on the western shores of Haida Gwaii, Nakayama and others speculated that ancestral ties must exist between Japanese and the indigenous people whose home the islands were, given that Japanese fishermen had drifted eastward on the Japan Current and, presumably, been cast ashore on these islands over the centuries. If they did not perish alone on some small deserted island where they were stranded, he mused, they might well have been absorbed into local indigenous communities. That particular kinds of cooking pots and serving utensils used on Haida Gwaii were similar to those used in Japan, together with the fact that the facial structure of some Haida people so closely resembled that of Japanese that they could have been mistaken for one another, Nakayama argued, demonstrated the veracity of this claim.21 Flotsam cast ashore on the beaches of Haida Gwaii was also a reminder that—geographically distant as they were from each other—only open ocean separated Kuichi Airan from Japan. A tanka written by Arichika Ikeda to celebrate the New Year in 1914 reflects his awareness that Japan was separated from North America only by sea and sky:

I made up my mind to put all my effort into
 my work.
To see the sun rise on the New Year’s
 morning
my heart is full of emotion.
Looking at the sky where I was born
I pray with my head down.22

Born in Niigata Prefecture in 1864, Ikeda was one of a small group of adventurers identified in prewar Japanese-language histories as heroes (雄) or pioneers who “parted the grass” to establish a foothold for other Japanese settlers in an unfamiliar land.23 Largely born or raised during the Meiji period, 1868-1912, when Japan’s leaders embarked on a concerted effort to modernize and industrialize Japan, these men exemplified the colonial and entrepreneurial spirit of the age. For them, the western coast of North America was located not on the western edge of an economic empire centered in London or the United States, but on the eastern edge of an expanding trade network centered in Japan that extended across the Pacific. There lay not only Ikeda’s primary market but also his sources of both labor and capital.24 Before turning his attention to Moresby Island, Ikeda, like others among his contemporaries, had traveled the length of the north Pacific coast. He had lived for a few years each in Vacaville, California, and Sitka, Alaska; panned for gold in the Klon­dike; pursued a prospective colonization project in northern Mexico; and established a fish oil and fertilizer plant near Nanaimo, B.C., as well as a herring saltery at nearby Departure Bay.25 It was while Ikeda was searching for new fishing grounds in the waters around Haida Gwaii to supply the salt herring market he had opened in China in 1906, his son-in-law recalled, that Ikeda went ashore at Moresby Island and learned of the existence of copper there.26 By the end of that first year, the Prince Rupert Optimist reported, a total of 47 mineral claims had been staked by Japanese fishermen on the island—a majority of them, if not all, by Ikeda himself.27

The mineral claim names chosen by Ikeda—an educated man who had studied classic Chinese literary texts, English, and medicine in Japan before leaving for North America28—reflect a whimsical and even poetic bent of mind. Most of the names refer to flowers or blossoms, including Lily, Peach, Sweet Pea, Pansy, Orchid, Carnation, Apple, Lemon, and Wisteria.29 Taken together, the claims that Ikeda staked on behalf of Awaya, Ikeda and Company extended across the cliffs that surrounded the bay, overlapping “in such a way that it would be a very clever man who could find room on the bay or the surrounding hills for another claim.”30 Located on the northern side of a deep, sheltered cove known to the Haida people as Guuna GawGa (Bare Bay) and later called Ikeda Bay by local settlers, the Lily was the claim that was most extensively worked.31 Ikeda Creek, fed by two smaller streams named Lily and Carnation Creeks after adjacent claims, flowed into Ikeda Bay near a midden that attested to the historical presence of the Haida people who lived in the village known as Guuna Llnagaay (Bare Village) once located at that site.32

As the operator of the only truly successful mine in the area, Ikeda played a key role in the copper rush that brought settlers and developers to Moresby Island during the early years of the 20th century.33 Despite widespread prospecting and interest in mining copper on Moresby Island during the first years of the 20th century, Ikeda Mine was the only copper mine to become economically viable.34 It succeeded where other copper mining ventures did not in part because the vein of copper that Ikeda had discovered was purer and of higher quality than other veins in the area. Also a factor was surely the concerted effort with which Ikeda pursued the mining venture. Awaya, Ikeda and Company, capitalized at $75,000, invested $60,986 in developing the infrastructure of the mine, including building a substantial wharf, a tramway and ore bunkers, a barn, a blacksmith shop and assay office, as well as bunkhouses and other dwellings.35 Ready access to labor was also likely a factor. Ikeda’s son-in-law reported that a group of 70 laborers was brought from Japan to work the mine when it first opened and that, within just a few years, as many as 150 miners were employed at Ikeda Mine, nearly all Japanese and many brought directly from Japan for that purpose, to the point that the area surrounding the mine reportedly came to be known locally as “little Japan.”36 Nogero noted that when he visited the mine soon after Marko was hired, Ikeda told him that 82 of the 83 men working at the mine at the time of his visit were Japanese.37 By February 1908, the Prince Rupert Empire reported, the mine employed 118 Japanese and 2 white men, although Marko later noted at year’s end that the 2 white men they had hired stayed for just three months and that they were once again relying solely on Japanese labor.38

When Marko first arrived, the Japanese miners, who numbered 130 at the end of 1907 and worked in three shifts a day under the supervision of four foremen,39 used tools deemed primitive when compared to those used by Euro-Canadian miners. Nogero himself perceived Japanese methods as such, recounting that when he first visited Ikeda Mine, “miners brought from Japan” worked with “Single Jack hammers” that were “more adapted for the purpose of putting down a carpet than for the drilling of rock.”40 This changed, however, when Ikeda hired Marko, an experienced miner and mining engineer, and sent him to Vancouver to buy new mining equipment, including a compressor, a few months later.41

Marko began work at Ikeda Bay on October 20, 1907, arriving there after a six-day journey from Seattle.42 Given that he did not yet have a residence of his own, Marko appears to have stayed with Ikeda during his first months at the mine. The two men worked closely together, planning improvements at the mine and sharing both meals and holiday celebrations. Marko’s regard for Ikeda and his firm was evident from the start. On December 24, 1907, Marko wrote to his brother explaining that he “ha[d] charge of the mine here and the Company are very nice people.”43

The bond Marko and Ikeda formed appears only to have grown over time. On January 1, 1908, the first New Year’s holiday he had spent away from his own family, Marko wrote, “This day I will never forget as it was celebrated here on the Japanese place.” It began with “a Japanese breakfast” and “passed nicely,” ending with a Japanese dinner at which “everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves.” After dinner, he added, “I took a walk down on the warf [sic] the tide was very low the hill tops were covered with snow and the moon came out from behind the mountain top. It seemed like all a dream to me.”44 On January 2, Marko reported, “The Japanese Boys are celebrating more today than yesterday.”45 By January 3, when an “extreme high tide” allowed them to float the old sternwheeler that Ikeda had decided to convert into a bunkhouse onto its new foundation, Marko had become somewhat frustrated with some of “the Boys” who continued to celebrate. That night, however, he read a Japanese story—presumably given to him by Ikeda—about a “gold demon,” in translation.46 Two nights later, following a visit by two Euro-Canadian residents of nearby Jedway, one of whom stayed overnight, Marko, Ikeda, and their guest “played the gramophone and had Japanese candies,” all in all “a pleasant evening.”47

Residents of Jedway, where a mining recorder’s office for the Queen Charlotte Islands had recently been established and a provincial constable was based,48 regularly walked the four and a half miles over the rise that separated Jedway from Ikeda Bay or traveled by launch to visit the mine.49 Residents at the mine also visited Jedway. On January 7, Marko recorded that “Mr. Ikeda & Ohashi [one of Ikeda’s right-hand men] were over to Jedway today via the new trail and came home pretty wet.” Ohashi, Marko added, had brought him “some pretty postals to send to Lena they are fine.”50

In April, at the end of the visit to Vancouver and Seattle during which Marko purchased the compressor for the mine and was taken to a “swell supper” at a Japanese restaurant by “the Boys,” Marko’s wife, Lena, and his new son returned home to the mine with him.51 He and Ikeda had settled on the “choicest” site for the Markos’ new home two months earlier, and when he and his family arrived on April 22, Marko noted in his journal, “Mr. Ikeda had just finished the house.”52 They “took supper with Mr. Ikeda” that evening, and, a few days later, “Mr. Ikeda and the Boys brought the Phonograph,” had lunch, and “spent part of the afternoon” with Marko and his family, after which they all “took a walk up to the mine with baby in the buggy.”53

More celebrations followed. April 28, Marko noted, was a “Celebration day for Ikeda Bay,” because it marked “2 years since Mr. Ikeda first came here.”54 On July 1, they celebrated Dominion Day, the national holiday that marks Canada’s Confederation in 1867, with guests from Jedway, including the stipendiary magistrate E. M. Sandilands and the provincial constable Walter Prescott, who had “a very nice lunch with Mr. Ikeda.”55 Ikeda also joined Joseph and Lena for dinner on various occasions, and in September, Lena went to Jedway for the day with Ikeda, both indicative of the level of comfort that existed among the three.56 On November 3, everyone at the mine joined in celebrating the “Japanese’s [sic] emperor’s birth day.”57 This may well be the occasion that Lena described in her own letter to her sister-in-law two weeks later: “Oh! Yes we had a tea party the other night we had tea worth $15.00 a lb. served Japnease stile [sic] in Jap. bowls and Jap. cakes & it was alright, too.”58 A comparison of the cost of the tea that Ikeda served his guests on the occasion of the Meiji emperor’s birthday to that of the ore shipped from Ikeda Mine, which “averaged . . . $30 per ton in copper and gold,” reveals just how fine a grade of tea it was.59

Both Lena’s and Joseph’s descriptions of their encounters with Japanese culture suggest that they responded to the cultural differences with interest rather than disdain. Although Lena used the term “Jap.” in her letter, her use of a period, together with her uncertainty as to how to spell Japanese earlier in the same sentence, suggests that she used this form as an abbreviation and did not intend it to be disparaging. Joseph used “Japs” a handful of times in his diaries but never in referring to aspects of Japanese culture or in relation to Ikeda or the young men under Ikeda’s immediate supervision, whom he invariably referred to as “the Japanese Boys” or “the Boys,” or by name.60 He used the word “Japs” only when referring to Japanese laborers like those who worked under the supervision of other Japanese at the mine and with whom he had less direct contact.61 The first time Joseph used the expression, for example, was when he referred to a group of miners for whom a man named Harada was responsible as “his [Harada’s] Japs.”62 The care with which Joseph invariably referred to his employer as “Mr. Ikeda” and the young men Ikeda mentored as “the Boys” suggests that the word “Japs” might have been part of a nomenclature that was in general use at the mine and that reflected the corporate and status hierarchies that ordered social relations at the mine.63

The reciprocal nature of the relationship that developed both between Joseph Marko and Ikeda and between Marko and “the Boys” is reflected not only in numerous shared meals and visits back and forth but also in a November 1908 diary entry relating that some of the young Japanese men at the mine had begun to stop by the Markos’ home on a regular basis to learn English.64 The same kind of reciprocity is evident in reports that the Japanese doctor based at the mine made himself available to treat others in the area, including non-Japanese residents of Jedway, so that they would not have to travel to Vancouver, 550 miles to the south, for medical help.65

The level of Marko’s commitment to his job is demonstrated by the hours he worked: six days a week and often Sundays as well, although he sometimes returned home early on Sunday afternoons to chop wood or spend time with his family.66 There were constant challenges involved in operating a copper mine in a remote location, including winter weather so cold on occasion that the waterworks at the mine froze, forcing it to shut down; times when the boat scheduled to pick up the ore or to drop off supplies was late; a one-day strike by the Japanese miners; broken machinery that had to be fixed with whatever tools were at hand; illness on the part both of mineworkers and the horses that hauled the ore; and periodic bouts of boredom brought on by the often monotonous rhythm of daily tasks.67 Also of concern was the environmental damage done to the slope around the Lily, which, in Marko’s words, was “getting pretty well banged up” by early 1909, resulting in the company “timbering up the slope” in an attempt to address it.68

Despite these challenges, the mine developed rapidly to the point that Nogero called it “a beautiful little property.”69 By 1909, the mine’s facilities included a 275-foot wharf, “a splendid harbour,” ore bunkers, and a 6,100-foot-long tramway that extended to Ikeda Bay.70 As early as February, even the Prince Rupert Empire, which stridently opposed Japanese immigration and the hiring of Japanese immigrant labor by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, reported:

Mr. Ikeda of Ikeda Bay shipped 100 tons of ore on the Beatrice making a total of 1000 tons to date. Ledge of four feet wide and widening with work is being opened by 118 Japanese and two white men employed. A compressor, two pneumatic drills arrived on the Amur and will be installed at once when the number of white men will be increased.71

Despite its evident commitment to a white Canada, by March the Empire had gone a step further, expressing its grudging admiration for the success of the mining operation run by Ikeda and even holding it up as a model for white managers:

At Ikeda Bay, over the divide from Jedway, the Japanese co. is plugging away. The middle tunnel has a face of 9 feet of ore and it is widening with every yard driven in.
This company is managed by Japanese, doctored by Japanese, preached to by Japanese and is the only mining outfit on Moresby Island that is shipping ore and in some respects the management of the company might be followed to advantage by companies managed and doctored by white men.72

The Empire even pointed to Ikeda as a model when it came to celebrating Dominion Day: “Manager Ikeda of Japanese Mine at Ikeda Bay celebrated Dominion Day in a style that might be followed to advantage by Canadian mine managers. Visitors from Jedway were welcomed, treated handsomely and sent home on Ikeda’s launch.”73

Marko’s first entry in his new diary for 1909, a gift from Arichika Ikeda, declared that the New Year had begun on a promising note with a chicken dinner and a visit from Ikeda.74 Summarizing the year that had just gone by, he figured that they had taken “out of the mine after sorting 6000 tons [of ore] 2000 first grade 4000 second class.” His wife and son, who had joined him in April, he added, had “staid the year out.”75 But despite its auspicious start, 1909 would bring heartache rather than promise. Barely five weeks after Marko recorded his optimistic first entry of the year, tragedy struck. Two of the Japanese laborers at the mine were killed in an explosion just three days after Ikeda left on a trip to Japan. “This morning we had a bad accident,” Marko wrote on February 9. “Tono and Kurata blown up by miss[ed] hole.” On February 10, he went to the government office in Jedway to report the accident and returned with Constable Prescott, who supervised the burial of the two men that afternoon.76

Three months later, after Ikeda had returned from Japan, tragedy struck again when Marko himself lost his life. The death registration notice filed in British Columbia’s Skeena district, which was signed by Dr. J. Kaneko and Shuzo Ohashi, both of Ikeda Bay, explained:

Joseph Marko on the evening of May 20th went into the mine to fire some shots (alone) and was overcome with powder smoke and fell with his face in a pool of water. His body was found in this position by the men of the night shift about 40 minutes after his going into mine.77

A local newspaper reported that in addition to a funeral “conducted by Mr. E. Sandilands, Stipendiary Magistrate,” which was attended by “a large concourse of sympathizing friends,” “the Japanese employed at the mine also conducted a service in their own language and in English, the whole being a very impressive ceremony.” It added that Marko had been “highly esteemed by all who knew him” and that “a deep gloom has been cast over the entire community by his untimely death.”78 Lena Marko left for Vancouver on the Amur just two days after Joseph’s death, and Ikeda served jointly with Walter Parsons as sureties for Lena in the probate of his estate, posting a bond of $2,000.79

Later that year, on December 10, 1909, the Prince Rupert Optimist reported the sale of the mine:

The sale of the Ikeda mine, a famous Japanese property, for $200,000 to the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Co. of Trail [B.C.] has been confirmed by Mr. A. W. Davis, who with Mr. Ikeda has returned from an inspection of the property. Several other mining companies were after the Ikeda and only a short time ago Mr. J. F. MacArthur experted [sic] it for some Glasgow people.

The Ikeda has been worked altogether by Japanese capital. Some years ago Japanese fishermen discovered mineral bearing rock and staked 47 claims. A company was capitalized at $75,000, organized in Japan, but only one of the claims, the Lily, has been worked to any extent. The cost of operation is figured at $3 per ton.

The ore average runs from $1 to 12.80 in gold; up to 4.08 ounces in silver; 1.14 to 17.92 per cent in copper.

The Trail company also acquires such valuable assets as 1000 ton capacity ore bunkers, a wharf 275 feet in length and a splendid harbor. A gravity tram system of about one mile in length connect the mine with the inland settlement.80

It appears that Ikeda had been intending to sell the mine for some time, given the regular visitors who had arrived to inspect the mine, even before Marko’s death.81 Sold to a new company and recapitalized in 1910, the mine reopened in 1914, and Ikeda continued to manage it over the next dec­ade while the First World War kept copper prices high.82 The mine closed in 1920 when copper prices dropped, and a number of the claims that Ikeda had originally filed in 1907 or 1908 reverted to the Crown during the years that followed,83 although Ikeda would renew his claim to the Lily in 1937, just two years before his death in Vancouver in 1939 at the age of 74.84

ALthough Canadian naval officers
would insist in the wake of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor that “public opinion is very much against the Japanese all over the Queen Charlotte Islands,”85 for a period of time during the initial colonization of Moresby Island earlier in the century, a space existed where race relations were structured differently than they were elsewhere in British Columbia. Arichika Ikeda clearly deserved a good part of the credit for this, but it also depended on the willingness of local non-Japanese residents to respond favorably to his overtures. Exceptional though this moment and the friendship that developed between Ikeda and Marko might have been, it reminds us, at the very least, that we need to inquire into particular cases and interrogate the record before drawing a conclusion about the way in which an increasingly hostile legal framework structured the relationship between individual members of separate racialized groups.

The cordial relationships that developed not only between Ikeda and Marko, but also between Ikeda, his immediate assistants, and residents of nearby Jedway were also made possible by the transient and unstable nature of this borderland region. The remoteness of the area on Moresby Island where Jedway and Ikeda Mine were located itself aided in the creation of this alternate frontier: geography, weather, and harsh environmental conditions combined to distance the community at Ikeda Mine from other parts of British Columbia, including, to a significant degree, even larger Graham Island to the north.86 Relative numbers were also no doubt a factor: as was true of Asian settlement in the Cumberland area on Vancouver Island a decade earlier, the presence of Japanese immigrants on Moresby Island, where they also constituted roughly 70 percent of the settler population during the early 20th century, challenges easy assumptions about the inevitability of Euro-Canadian settlement of the islands along the B.C. coast. That disparity in numbers, however, also gave rise to claims by British Columbia legislators that Japanese labor migrants were being landed directly on the shores of Haida Gwaii and elsewhere along the B.C. coast, rather than being processed through the formal ports of entry, in contravention of the Gentlemen’s Agreement between Canada and Japan signed in 1908.87

Race was not absent in the intensely
masculine space that constituted the mining community at Ikeda Bay, but the peculiar way in which it was mediated both by class, as reflected in the corporate hierarchy, and by gender, in the form of shared masculinity, was also a critical factor in explaining social relations at the mine. Although Marko and Ikeda each appear to have had a genuine appreciation for the other—reflected in Ikeda’s social interactions with Marko and his family—there is never any doubt expressed in any of Marko’s diary entries that Ikeda is his superior. That social relations among Japanese residents at the mine were structured along fairly rigid hierarchical lines is suggested in turn by the distinction Marko draws (and that might have reflected usage to which he was exposed at the mine) between “the Japanese Boys” whom Ikeda had taken under his wing and those he refers to as “[Harada’s] Japs”—a distinction rooted as much in class as in race, if not more in class than in race. Although he differentiated between the two groups, Marko’s decision to put himself at risk in entering the mine to investigate a missed hole similar to the one that had caused the death of two Japanese workers three months before his own, rather than sending in one of the men he supervised, arguably reflects a genuine concern for all those for whom he was responsible.88

Although Lena’s arrival distanced Joseph in some ways given that he now had his own home and no longer shared a dwelling with Ikeda, it also created new opportunities for interaction. Other women, including Lena’s mother, occasionally visited the mine from Jedway or elsewhere, but Lena was the only woman who appears to have lived at the mine at the time. Like Joseph, who described the mining camp as “this Japanese place,” Lena was also clearly open to engaging Japanese culture and the Japanese in Ikeda’s circle who worked at the mine, as reflected in her letters home about the Japanese tea she had participated in or about helping to teach English to the young Japanese men who came to the house. Although she created a place for herself at the mine as a married woman, her decision to leave on the first boat to stop at Ikeda Bay just two days after her husband’s death suggests the derivative nature of her position: in the masculine world of a mining camp at that time, it is unlikely that there was any place for a “respectable” single woman, no matter how recently widowed. Given that Ikeda had chosen not to move his own family to the mine, together with the fact that it might be as long as a month before another steamer docked at Ikeda Bay, Lena might well have had Ikeda’s support in her decision.

Notably absent at Ikeda Mine were any Haida or other indigenous workers. Although there is evidence that Ikeda Mine occasionally entertained Haida visitors, specifically a Haida chief and a famous Haida hunter and fisher who belonged to the Haida clan based in Masset on the northern coast of Graham Island,89 there is no evidence that Ikeda hired Haida from either Masset or Skidegate as miners or in any other capacity. While Japanese at a nearby saltery in Jedway bought fish from Haida fishers in the area, those at Ikeda Bay caught their own fish and hunted geese to supplement their diet.90 A photograph of Ikeda posing with white settlers on and around what was apparently believed by settlers to be a “relic of Indian creation” at Jedway,91 like the midden located near the mouth of Ikeda Creek, makes clear that Ikeda could not have been unaware that Moresby Island was a place that had long been indigenous space. It also suggests that he, like his white counterparts, viewed the Haida presence largely as an artifact of the past—one that posed no barrier to exploitation of the island’s resources in their time. That those at the mine, like white settlers in the area, also assumed that the property on which they operated had long been abandoned by the Haida is suggested by Izo Arima, one of the young men Ikeda mentored, who was told when he was at Ikeda Mine in 1913 “that a long time ago the whole Queen Charlotte Islands was inhabited by the Indian[s] but some infections destroyed almost all the population.”92 Often—and expediently—characterized as an abandonment by settlers and would-be developers, the Haida’s move to what are now the key population centers on Graham Island occurred in stages during the late 19th and early 20th centuries as their numbers fell and is more accurately understood as a consolidation. In 1913, Haida witnesses before the Royal Commission on Indian Affairs for the Province of British Columbia insisted, as they had continuously for years, that they retained title to their lands and demanded that the commissioners tell them when and how Canada had purportedly acquired title, given that the Haida had never been conquered and had never signed any treaty relinquishing title to those lands.93

The fact remains that the bond Ikeda and Marko forged was also ultimately made possible by the colonial project that framed their endeavor, including a mutual interest in exploiting as efficiently as possible the resources of Guuna GawGa. What we are left with, nevertheless, is a glimpse of an alternate frontier, where a status hierarchy existed for at least a short time that was ordered along lines that challenge our usual assumptions about the inevitability of the ways in which the racial divides of the day structured social relations. Here, race intersected with class and gender along less familiar axes, creating possibilities for interaction between members of racialized groups that did not exist in many other parts of British Columbia. The ties forged at Ikeda Mine remind us of the need to notice moments that run counter to prevailing trends if we are to understand borderland regions such as Haida Gwaii in all their complexity, including the “alternative Wests” that might have evolved but for the determined efforts of B.C. legislators and others to create British Columbia as a “white man’s province.”94

 

Andrea Geiger is an associate professor of history at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia and the author of the award-winning Subverting Exclusion: Transpacific Encounters with Race, Caste, and Borders, 1885-1928 (2011). She is grateful to all who attended the workshop at the 2015 meeting of the Western History Association where she presented an earlier draft of this essay, as well as to the archivists Nathalie Macfarlane of the Haida Gwaii Museum at Kay Llnagaay, Linda Reid of the Nikkei National Museum, and Jean Eiers-Page of the Prince Rupert City and Regional Archives for their thoughtful and knowledgeable comments and suggestions.

 

  1. Named Queen Charlotte’s Islands by Captain George Dixon in 1787, the islands were referred to by Japanese Canadian fishers as Kuichi Airan. C. Nogero, Queen Charlotte Islands (Illustrated): Centre of the Greatest Gold, Copper and Coal Mineral Belt in the Pacific North-West, Vast Timber, Fishing and Agricultural Resources (Jedway, B.C., 1909), 8; Masako Fukawa, ed., Nikkei Fishermen on the B.C. Coast: Their Biographies and Photographs (Madeira Park, B.C., 2007), 204. In 2009, the Canadian government agreed that the islands be renamed Haida Gwaii (Xaayda gwayy’). Haida Gwaii Reconciliation Act, SBC 2010, ch. 17 (implementing the Kunst’aaguu—Kunst’aayah Reconciliation Protocol). In deference to the Haida people, whose unceded territory these islands remain, I prefer to use Haida Gwaii to refer to the islands, but Queen Charlotte Islands or Kuichi Airan when perceptions or actions of nonindigenous people are being discussed, in order to place their actions in historical context and reflect their understanding of the space that these islands comprised.
  2. Shinazo Awaya, Ikeda’s partner, was based primarily in Japan but visited the mine on occasion. Awaya, Ikeda and Company had a total of five offices in Japan: its headquarters in Osaka and four branch offices. Jamie Morton, Homeland to Hinterland: The Southern Archipelago of the Queen Charlotte Islands since European Contact, technical report prepared for Canadian Parks Service, January 1992, p. 25, copy in author’s possession. Although Ikeda spent a good deal of time at the mine while it was in operation, his family remained in Vancouver, B.C., except for occasional visits, and he himself often listed Vancouver as his place of residence.
  3. “Memorandum from 1907,” in Joseph Marko diary, 1908, Nancy Jo Marko Taylor Fonds, Haida Gwaii Museum at Kay Llnagaay, Skidegate, B.C.
  4. E. M. Sandilands, appointed to oversee the newly created Queen Charlotte Islands Mining Division office, doubled as stipendiary magistrate. A constable was also assigned to Jedway. Kathleen E. Dalzell, The Queen Charlotte Islands, 1774-1966 (Prince Rupert, B.C., 1973), 120.
  5. Jay Gitlin has argued that such alternate frontiers—or, as some historians have called them, “alternative Wests”—must be included in histories of the West to fully understand it. Gitlin, “On the Boundaries of Empire: Connecting the West to Its Imperial Past,” in Under an Open Sky: Rethinking America’s Western Past, ed. William Cronon, George Miles, and Jay Gitlin (New York, 1992), 71-89. “The West,” Richard White reminds us, “could have been different.” Richard White, “Other Wests,” in The West: An Illustrated History, by Geoffrey C. Ward (Boston, 1996), 48-53.
  6. Mary L. Dudziak and Leti Volpp, “Legal Borderlands: Law and the Construction of American Borders,” American Quarterly, Vol. 57 (September 2005), 602 (1st qtn.), 596 (last qtn.).
  7. Ibid., 595 (1st qtn.); Karen Jones, “From Big Bad Wolf to Ecological Hero: Canis Lupus and the Culture(s) of Nature in the American-Canadian West,” American Review of Canadian Studies, Vol. 40 (September 2010), 342 (last qtn.).
  8. White, 48; Gitlin, 88.
  9. See, for example, Nogero, 58, and Prince Rupert Empire, Feb. 29, 1908.
  10. Bowser quoted in Nogero, 58. Bowser would serve as British Columbia’s premier from December 1915 to September 1916.
  11. Queen Charlotte Notes, advertisement, in Nogero, 60.
  12. See, for example, S. R. MacClinton, “Valuable Timber Rights,” Jan. 8, 1909, in Nogero, 70-74, which noted that Japan was already an excellent market for timber produced in British Columbia. Investors interested in selling B.C. products and raw materials to Japan reportedly included some who had helped to develop Seattle. Empire, Oct. 8, 1908.
  13. Jinshirō Nakayama, ed., Kanada Dōhō Hatten Taikan: Zen [Encyclopedia of the Japanese in Canada: Complete] (Tokyo, 1921), 452.
  14. Ibid., 457; James L. McClain, Japan: A Modern History (New York, 2002), 432-34.
  15. Frank Leonard, A Thousand Blunders: The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and Northern British Columbia (Vancouver, B.C., 1996), 21. Although the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway was completed in 1914, the outbreak of World War I exacerbated other financial problems that worked against Prince Rupert’s development as a major port; Hays died in 1912 in the sinking of the Titanic. Ibid., 5-7.
  16. Nakayama, 452.
  17. Ibid., 91; Izo Arima, “Four Years at Ikeda Bay: Memories of Hunting and Fishing,” Charlottes: A Journal of the Queen Charlotte Islands, Vol. 3 (1973), 28.
  18. A surveyor who first visited Haida Gwaii in 1863 testified before the Royal Commission on Indian Affairs for British Columbia in 1913, for example, that he “counted 4,000 Indians at Skidegate then. Now I don’t think there are 400.” “Queen Charlotte Island Agency Stenographic Report Index,” n.d., 55, available online at Queen Charlotte Island Agency, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (ubcic) Digital Collections, http://gsdl.ubcic.bc.ca/cgi-bin/ (accessed Jan. 30, 2017). Missionary reports reflect the impact both of disease and the missionaries’ own interest in encouraging the consolidation of separate communities to further their evangelical goals. See issues of the magazine Missionary Outlook in the years 1882-1903.
  19. Yokoyama Gennosuke, Kaigai Katsudō no Nihonjin [Active Japanese abroad] (Tokyo, 1906), 48. The term dojin comprises the characters do [土] (earth or dirt) and jin
    [人] (people) and was historically used to refer to Japan’s own indigenous people, the Ainu. During and after the Meiji period (1868-1912), it was extended to indigenous people around the world. For a discussion of the term dojin and its social and cultural implications, see Andrea Geiger, “Reframing Race and Place: Locating Japanese Immigrants in Relation to Indigenous Peoples in the North American West, 1900-1940,” Southern California Quarterly, Vol. 96 (Fall 2014), 257-61.
  20. Rintaro Hayashi, Kuroshio no Hate ni [At the end of the black current] (Tokyo, 1971), 15, 17-18.
  21. Jinshirō Nakayama, Kanada Dōhō Hatten Taikan: Furoku [Encyclopedia of the Japanese in Canada: Supplement] (Tokyo, 1929), 161-62. See also Hayashi, 15, 17. The Moresby Island resident and local historian Neil Carey also describes numerous items clearly Japanese in origin found through the years on Haida Gwaii’s west coast beaches. Neil G. Carey, A Guide to the Queen Charlotte Islands (Anchorage, 1975), 80.
  22. Arima, 26. Arima gives Ikeda the credit for writing the poem on his behalf.
  23. Pronounced osu or, in combination with other characters, yū, this character also implies masculinity, heroism, superiority, excellence, ambition, and strong leadership. See Andrew Nathaniel Nelson, The Modern Reader’s Japanese-English Character Dictionary, 2d. ed. (Tokyo, 1974), 936-37. Sources that use this expression to refer to early Japanese immigrant pioneers include Yokoyama, 24. The term kusawake (parting the grass) was also applied to pioneers. See, for example, Toronto New Canadian, July 1, 1977.
  24. See, for example, Morton, 34, and Prince Rupert Optimist, Dec. 10, 1909.
  25. Jutaro Tokunaga, “The Exploits of a Pioneer Issei,” Charlottes: A Journal of the Queen Charlotte Islands, Vol. 3 (1973), 21. Tokunaga met Ikeda’s daughter when she visited Ikeda Bay for eight months in 1919-20. “A Japanese Gentleman on the Queen Charlottes,” Charlottes: A Journal of the Queen Charlotte Islands, Vol. 3 (1973), 19. Tokunaga’s account is very likely based on stories he was told by Ikeda and other family members.
  26. Tokunaga, 22.
  27. Optimist, Dec. 10, 1909. See also Map Shewing [sic] the Property of the Ikeda Mines Limited, Ikeda Bay, Queen Charlotte Islands, B.C., ca. 1910, binder 16, Phillips/Dalzell Fonds, Haida Gwaii Museum. This map is based on Queen Charlotte District, Legal Surveys Branch, Ministry of Crown Lands, British Columbia, Plan 14T3.
  28. Tokunaga, 22.
  29. British Columbia Gazette (Victoria),
    Nov. 28, 1907; Marko diary, May 2, 1908; Map Shewing the Property.
  30. Nogero, 40.
  31. Ibid., 38-40. Other claims that received attention were the Chrysanthemum (spelled Crisantum by Marko), the Carnation, the Adonis, and the Wisteria (spelled Westoria or Wastoria by Marko and, it appears, Westallia on the map of the mineral claims), although work at the Wisteria ceased on May 2, 1908. See Marko diary, Jan. 5, 28, Feb. 18, April 25,
    May 2, 1908, March 5, 1909; Nogero, 40; Map Shewing the Property.
  32. See Kathleen E. Dalzell, The Queen Charlotte Islands, Vol. 2: Places and Names (Madeira Park, B.C., 1973), 173, for the names given these locations by settlers in the area.
  33. See Dalzell, Queen Charlotte Islands, 1774-1966, p. 117, for use of the term copper rush.
  34. Ibid., 118-19, 125.
  35. Optimist, Dec. 10, 1909; Morton, 34.
  36. Tokunaga, 22; Nogero, 36 (qtn.).
  37. Nogero, 39. Nogero erroneously referred to Joseph Marko as James Marco.
  38. Empire, Feb. 1, 1908; “Memoranda from 1908,” in Marko diary, 1909.
  39. Joseph Marko to Frank Marko, Dec. 24, 1907, Taylor Fonds.
  40. Nogero, 39.
  41. Marko diary, March 26, 1908; “Memoranda from 1908.”
  42. “Memorandum from 1907.”
  43. Joseph Marko to Frank Marko, Dec. 24, 1907.
  44. Marko diary, Jan. 1, 1908. Marko’s spelling is sometimes irregular, and he did not always use punctuation, even at the end of sentences, but, as here, his meaning is generally clear.
  45. Ibid., Jan. 2, 1908.
  46. Ibid., Jan. 3, 1908. Marko may be referring to a story about the Japanese folktale hero Kintaro (Golden Boy), who famously vanquished demons of various kinds.
  47. Ibid., Jan. 5, 1908. See also entries for
    Jan. 10, 12, March 8, April 26, 1908, for similar occasions.
  48. Empire, Nov. 23, 1907, Feb. 29, 1908. See also Nogero, 75, describing Jedway as “practically the mining centre of the Queen Charlotte Islands.”
  49. See, for example, Marko diary, Feb. 18,
    May 14, 1908, Jan. 30, 1909. Marko’s reports regarding interaction with Jedway residents are confirmed by Izo Arima, who recounts that Ikeda asked him to deliver Christmas presents to several Jedway residents during his visit to Ikeda Bay in the winter of 1913. Arima, 25.
  50. Marko diary, Jan. 7, 1908. It is unclear whether postals refer to postage stamps or postcards, but Marko’s appreciation for the gift is clear. Fine is likely a direct rendering of the German word fein, which in this context suggests that Marko viewed the postals as beautifully crafted and perhaps ornate.
  51. Marko diary, March 26, April 6 (qtns.), 17, 1908. Lena had been unable to join Joseph earlier because she was ill with mumps. Joseph Marko to Frank Marko and May Marko, April 5, 1908, Taylor Fonds. The fact that Lena had a new baby to care for might also have been a factor.
  52. Ibid., Feb. 20 (1st qtn.), April 22 (last qtn.), 1908.
  53. Ibid., April 22 (1st qtn.), April 26 (2d, 3d, last qtns.), 1908.
  54. Ibid., April 28, 1908.
  55. Ibid., July 1, 1908.
  56. Ibid., May 18, Aug. 29, Sept. 2, Nov. 1, 1908.
  57. Ibid., Nov. 3, 1908.
  58. Lena Marko to May Marko, Nov. 19, 1908, Taylor Fonds.
  59. Empire, Feb. 29, 1908.
  60. See, for example, Marko diary, Jan. 2, 3,
    Feb. 20, April 6, July 25, Aug. 15, Oct. 21, 1908.
  61. See, for example, ibid., Jan. 20, July 25, 1908.
  62. Ibid., Jan. 7, 1908. Timothy Stielow observes that though “Jap” was often used in contexts that make clear the derogatory intent of the speaker or writer, there are also instances during the early 20th century when it appears to have been used simply as shorthand, even by Japanese speakers. Timothy Stielow, “No Quarter Required: Japanese Experiences and Media Distortions in the Steveston Fishers’ Strike of 1900,” MA thesis (Simon Fraser University, 2012), 6. Leslie Robertson also concludes that during these early years “the term Jap had not yet accumulated the stigma associated with it during the Second World War.” Leslie A. Robertson, with the Kwagu’l Gixsam Clan, Standing Up with Ga’axsta’las: Jane Constance Cook and the Politics of Memory, Church, and Custom (Vancouver, B.C., 2012), 520n80. As always, it is necessary to take context into account in analyzing the intended meaning of any given term.
  63. For a detailed discussion of the significance of historical status differences in Meiji-era Japanese immigrant society, see Andrea Geiger, Subverting Exclusion: Transpacific Encounters with Race, Caste, and Borders, 1885-1928 (New Haven, Conn., 2011).
  64. Marko diary, Nov. 23, 1908.
  65. Empire, March 14, 1908.
  66. See, for example, Marko diary, Jan. 10, 17, April 18, 25, 1909.
  67. Ibid., Jan. 4, 7, 8, 14, 1908, Jan. 6, 17, 23, March 4, 6, 22, 29, April 13, May 13, 1909.
  68. Marko diary, Feb. 13 (1st qtn.), 18 (last qtn.), March 12, 1909.
  69. Nogero, 83.
  70. Optimist, Dec. 10, 1909 (qtn.); Nogero, 37.
  71. Empire, Feb. 1, 1908.
  72. Ibid., March 14, 1908. For a detailed discussion of visions of Canada and British Columbia as a “white man’s country” during this period, see Patricia E. Roy, A White Man’s Province: British Columbia Politicians and Chinese and Japanese Immigrants, 1858-1914 (Vancouver, B.C., 1989), 228-63.
  73. Empire, July 18, 1908.
  74. Marko diary, Jan. 1, 1909. The first page of the 1909 journal is inscribed “Compliments of A. Ikeda, Jan 1. 1909 to Jos. Marko, Ikeda Bay, Moresby Island, BC.”
  75. “Memoranda from 1908.”
  76. Marko diary, Feb. 9 (qtns.), 10, 1909. Kurata’s full name was Toyokichi Kurata. Neil Carey, e-mail message to author, Sept. 17, 2015. At the time of writing, no information regarding the full name of the other individual was available. A missed hole was a charge that had failed to detonate.
  77. Death Registration, Skeena District, Taylor Fonds. A second death registration certificate filed in Vancouver signed by the coroner there described the cause of death simply as “suffocation” and added “no inquest deemed necessary.” Death Registration No. 422, British Columbia, June 16, 1909, Taylor Fonds.
  78. “Death of Mr. J. Marko: Young Superintendent of Ikeda Mine Accidentally Killed on the 20th Instant,” newspaper clipping, n.d., Taylor Fonds.
  79. Ibid.; Affidavit of Walter Parsons and Arichika Ikeda, In re Goods of Joseph Marko, Deceased, Supreme Court of British Columbia (probate), Taylor Fonds. Walter Parsons had visited several times from Jedway over the previous months and had worked closely with Tominaga to erect a telephone line to connect Ikeda Bay to Jedway. See, for example, Marko diary, March 28, 30, April 5, 27, May 2, 7, 8, 19, 1909.
  80. Optimist, Dec. 10, 1909.
  81. See, for example, Marko diary, March 24, 1909.
  82. Arima, 29; Tokunaga, 22. Ikeda Mines Ltd., capitalized at $850,000, was formed in 1910 to purchase the mine’s assets. Shinazo Awaya, still based in Osaka, held just under 10 percent, or 84,377, of its shares, and Ikeda held 19,765 shares. Although a majority of the directors of the new company were white, Awaya, Ikeda and Company was listed as one of six directors of the company in 1912. Morton, 35. Morton reports that the “Department of Mines attributed the demise of the venture to the exhaustion of the small vein of high-grade ore and subsequent failure to develop the lower-grade ore deposits.” Ibid., 37.
  83. See, for example, British Columbia, Department of Mines, Mining Recorder, Queen Charlotte Division, 17-19, entries for Lot 66 (Lily), Lot 67 (Peach), Lot 68 (Sweet Pea), Lot 69 (Pansy), Lot 70 (Orchid), Lot 71 (Carnation), Lot 72 (Apple), Lot 73 (Lemon), copy available in Prince Rupert City and Regional Archives, Prince Rupert, B.C.
  84. Registration number 1939-09-588.364, microfilm B13165, Death Registrations, British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency, B.C. Archives, Victoria. Ikeda’s wife, Kaoru Ikeda, was forcibly removed from the coast with other Japanese Canadians and interned at Slocan, B.C., during World War Two. She died there in 1946, before Japanese Canadians were allowed to return to the coast. For her account of her wartime experience, see Kaoru Ikeda, “Slocan Diary,” in Stone Voices: Wartime Writings of Japanese Canadian Issei, ed. Keibo Oiwa (Montreal, 1994), 118-51.
  85. “Japanese in Canada Problem,” January 1942, file x-81, container 32, Ian MacKenzie Fonds, National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, quoted in J. L. Granatstein and Gregory A. Johnson, “The Evacuation of the Japanese Canadians, 1942: A Realist Critique of the Received Version,” in The History of Immigration and Racism in Canada: Essential Readings, ed. Barrington Walker (Toronto, 2008), 229.
  86. The Graham Island Settlers’ Association, for example, denied membership to nonwhites. Empire, Jan. 30, 1909.
  87. See, for example, Nicola Valley News (Merritt), March 11, 1910, and Courtenay Review, July 31, 1913. The Gentlemen’s Agreement between Canada and Japan was also known as the Hayashi-Lemieux Agreement.
  88. “Death of Mr. J. Marko.”
  89. “Japanese Gentleman,” 19.
  90. See, for example, Arima, 24. Joseph Marko mentioned stopping near the Haida village at Skidegate (where the ferry still docks today) when he returned to Ikeda Bay with his wife Lena in April 1908, but this is the only reference to the indigenous people of the islands in his diaries. Marko diary,
    April 22, 1908.
  91. Nogero identified the artifact as “‘Good Ge Heat God,’ Relic of Indian Creation at Jedway, B.C.,” in his 1909 book about Haida Gwaii. Nogero, 73. Nathalie Macfarlane, archives and curatorial advisor at the Haida Gwaii Museum, however, explains that Haida elders and historians do not regard it as a Haida creation and that its origin is unknown. Nathalie Macfarlane, e-mail message to author, Nov. 29, 2017.
  92. Arima, 28.
  93. “Queen Charlotte Island Agency Stenographic Report Index,” 34, 37. The testimony of Thomas Deasy, the Indian agent for the Queen Charlotte Agency, reveals that the Haida had been constant in their insistence that they retained title to their land. Ibid., 50.
  94. White, 48; Roy, 228-63.