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Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Annieville Slough, also known as Gunderson Slough, is a large wetland channel or backwater flowing into the Fraser River near the neighbourhood and former cannery site of Annieville in the municipality of Delta, B.C.
Annieville Slough has historic, cultural and social value primarily for its association with the confiscation of Japanese Canadian fishing boats after their internment during World War II.
Known by the Japanese Canadian community as the "Hastings Park for boats," Annieville Slough is significant for being the storage site for vessels from across British Columbia - west coast, north coast, inner coast and the Fraser River - owned by Japanese Canadian fishers that were impounded, confiscated and towed to this location, and later sold during the dispossession and forced relocation and internment of Japanese Canadians after the bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1942.
The slough's association with this event is highly significant, in part because of the inextricable connection between Japanese Canadians and the fishing industry, and their contribution to what was for many years a major economic driver in the province. Up to 1,800 vessels were confiscated and sold to non- Japanese Canadian fishermen. When Japanese Canadians were allowed to return to the coast and re-enter the industry in 1949, many fishers secured boats and gear from the cannery companies, gaining the cooperation of the United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union, but still facing intimidation and discrimination from white fishermen.
The slough is important for its geographical formation, scale and location near the original site of the Annieville cannery, established in the late 1870s. Japanese Canadian boat storage here would not have been possible without the creation of the slough by the deposition of river sediment onto the sand spit, a result of changing river flow due to the construction of cannery buildings. The cannery's fishing fleet found shelter and moorage in the slough.
The size of the slough and its central location on the Fraser River near the New Westminster Port and Harbour Commission and its maritime personnel, one of the largest and most significant ports in B.C. at that time, likely contributed to its selection for use for Japanese Canadian boat storage after confiscation.
Source: Province of British Columbia, Heritage Branch
Province of British Columbia
Heritage Conservation Act, s.18
Provincially Recognized Heritage Site (Recognized)
1942/01/01 to 1942/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Governing Canada
- Military and Defence
Function - Category and Type
- Food Supply
- Fisheries Site
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Province of British Columbia, Heritage Branch
Cross-Reference to Collection