Railroad Labourers

photograph of groups of men in work clothes posing on railway trestle with iron works above and tracks and ties below
Construction crew on the High Level Bridge, Lethbridge, 1908-1909
Galt Museum & Archives 20021037002

Railroad construction was another source of employment. The Canadian Nippon Supply Company provided Japanese work crews to work on the railroads, employing up to 600 men to help build and repair railroads in southern Alberta.

Records indicate that Anno Makishi was one of the first Japanese from Okinawa to come to Canada in 1900. He worked on the construction of the High Level Bridge in Lethbridge which was completed in 1909.

Japanese workers were so hard-working that other labourers felt threatened by them. In 1909, Japanese were finally allowed to join the United Mine Workers of America, District 18.