This article illustrates that a transnational perspective reveals how nature and work intertwined to shape workers' responses to evolving regional class relations in the western Canadian-U.S. borderlands. Labor and environment are intimately connected in all the West's extractive industries, and workers engaged and learned about the natural world through their labor. In the watery borderland between Washington and British Columbia, they also used the fl uidity of this border to cross the international line and enter more advantageous markets, escape authorities, and express dissatisfaction with class inequities and ethnoracial tensions. These activities earned them the epithets "bandits" and "pirates," especially from U.S. and Canadian canners who sought to manipulate ethnic differences to exploit workers more effectively. The Fraser River salmon fi shery offers a microcosm through which to assess how western labor and environmental history intersect, and what these linkages can reveal about issues of power and human agency.

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