Filipina Cannery Workers of AK

Soon after the Philippines became a US territory the Spanish-American War in 1898, young Filipinx workers, who became known as “Alaskeros,” started arriving in Alaska’s canneries, and within a few decades Filipinxs came to dominate the cannery workforce.

Cannery workers were often hired for three-month contracts to process fish seven days a week for shifts of fourteen hours or more. Like many immigrants, they faced discrimination and inadequate access to basic services and healthy living conditions. Most came as seasonal workers for the summer, but some chose to make Alaska their home. Today, the Filipinx community is a thriving part of Alaska’s social and cultural landscape.

Do your or someone in your family have a story about working in an Alaskan cannery? Share your images and stories with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging us (@anchoragemuseum and #ExtraToughWomenAK) and we’ll add them to our ongoing digital curation project. Stay tuned for more information about the upcoming exhibition and be sure to check back for new #ExtraToughWomenAK posts.

Credit: Wien Collection, Anchorage Museum, B1985.27.1012

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