In this image, the 1901 census recorded 3460 ‘half-breeds’ in British Columbia,
It is important to keep in mind the limitations of census numbers and the errors of officials. Historian Jean Barman looks at the 1881/91 census and states that 1,500 mixed-race households encompassing some 6,000 individuals were in BC!
BCMF researchers found out that “In 1901, the enumerators were not thorough in their work and many Aboriginal areas were not enumerated or only partially enumerated. In some cases, the people themselves refused to be enumerated.”
Racism was prevalent, and census takers recorded many mixed-blood women as white to avoid embarrassment. Historians stated that mixed-race people were viewed to be ‘at the bottom of society’, and there were widespread fears that they would become ‘dangerous members of the community’.