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Definition of Gold Rush

The Gold Rush of 1858 brought the first large influx of non-Natives to mainland British Columbia. So many would-be miners came so quickly that it must have seemed like an invasion to the First Nations people already living here. Chinese people were part of this wave, and like most other newcomers, they hoped to strike it rich.

But few prospectors ever found gold during the rush. When the mines petered out, the effort and resources required to move on caused some people to stay behind, while others drifted along to the next gold rush elsewhere.

For the Chinese, Canada still offered a chance at greater prosperity than their homeland did, so many stayed in British Columbia. The wages offered to the Chinese in Canada were generally lower than those offered to other ethnicities, although still much higher than those in China; this did not change until after World War II.

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