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  • People

  • my grandmother: Ada Nayler Butwell Forsyth

    by Pat Staton | Jan 24, 2000

    Ada’s life was filled with hard work, illness, family conflict and financial problems. Not until later in life did happiness come to her when a romantic promise made more than 50 years earlier was fulfilled. read more

  • militant suffragette: Gertrude Harding

    by Gretchen Wilson | Dec 7, 1999

    What an inspiration! Not all of us are prepared to break the law for what we believe in. Gertrude Harding was. As a suffragist – one who fought for the right to vote, especially for women – Canadian Gertrude was a key member of the Militant Suffragettes in Great Britain, one of the most radical groups of women ever to fight for women’s rights. read more

  • November 11: Remembrance Day

    by Carolyn Gossage | Nov 1, 1999

    During World War One, women contributed significantly to the war effort on the home front in Canada. They laboured on farms, in offices and in factories. They filled jobs of men who enlisted, and took on new jobs in factories manufacturing war goods. They headed and kept families fed and clothed. By 1917, there were over 35,000 women working in munitions factories in Quebec and Ontario. But they weren’t allowed to wear pants on the job. read more

  • teacher: Eileen Augusta Headley Alfred

    by Marguerite Alfred | Jan 26, 1999

    When Eileen Alfred emigrated from the Caribbean in 1956, she was shocked by the conditions she was expected to live under. Over the years, when she wasn’t busy working full time, occasionally juggling more than one job, and being a single mother, Eileen made dresses and ran an adult literacy program from her home. Despite racism and personal struggles, she maintained her dignity and commanded respect. read more

  • adventurer: Denise Martin

    Dec 17, 1998

    Bravo! for Denise Martin who, on May 26, 1997, became the first Canadian woman to reach the North Pole. A brave quest, Denise's experience challenges usually-male assumptions about the heroism of daring expeditions. read more

  • teacher, poet: Uma Parameswaran

    by Joyce Scane | Nov 13, 1998

    Many people think that there are a lot more immigrants in Canada than ever; in fact, the total number of foreign-born persons in Canada is less than it was in 1911. Born in Madras in South India, believing it was less racist than the United States, Uma Parameswaran and her husband chose to settle in Canada. Their story of emigrating to Canada, like all immigrants before them – including those from the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States – touches on each of our lives in some way. read more

  • nation builder: Martha Johanna Keski Antila

    by Lila Laakso | Aug 13, 1998

    Nation-building can mean the undertaking of major national projects, like building the railway, food production, mining and lumbering. There’s another kind of nation-builder – mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend and citizen. read more

  • entrepreneur: Rose Fortune

    Jul 17, 1998

    Rose Fortune goes down in mid-19th century history as one of Nova Scotia’s outstanding personalities. A real go-getter, she ran the Cartage Company of Annapolis Royal – a wheelbarrow service between the town dock and the hotels – and became the town’s self-appointed police officer. read more

  • Nova Scotia singer: Portia White

    Jul 9, 1998

    Portia White, when asked what made it possible for her to have a singing career, said “First you dream.” This is the name of a new play about Portia White, the Nova Scotia-born contralto, about to open in Halifax-Dartmouth at Eastern Front Theatre. Portia White was a gifted singer who combined a love of singing on the concert stage with a career as a teacher to gain renown as having one of Canada’s finest voices. She gained fame in the late 1930s and 40s, singing in recital halls. read more

  • writer: Nellie Letitia Mooney McClung

    by DG Graham | Jun 5, 1998

    “Never retreat, never explain, never apologize – get the thing done and let them howl.” Nellie McClung not only said that, she acted on it. Nellie McClung has been described as epitomizing the first wave of feminism in Canada. She represented female factory workers in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and founded the Winnipeg Political Equality League responsible for winning the vote for women in Western Canada in 1916. Manitoba was the first province in Canada to do so. read more


  • Seasonal Feature

  • April 1994: the night raid at Kingston’s Prison for Women

    by Sierra Bacquie

    There was supposed to be a new approach to the Correctional Service of Canada’s relationship to female offenders, who were promised responsible choices, respect, dignity, supportive environments, and shared responsibility. But on the night of April 26, eight women experienced humiliation, degradation, raw fear and trauma at the hands of an all-male emergency team. How did this happen? What has changed since?  read more