Category Archives: Canadian history

Firmly on the Left: ‘Ethnic Hall’ Socialist Women’s Activism and State Responses, 1919-1945

By Rhonda Hinther Authorities caught up with Regina Communist Party Activist Gladys Macdonald on June 3, 1940, along with two men, John Slavkowsky (whom the press identified as a Hungarian relief recipient) and Clifford Peet, another local Party organizer. According to news reports, the three, were “accused of printing a pamphlet known as the Saskatchewan Factory and Furrow, containing materials… Read more »

Rethinking the Contributions of Union Activist Ethel Wilson Within the Postwar Context of Alberta’s Male-Dominated Industrial Complex

By Cynthia Loch-Drake Struggling to make ends meet in 1934 while raising three small children after her husband deserted their family, Ethel Wilson took a job as seamstress in one of Edmonton’s major meatpacking plants. During WWII she became a union organizer and in the postwar era entered community politics, rising to become a cabinet minister in the Social Credit… Read more »

The Voice of Women Against Chemical Weapons

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By Susan L. Smith On August 20, 1988, over one hundred peace activists, environmentalists, and concerned citizens from Alberta and Saskatchewan gathered at Suffield, a military research facility in southern Alberta.  The protest was led by the Alberta Branch of the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace.[1]  The Voice of Women was an organization of peace activists founded in 1960… Read more »

Black Settlers of Alberta and Saskatchewan Historical Society

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By Debbie Beaver As a women of color a question that I have been asked numerous times in my life is “Where are you from?”   My response is I was born in Barrhead, Alberta and raised on a farm in Tiger Lily, Alberta.  Next question is “Where is your family from; “your parents”?   “My response is “my father was born… Read more »

Agrarian Feminism in Our Time and Place

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By Nettie Wiebe As a prairie farmer, feminist, activist and former women’s president and then president of the National Farmers Union, much of my work rests on that of the generations of agrarian feminists that came before me. My active participation in public life, including leadership positions in farm, political and other organizations, are possible only because of the struggles… Read more »

Theme Week Introduction: Women’s Social and Political Activism in the Canadian West

Introduction by Nanci Langford with Sarah Carter. Theme week edited by Sarah Carter, Erika Dyck and Nanci Langford.                           “If I didn’t do something, my spirit would die…” Senator Thelma Chalifoux, 2006 This quote forms the title of Corinne George’s study of the history of Indigenous women activists of Alberta that she drew on for her presentation at the October 2016… Read more »

The Historical is Personal: Learning and Teaching Traumatic Histories

Andrea Eidinger Learning and teaching history is hard work. The physical, mental, and emotional toll can be high, for both educators and learners. This is especially the case when it comes to traumatic histories. For educators, it is difficult to balance the desire to make an emotional impact on your students without inflicting (further) trauma. For learners, it is difficult to… Read more »

Trump, Trade, and Canada’s Special Relationship with the United States

Christo Aivalis In mere days, Donald J. Trump will conclude his improbable rise to the highest office in world’s most powerful country. What this means has been explored from numerous perspectives, but one issue growing in coverage is how Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government will relate to this new Republican administration. In fact, many political analysts have suggested that Trudeau’s recent… Read more »

How Thunder Bay Was Made

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Travis Hay Thunder Bay, Ontario is a city well-known for a particularly explicit form of anti-Indigenous racism.[1] Unlike more southern and urban locales where anti-Indigeneity is predominantly expressed as erasure, the social structures of feeling that exist in Thunder Bay are informed by a close proximity to Fort William First Nation (FWFN) – a community located adjacently to the city…. Read more »

The Chignecto Marine Transport Railway Company or, Thoughts on Failure in History

By Andrew Nurse The creation and failure of Chignecto Marine Transport Railway Company (CMTRC) — in effect, a “ship railway” — is usually presented as a unique episode in Maritime and Canadian history. In 2012, the Nova Scotia provincial government moved to commemorate the company (and, perhaps unintendedly, its failure) by purchasing the land on which the project was to… Read more »