Category Archives: Gender and Sexuality

Silenced Histories: Accessing Abortion in Alberta, 1969 to 1988

By Shannon Ingram Two years following the 100th celebration of Canadian confederation in 1967, the Omnibus Criminal Law Amendment Act was passed on May 14th, 1969 by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau that partially lifted the strict criminal sanctions regarding abortion nationwide. [1] The decades that followed the passing of, what many deemed, “the monumental omnibus bill” was no more liberating… Read more »

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 »

January Reflections on the Historical Problem of Women and Sexual Misconduct in Academia

By Beth A. Robertson January is typically the month for reflecting on the year that has passed, and it is perhaps without a doubt that 2016 will be remembered for many, even unsavoury things, from the Zika virus, to Brexit, to the US presidential election. This is not to say that 2016 did not have some brighter notes. In September,… Read more »

The Upside Down of 1980s Culture, Gender and the Paranormal: An Historical Analysis of the Netflix Series Stranger Things

By Beth A. Robertson It would seem the 1980s have come back with a vengeance, whether judging from the work of a growing number of historians investigating the decade, or pop culture.[1] My personal favourite of such popular reincarnations is the acclaimed Netflix original Stranger Things. The series unabashedly borrows from the 1980s to achieve its unique aesthetic, drawing on… Read more »

Historicizing Hillary Clinton’s Body

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By Beth A. Robertson   If you are a Canadian as obsessed with current U.S. politics as I am, you probably are aware of the strange presidential election south of the border. In fact, even if you are not interested in US politics, the theatrical run-up to the 2016 US election seems hard to avoid. The Republican candidate, Donald Trump… Read more »