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The names appearing below are just a fraction of the Canadian women of accomplishment. Check out The Famous Canadian Women 's section ON THE JOB  which contains mini profiles of 2000 Canadian Women of Achievement.

Politicians and Public Servants    

Lady Helena E. Squires. née Strong. Born Little Bay Islands, Newfoundland 1879. The strong twin sisters were educated at a boarding school in St John’s  and later at Mount Allison University. You would think that being the wife of the Premier of the Province and mother of seven children would have been enough work for anyone. However Lady Squires was a social activist who worked to found a teachers college and a maternity hospital. She was the 1st woman elected to the Newfoundland House of Assembly. When Newfoundland entered Confederation in 1949 she was elected the first president of the provincial Liberal Association.

Helen Gregory MacGill  Born Hamilton, Ontario January 7, 1864. Died February 27, 1947. She was the first woman to graduate from Trinity College of the University of Toronto. When she settled with her young family in British Columbia she was the first woman of the region to be appointed a judge of the juvenile Court, a post she held for 23 years.
Anna Minerva Henderson Born 1887, Saint John, New Brunswick. Died July 21, Saint John, New Brunswick. It was not common for all girls to graduate from high school let along a Black girl. After High School, Anna attended Norman School in Halifax to earn her teaching certificate. She was only allowed to teach in the Black community. She returned to school to study at business College. She then tried the Civil Service examinations and placed third over all those writing the exam. In 1912 she became the 1st Black Canadian appointed the permanent federal civil Service. She began with working at the Dominion Lands Branch of the Department of the Interior. In 1938 she was the principal clerk in the Immigration Branch of the Department of Mines and Resources. She enjoyed writing poetry in her time off work. She had her verse published in various Canadian magazines and she also  had an occasional column in the Ottawa Journal called Citadel which was dedicated to poetry. She retired from the federal Civil Service in 1945 and returned from Ottawa to Saint John, New Brunswick where she worked as a stenographer in a law firm and for awhile worked in Washington D.C. In 1967 she published a chapbook of her Citadel Columns from the newspaper and this may indeed be the 1st collection of poems published by an Afro-Canadian woman. She continued her formal learning after her retirement by taking creative writing courses at the University of New Brunswick Source: Herstory: The Canadian Women's calendar. 2008  (Saskatoon Women's Calendar Collective / Coteau Books, 2007)
Alice Jane Jamieson née Jukes. Born July 14, 1860, New York City, New York, U.S.A. Died June 4, 1949, Calgary, Alberta. Shortly after her birth the family moved to Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. ON March 8 1882, she married Reuben Rupert Jamieson in Springfield, Ohio. The couple would have five children, four of whom survived infancy. The settled 1st in Toronto and the Canadian Pacific Railroad posted Reuben to Smith Fall, Ontario prior to sending him in 1902 as general superintendent of the Western Division of the CPR to Calgary. He became interested in local politics and served as Mayor of Calgary in 1909/10. After his death in 1911 Alice became deeply involved in local women’s groups. She was a founding member of the Calgary YWCA, and supported such women’s demands such as the right to vote. In 1914 she was appointed as a judge to juvenile Court, the 1st woman in the British Empire to hold such a position. In December 1916 she became magistrate of the Calgary Women’s Court. In 1917 she won a Supreme Court case which questioned if a woman could serve in the office of Magistrate. This was quite contentious as women were still not considered ‘persons’ at this time. She was the 1st president and the driving force behind the Local council of Women, as well she was active in the Women’s Musical Club and the General Hospital Auxiliary. The Alice Jamieson Girl’s Academy is the only single gender school in the Calgary School Board. Sources: Kay Sanderson, 200 Remarkable Alberta Women, (Famous 5 Foundation, 1999) online (accessed July 2015); Alice Jamieson alicejamieson.yolaste.com (accessed July 2015)
Jean Ethel MacLachlan Born 1875 Nova Scotia. Died 1963 Vancouver, British Columbia. She worked as a school teacher in Nova Scotia for 15 years before moving to Saskatchewan. In her new home in 1909 she was a social worker , an inspector of foster homes and by 1916 was the superintendent of neglected children. In 1917 she was appointed Juvenile Court Judge for Saskatchewan, the 1st person, male or female to hold this position in the province.. She was also appointed a Justice of the Peace, the 1st woman in Canada to hold such a position. She would hear over 5,000 cases with only 13 appeals and in that only 6 reversals.  During her tenure she traveled, much of the time by horse and buggy, 25,000 miles annually . She enjoyed playing golf, tennis and badminton. She would donate a cup for the Girls’ uner-18 tournament at the Lakeshore Tennis Club in Regina. She worked with her United Church, the women’s Canadian Club, the Regina Orchestral Society, the Saskatchewan Social Service Council and the Canadian Association of Child Protection Agencies. Regina commemorated her achievements by naming MacLachlan Crescent in her honour. Source: City of Regina. Heritage & History Online. (Accessed January 2012.
Hannah 'Annie' Elizabeth Gale née Rolinson. Born December 29, 1876 West Midlands, England. Died August 7, 1970, Vancouver, British Columbia. Although she qualified to study at Oxford University she was able to attend and began working in the family business instead of going to university. In 1901 Annie, as she was known, married and engineer, William Gale. In 1912 the young couple along with their two sons immigrated to Calgary Alberta. Annie became involved in community life. She enjoyed sports and was captain of the women’s cricket team. She organized Canada’s 1st Women’s Ratepayers Association and in December 10, 1917 she ran successfully for municipal elections supported by the Women’s Ratepayers. She was the 1st women in the British Empire to become an alderman. In 1918 she was elected by fellow councilors as acting mayor and became the 1st woman mayor in the British Empire. In 1921 she was unsuccessful in her attempt to be elected to the Alberta provincial legislature. Annie retired from council after three successful terms in office in 1923. In 1925 she moved to Vancouver for her husband’s health. In 1983 a new school, the Annie Gale Junior High School was opened in Calgary. Source Merna Forster, Annie Gale (1876-1970) Heroines.ca (Accessed May 2015) ; Annie Gale, Alberta Champions Online (Accessed May 2015) Book: Judith Lishman, Alderman Mrs Annie Gale (Ottawa, 1985) Suggestion submitted by Mrs. Frances J. Welwood, Nelson, British Columbia

Emily Murphy. Born Cookstown, Ontario 1868. Died March 14,1933. Emily was journalist who would write about the adventures of the famous "Janey Canuck" character. She became the first woman in the British Empire to become a Magistrate when she was appointed a police magistrate for Edmonton, Alberta in 1916. She would go on to also be provincial magistrate for Alberta. A supporter of some 20 volunteer organizations she was the first national president of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada.  She is also a member of the Famous Five who would be part of the Persons Case in 1929 which would have women declared "persons" in the eye of the law. If you watch the "Historical Moments" which appear on Canadian TV be sure to watch for her story.

Roberta Catherine MacAdams Born July 21, 1880, Sarnia, Ontario. Died December 16, 1959, Calgary, Alberta. Roberta was a graduate from Macdonald Institute of the Ontario Agricultural College, Guelph, Ontario (Now University of Guelph.) In 1912 she was hired by the Alberta Government to offer “institute” courses for rural women across the province. As well the Alberta Department of Agriculture had her conduct a survey to determine the viability of a provincial Women’s Institute. Roberta was what was called a new woman participating in society out of the home in non-traditional ways through education, employment and civic engagement. In 1914-1916 she worked for the Edmonton Public School Board creating the 1st Department of Domestic Economy (Home economics) in Alberta. In 1916 she left her job to serve as a lieutenant during World War l. She served as a dietitian in the Canadian Military Hospital in Orpington, England. In 1917 the Alberta Military Representation Act allowed the 38,000 Alberta soldiers and 75 nurses overseas to elect 2 representative to the Provincial legislature. On September 17, 1917 Robert Pearson and Roberta MacAdams were elected. Roberta was the second woman in the Empire after fellow Albertan Louise McKinney to be elected to office. In 1918 she became the 1st woman in the British Empire to introduce legislation when she brought forward a bill to incorporate the War Veterans Next of Kin Association Bill. After the 1st legislative session she was back in Britain with the Khaki University which provided women’s staff for continuing education for overseas Canadian forces. Back in Alberta in 1919 she served as district Director of the Soldiers Land Settlement Board. After this position Roberts married lawyer Harvey Price and was less prominent in the public eye. Source: Our Future, Our Heritage. The Alberta Heritage Digitization Project. Online (Accessed May 2014) ; Roberta MacAdams and the New Woman. Alberta’s Women’s Institute. Online (Accessed May 2014).
Sarah Ramsland Scythes née McEwen. Born July 19,1882 Minnesota, U.S.A. Died Regina, Saskatchewan April 4, 1964.  In 1906 she married Magnus Ramsland. The couple settled in Saskatchewan and raised a family of three children. When her husband died of the Spanish flu in 1918, family convinced her to run for his vacant seat  in a Saskatchewan by-election. She became the first woman elected to the Saskatchewan legislature. The law had been changed only in 1917 which allowed women to run. She would serve a Pelly area member of the legislative Assembly until 1925. She was a staunch defender of her constituents’ need and was the first MLA to suggest marking sites of historical interest in the province. Upon leaving politics Sarah she became a librarian establishing Saskatchewan’s traveling library program. After marrying William George Franklin Scythes in 1942 she turned her energies into community activities and volunteer work. Source: City of Regina. Heritage & History Online. (Accessed January 2012.; Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan online (Accessed January 2012)
Minnie Bell Adney. (née Sharp) Born January 12, 1865, Woodstock, New Brunswick. Died April 11, 1937. In 1883 she took training in piano and voice in New York City, U.S.A. On September 12, 1899 she married Edwin Tappan Adney (1868-1950) an artist and writer. The couple raised one son but the marriage meant long periods of separation for the family. Minnie used her musical talents to run the Woodstock School of Music for two decades. She became interested in women's rights and politics and would become the 1st woman candidate in a federal election in New Brunswick. She attempted to run as an independent candidate in a federal by-election in October 1919 in the riding of Victoria Carleton. Even though women by this time had the right to vote had just recently been allowed to run for political positions and in this by-election her name did not appear on the ballot because her papers had been “lost” and she was disqualified as a candidate. In the 1921 general election she was unable to raise the $200.00 fee required to register her nomination. Her name finally appeared on the ballot for the 1925 Federal General Election but she only received 84 votes.  Source: New Brunswick Womens’ History ww.nbwomenshistory.ca (Accessed March 2012)
Mary Ellen Smith (née Spear) Born  October 11, 1863, Tavistock, England. Died May 3, 1933, Vancouver, British Columbia . She taught for awhile and then married Ralph Smith a widower and a coal miner by profession. The couple settled in British Columbia and Ralph was elected to serve in  the Provincial and federal governments.  Mary Ellen supported her husband political career and even gave speeches on his behalf. She was a member of the suffrage League of Canada, president of the Women’s Canadian Club  of the Women’s Forum. She served as a regent of the Imperial Order of the Daughter’s of the Empire, and was an executive member of the Canadian Red Cross. When her husband died in 1917 she entered politics herself and successfully won her husband’s former seat in a by election in January 1918. She was re-elected in 1920 and again in 1924. She was the 1st female Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia , and  in March 1921 she became the first woman cabinet minister in the British Empire, and the first woman speaker of the House in the British Empire, serving as minister without portfolio, March to November 1921. An advocate of British Columbia's first mothers' pensions and Female Minimum Wage acts. In 1929, she was appointed Canada's delegate to the International Labour Organization conference in Geneva, Switzerland. She served as president of the BC Liberal Party in the early 1930s Sources: Vancouver Hall of Fame Online (Accessed November 2012. : The Canadian Encyclopedia online (Accessed November 2012)

Nellie Letitia McClung. née Mooney. Born October 20, 1873 Chatsworth, Ontario. Died September 1, 1951. At 16 she attended Normal School (Teacher’s college) in Winnipeg, Manitoba. While teaching, she was introduced to the Women’s Christian Temperance Union by her future Mother-in-law. Marrying Wes McClung, 1896 they raised five children. As an accomplished writer, she joined the Canadian Women’s Press Club. In 1912, a founding member of the Political Equity League, she helped female wage earners. She imitated Manitoba Provincial Premier Roblin in the 1914 “Women’s Parliament” mocking the idea of giving votes to men! She was the only woman delegate at the Canadian War Conference of 1918 and was a Methodist delegate to the world ecumenical Congress of 1921, where she advocated women as clergy. She represented her ideas as a member of Alberta’s legislature 1921-1925 and in 1927 she was one of the “Famous Five”, who forced the courts to recognize women as “Persons” in 1929.  The 1st woman to be appointed to the Board of Directors, Canadian Broadcasting Network, 1936 she was also a Canadian representative to the League of Nations, 1938. A popular author, she wrote newspaper and magazine articles, columns, short stories and published 16 books and 2 autobiographies.

Louise Crummy McKinney.  Born September 22, 1868 Frankville, Ontario. Died July 10, 1931 Claresholm, Alberta. Like many young women of her era Louise attended Normal School (Teacher’s College) in Ottawa. She taught for 7 years in Ontario and then in North Dakota, U.S.A. In 1895 she married James McKinney.  By 1903 the couple and their son settled in Claresholm, Alberta.  She had joined the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) while in the U.S. and founded a local chapter when she arrived in Claresholm. She played a prominent role at the local, provincial and national levels of the W.C.T.U. for the next 20 years. In 1931 she became acting national president and vice-president at the international level.  She was also active in the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire (I.O.D.E.). She was the first women to be sworn into the Alberta Legislative Assembly. Louise and Roberta Adams (1880-1959) were the 1st women elected to a legislature in the British Empire and on June 7, 1917 Louise was sworn in before Roberta  to became the 1st woman to take her seat in the legislature. She fought for laws to aid immigrants, widows, and separated women.  Active in her Methodist Church she was the only woman from Western Canada and 1 of only 4 across Canada to sign the Basis of Union of the United Church of Canada in 1925. She was the 2nd woman to sign the famous “Persons” act which lead to women in Canada being able to be considered “persons” She is one of the group now called “The Famous Five”. In 1939 she was recognized as a Person of National Historic Significance by the Canadian government. In 2009 the Senate of Canada voted to name the Famous Five as Canada’s 1st honorary senators. A plaque commemorating this in found at the Post Office, Highway 4 south at the Canada-United States border, Claresholm, Alberta and there is an Alberta Post Secondary Scholarship offered in her honour. Sources: Louise Crummy McKinney, Collections Canada, Library and Archives Canada Online (Accessed for update 2010); The life of Louise McKinney, St Thomas University. Online Accessed 2010)

Constance Easton Hamilton. Born 1862 Yorkshire, England. Died, Toronto, Ontario 1945.   Constance migrated to Canada in 1888 with her family. The family settled in Vancouver where Constance met and married  A Canadian Pacific Railroad manager, Lauchlan Alexander Hamilton (1852-1941). The couple were transferred first to Winnipeg and then in 1899 to Toronto. She was a staunch supporter of women’s suffrage and was President of the Equal Rights League of Toronto. She frequently represented Canadian Suffragists in other countries. She was an active volunteer with numerous associations including the Big Sisters  and the YWCA. She chaired the Toronto Branch of the National Refugee Committee and worked with the National Council of Women as chair of the Agricultural Committee. Once women had the right to vote and could run for municipal office she became the 1st woman elected to the Toronto City Council. She was sworn in on January 12, 1920 with no cameras to record the event and no mention in the mayor’s inaugural address. She was re-elected in 1921.   After two years in  public office she retired to continue her campaign work for the rights of women, underprivileged people, including immigrants and refugees to the city.  She also served on the board of Women’s Century Magazine.  In 1979 The Toronto City Council established an award in her name commemorating the Privy Council Decision of 1929 requiring the federal government to recognize women as “persons”. The women members of Toronto City Council select the recipient(s) of the Constance E. Hamilton Award.  Source: City of Toronto online http://www.toronto.ca (Accessed 2010) ; “Toronto Pioneer mostly forgotten” by Mark Mahoney, Toronto Star, March 10, 2007.
Edith MacTavish Rogers. Born April 26, 1876, Norway House, Rupert’s Land (Now Manitoba). Died April 19, 1947, Colborne, Ontario. Edith was a Métis born into a family of Hudson Bay Company Officers, Edith spent her youth living in Montreal. She attended Sacred Heart Sedith MacTavish Rogerschool of Montreal and the Trafalgar School for Girls. Moving back to her home in Manitoba she married businessman Rupert Rogers on June 1, 1898. The couple have 4 children. During World War l she played a leadership role in Winnipeg’s efforts on behalf of soldiers’ families with needs. She continued her efforts at the end of the war helping families of returning soldiers. June 29, 1920 she became the 1st woman elected to the Manitoba Provincial Legislature. She was a member of the Liberal Party and elected to her seat in the legislature 3 times before she retired in 1932. She was an advocate for reforming the Child Welfare Act of Manitoba making it easier for women to access financial support to care for their children. She was also the 1st female member of the Board of the Winnipeg General Hospital. Edith moved to Colborne, Ontario in 1942.


Mary Ellen Smith.  (née Spear). Born Tavistock, England October 11, 1863.  Died May 3, 1933. After the death of her political husband in 1917  she ran in the by-election for his seat and in 1921 became the first woman elected to the British Columbia provincial legislature and the first woman Cabinet Minister in the entire British Empire. She resigned from Cabinet in 1922 but remained as MPP until 1928.

Agnes Campbell Macphail.  Born March 24, 1890  Preston Township, Grey County, Ontario. Died February 13, 1954 Toronto, Ontario. Like many young women of her era she attended Normal School (Teacher’s College) after high school. She taught in numerous schools in Ontario and Alberta. She was the 1st and only woman elected to the Canadian parliament in 1921 when women finally had the right to vote. A pacifist she was a member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and in 1929 she became the 1st woman nominated to the Canadian delegation to the League of Nations (forerunner to the United Nations). As the 1st woman to inspect Kingston Penitentiary, it left her a lifelong advocate for better conditions of women in prison. In 1935 the Royal Commission to Investigate the Penal System in Canada and the 1939 Penitentiary Bill with 88 recommendations for change were no doubt influenced by her efforts. She became a founding member of the C.C.F., Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (forerunner of the National Democratic Party). Losing her federal seat in the 1940 election, she toured giving lectures and wrote for the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper before turning her attention to provincial politics. December 6, 1943 she was 1 of 2 women elected to the Ontario Legislative Assemble where she continued to support farmers, industrial workers, prison inmates and women’s rights.  In 1951 she saw the passage of the 1st equal pay legislation in the province. She was also the founder of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Canada which even today works to give help to women in need. She died just prior to have been offered a seat in the Canadian senate. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online Accessed 2001); Agnes Macphail website Online (accessed 2003)
Margaret Rae Morrison Luckock. née Morrison. Born October 15, 1893 Arthur, Ontario. . Died January 24, 1972. In 1914 she married tool-and-die maker Richard Luckock and the couple settled in Toronto. A seamstress by profession she found it difficult to find work during the Depression Years. It was also during this time that her young daughter died of scarlet fever. Rae became a lifelong proponent of social programs to help the poor. In 1932 she joined the newly formed Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F. forerunner of the New Democratic Party NDP) On December 6, 1943 she and Agnes Macphail (1880-1954) became the 1st women to be elected to the Ontario Provincial Legislature. Both women were defeated in the election of 1945. In 1942-43 she served as president of the Housewives and Consumers Association and was an organizer of the HCA 1948 March of a Million Names that petitioned the Canadian Government to lower prices of consumer goods. The federal government did take some action against milling and baking companies who had artificially fixed the price of bread. In 1950 the HCA and other groups formed the Canadian Congress of Women (CCW) with Rae as the founding President.  She visited Communist China and asked Russian women to visit Canada to talk to the CCW which meant she would be denied entrance in the U.S. The last years of her life were spent fighting Parkinson’s Disease.  Source: Margarette Rae Morrison Luckock. Collections Canada. National Library of Canada (accessed 2005); Rae Luckock, MPP. Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
Harriet Irene Dunlop Prenter. née Dunlop. Born April 7, 1866 Eurkva, Russia. Died ???? . On September 8, 1892 she married Hector Henry Weir Prenter (1860-1945) She believed in peace and followed her beliefs when she by became secretary of the Canadian section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and which became the Women’s Peace Party founded in the U.S. in January 1915. Many women did not like the pacifist movement and chose instead to support the war. Harriet was also a strong suffragette and a member of the Political Equality League in Toronto. Harriet wrote about her beliefs and her stands in the Canadian Forward, the White Ribbon Bulletin and Women’s Century. In 1920 she started a woman’s page in the Industrial Banner where she discussed money value of women’s work in the home and paid wages. After Canadian women gained the right to vote in 1917 Harriet remained interested in politics and the advancement of equality for women. She joined the Independent Labour Party and in December 6, 1921 federal election she was a candidate for Toronto West. Although Unlike fellow candidate Agnes MacPhail (1890-1954) Harriet was unsuccessful in the election it still stands that she was one of the 1st women to run as a candidate in a Canadian federal election. In 1922 she became a member of the Worker’s Party of Canada and helped with communist campaigns. In 1924 she was with the Women’s Labour League celebrating the 1st Canadian International Women’s Day. Sources: Hector Prenter, MyHeritage Family Trees Online (Accessed September 2014)
Cairine Reay Wilson (née Mackay) Born February 4, 1885, Montreal, Quebec. Died March 3, 1962, Ottawa Ontario.  A child of an influential and wealthy family in Montreal, Cairine grew up bilingual with a keen interest in keeping informed with life. She often travelled with her father to Ottawa and admired a family friend, Sir Wilfrid Laurier. In 1909 she married Norman Wilson (   1956) and the young couple moved to Cumberland Township near Ottawa to have their family of 8 children. In 1918 they retained their Cumberland property but moved to downtown Ottawa. While her family was at home Cairine was active in her church and the local Red cross. Once her family was growing she become more interested in the life in Ottawa Politics and she became co-president of the Eastern Ontario Liberal Association. On February 15, 1930,  Prime Minister William Lion Mackenzie, appointed her as Canada’s 1st woman in the Senate. She would prefer to be remembered for her work to serve refugees and for being outspoken against anti-Semitism in Canada. She did not pull punches and spoke up for what she believed. At the beginning of the upheaval in Europe in World War ll William Lion Mackenzie King was reluctant to accept Jewish refugees as immigrants to Canada. Cairine worked to accept 100 orphans into Canada. A Television Historical Minute telecast shows viewed in the 1990’s shows Wilson arguing the case for refugees.  She served as chair of the Canadian National Committee on Refugees 1938-1948, and was Canada’s 1st woman delegate to the new United Nations in 1949. In 1950 she was presented with the Knight of the Legion of Honour, the highest civilian honour from France, for her work on behalf of  child refugees. In 1955 she became the 1st woman Deputy Speaker in the Canadian Senate. A secondary School in Orleans, located not far from the Wilson family farm in Cumberland Township, is named in her honour. She is buried in Dale Cemetery near her former farm and her tombstone simply reads “Appointed to the Senate 1930” Sources First Person, Valerie Knowles (Toronto, Dundurn Press, 1988 ; Heroines.ca online . ; personal knowledge
Nora Frances Henderson. Born March 9, 1897, Bicester, England. Died March 23, 1949, Hamilton, Ontario. In 1913 Nora moved with her family to Winona, Ontario. And finally to Hamilton, Ontario in 1917. Thinking she wanted to try writing as a career in 1918, she took a portfolio to the Hamilton Herald where she would work as a reporter. In 1921, she was made Womens Editor and she urged local women to take an active interest in community political affairs. As a result, for the 1st time, in 1919, women were appointed to the Hamilton Hospital Board. In 1931, she became the 1st woman elected to Hamilton's City Council. In 1934 she became the 1st woman in Canada elected to a city Board of Control. In her first year as a controller she sponsored a meeting which created Charter of Municipal Rights. She chaired the Relief Board which acted as a court of appeal to decisions handed down by relief officials and often handed out civic relief deficiencies from her own pocket.  She was elected to city council 16 consecutive times. She headed the polls for Board of Control, becoming Acting Mayor during the mayor's absence. In 1946 she caused controversy when she crossed picket lines during the Stelco strike. In 1947, she retired to become Executive Secretary of the Association of Children's Aid Societies of Ontario. She authored a book, The Citizens of Tomorrow and a play Pageant of Motherhood. Up to 2006 Hamilton’s hospital was named in her honour. In 2008 the new Juravinski for $8.00 a week.  Hospital created a Life of Service Display on the main floor for Henderson. She was inducted into the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction in 1990. In 2016 the Frances Henderson Secondary High School was opened. Source: thanks to Hamilton Public Library for information supplied. February 2016.
Helena Walker. née Masters. Born 1867 Wolfeville, Nova Scotia. Died 1963, Regina, Saskatchewan. She earned her masters degree from the Nova Scotia, University, Halifax and in 1912 moved to the Saskatchewan to teach school. She attended Regina Normal School (Teachers college) in 1914. In 1920 she married Ashley Walker. The couple would have two children. Since married women could not work as teachers she had to find other places to use her energies. In 1925 she was elected to the Regina Public School Board and became chair in 1927. In 1932 she became the first woman to not only run but win the elected position of elected alderman for the City of Regina. She was always known as Alderman Mrs. Ashley Walker, she never used her own first name. She served the city in this position for 9 years. She insisted the city hire women police officers and was president of the Women’s Voluntary Services for World War ll. She also served in the 1930’s and 1940’s on the Regina Public Library Board and the welfare services Board. She was president of the Local Council of Women, the University Women’s Club and the Women’s Canadian Club. Upon her death the citizens of Regina learned that her first name was Helena. Source: City of Regina. Heritage & History. Online. (Accessed January 2012.)

Barbara Hanley. Died January 26, 1959. On January 6, 1936, with a margin of 13 votes, Mrs. Hanley became the first woman to be elected to the position of Mayor of a town in Canada.  The town of Webwood, Ontario is located some 50 miles west of Sudbury. Mrs. Hanley would fight to ensure proper homes for the aged. Did she do a good job? She was elected to eight consecutive terms as mayor. The voters must have felt that she was a good mayor.

Nancy Hodges  named Speaker of the British Columbia Provincial Legislature, is the first woman to hold the post of Speaker in the British Commonwealth December 12, 1949.

Thésèse Casgrain. (née Forget). Born Montreal, Quebec July 10, 1896. Died November 2, 1981. She is remembered for her campaign for women’s right to vote (suffrage) in the province of Québec before WW II. (Quebec, the last province to grant women the vote, passing legislation only in 1940.) She continued a career in politics becoming the first Canadian woman to lead a provincial political party. She was the leader of the Quebec CCF Party from 1951-1957. In 1970 she was appointed to the Senate of Canada. She is considered a leading woman of 20th century Canada.

Rt. Hon. Ellen Louks Fairclough. Born Hamilton, Ontario January 28, 1905. Died November 13, 2004. Her first career was as an accountant. She owned her own firm when she was elected to Hamilton City council in 1946. In 1950 she was elected to the House of Commons in Ottawa. She was the first woman to be appointed to the post of a Cabinet Minister in the Canadian Parliament in 1957. In 1989 she was presented with the Persons Award. In 1992 the Queen invested her with the title "Right Honorable". She was made a Companion in the Order of Canada in 1995. You can read about her remarkable life in her memoirs which were published in 1995 under the title Saturday's Child. She currently lives in a retirement community in Hamilton.

Nora Frances Henderson. Born Hampstead England 1913. Died 1949. In 1919 she began her journalist career at the Hamilton Herald newspaper and became Women's editor in 1921. She always encouraged women to take their place within the community and soon women were appointed to the Hamilton Hospital Board as well as appointments to other organizations. In 1934 Nora became the first woman in Canada elected to a city Board of Control She would be elected 16 consecutive times to this position. In 1947 she retired to become Executive Secretary of the Association of Children’s Aid Societies of Ontario.

Margaret Rae Morrison Luckock. née Morrison. Born October 15, 1893 Arthur, Ontario. . Died January 24, 1972. In 1914 she married tool-and-die maker Richard Luckock and the couple settled in Toronto. A seamstress by profession she found it difficult to find work during the Depression Years. It was also during this time that her young daughter died of scarlet fever. Rae became a lifelong proponent of social programs to help the poor. In 1932 she joined the newly formed Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F. forerunner of the New Democratic Party NDP) On December 6, 1943 she and Agnes Macphail (1880-1954) became the 1st women to be elected to the Ontario Provincial Legislature. Both women were defeated in the election of 1945. In 1942-43 she served as president of the Housewives and Consumers Association and was an organizer of the HCA 1948 March of a Million Names that petitioned the Canadian Government to lower prices of consumer goods. The federal government did take some action against milling and baking companies who had artificially fixed the price of bread. In 1950 the HCA and other groups formed the Canadian Congress of Women (CCW) with Rae as the founding President.  She visited Communist China and asked Russian women to visit Canada to talk to the CCW which meant she would be denied entrance in the U.S. The last years of her life were spent fighting Parkinson’s disease.  Source: Margarette Rae Morrison Luckock. Collections Canada. National Library of Canada (accessed 2005); Rae Luckock, MPP. Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
Gladys Grace May Strum. Born Saskatchewan February 4, 1906. Died British Columbia August 15, 2005 A mother and a farmer’s wife she understood issues facing rural Saskatchewan. When her husband became ill her interest in Politics reached fulfillment. At 16 she was teaching a rural one room schoolhouse. She would later not only attend teachers college but she would , as a mature student, earn her B.A. and B. Ed. At the University of Saskatchewan. While teaching she met and married Warner Strum on November 16, 1929. The had one daughter. At one time she traveled to New Zealand to see if it would provide a better living condition for her ill husband. The family remained in Saskatchewan. Gladys ran unsuccessfully to be a member of the provincial parliament in 1938 and 1944.. She did however go on to become the 1st woman president of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation C.C.F. party making her the first Canadian woman to be president of a political party in Canada. In 1945 she was elected Member of Parliament in Ottawa for Qu’Apelle, Saskatchewan, where she sat in the House of Commons with 244 male members. She was the first woman of the C.C.F. elected to the Canadian Parliament. She was defeated in the 1949 election and returned to teach in Saskatchewan. In 1952 the family moved to British Columbia in the hops of easing Warner’s health. In 1953 she ran for parliament but6 was again defeated. The family returned to Saskatchewan and Gladys became principal of a school in Uranium City. By 1960 she was an elected member of Provincial Parliament where she would vote on the famous Saskatchewan medical Act in 1962. She and her husband returned once again to British Columbia to be near their daughter and grandchildren in retirement. Source: Saskatchewan Encyclopedia online August 2011

Charlotte Whitton. Born Renfrew, Ontario March 8, 1896. Died January 25, 1975. This social worker, politician, and feminist was a colourful, energetic, outspoken, flamboyant individual.  In the 1920’s she was a relentless crusader for professional standards of juvenile immigrants and neglected children. She was the spark that ignited the Canadian Council on Child Welfare.  She was in demand across North America as a lecturer on social programs. When she became mayor of Ottawa in 1951 she was the first woman in Canada to be a mayor of a major metropolitan area. In November 1950 , Whitton entered Ottawa City politics when she won a seat on what was then called the board of control. When the elected mayor died the next year she succeeded him. She was elected mayor in 1952, 1954, 1960 and 1964 and later served as an alderman until 1972. 

Tilly Jean Rolston Born February. 23, 1887, Vancouver British Columbia. Died October 12, 1953, Vancouver, British Columbia. She attended the University of British Columbia when it was connected to McGill University, Montreal. She left teaching to marry Frederick James Rolston in 1909 and raised a family of three children. Tilly worked closely with many associations and clubs including being  a director of the Vancouver-based Pacific National Exhibition, an Honorary President of the Women's Canadian Club, president of the Oratorio Society, Quota Club, and the Travel Women's Club. She was also the founding chairman of the Theatre Under the Stars, board member of the YWCA auxiliary and of the Vancouver Symphony Society. While a homemaker she continued her interest in politics and actually entered politics as an elected Progressive Conservative Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in1941. In 1951 she sat as an Independent for the remainder of the session. She became a supporter of W.A.C. Bennett and in the 1952 B.C. election in Vancouver-Port Grey, she was elected as a Social Credit candidate and named education minister. She was the second woman in British Columbia to be appointed to the cabinet and the first woman in all of Canada to hold a specific portfolio. She was a staunch advocate education for every child. Source: http://www.viu.ca/homeroom/content/topics/people/rolston.htm (Accessed December 2012.
Marion Adams Macpherson Born May 16, 1924, Moose Jaw Saskatchewan. Died 1998. Marion earned her BA at the University of Saskatchewan and took graduate studies at the University of Toronto prior to taking the Foreign Service exam in 1947. She was the 1st woman to join the federal Department of External Affairs directly as a Foreign Service Officer as opposed to moving up the rank and file as a clerk. After her 2 years of training in Ottawa she worked in the United Nations and then the European Divisions. From 1950 -1954 she was assigned to the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, U.S.A. She was the 1st female officer on the International Commission for Supervision and Control of Vietnam. In 1958 she was assigned to Ghana and was the 1st Secretary of the High Commission in Accra. In 1963 she was at the United Nations in New York, City, U.S.A. then back to Ottawa she worked in the United Nations Division. In 1973 she was the Head of the Diplomatic Mission in Sri Lanka. For a short time she was in Boston, Massachusetts prior to being appointed as the Canadian Ambassador to Denmark. In 1983 she was Deputy Commander at the National Defense College in Kingston, Ontario. She also served as Canada’s High Commissioner to Zambia. She retired in 1988 after serving 4 decades in the Canadian Foreign Service. Sources: Margaret K. Weiers, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service. (Toronto; Dundurn, 1995);

Elizabeth Pauline MacCallum.  Born June 30, 1895, Marash, Turkey. Died June 12, 1985. Elizabeth’s parents were Canadian Presbyterian missionaries serving in Turkey. The family returned to Canada when Elizabeth was a teenager. After high school she attended Normal School (Teacher’s College) in Calgary and from 1915-1917 she worked teaching at prairie schools before enrolling at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. By 1919 she had earned her Master’s Degree. She attend Columbia  University in New York City, New York, U.S.A.  From 1925 through 1931 she worked at New York’s Foreign Policy Association researching and writing reports and monographs on the Middle East. In 1931 she retreated to a 2 acre market garden in Uxbridge, Ontario to recharge her batteries and to give herself some relief for the intensity of concentration requiring the wearing of hearing aids. In 1935 she wrote the book Rivalries in Ethiopia and also gave radio talks on the subject of the Middle East.  By 1936 she was back in Ottawa working for the League of Nations and later at the Canadian Legion’s Educational Department. In 1942 she began her career at External Affairs Department, still focusing on the Middle East, her work was given the highest considerations. She proposed a division of Palestine into 2 states – one Jewish, one Arab which was sent up to Prime Minister William Lion Mackenzie King. It was in 1947 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the partitioning of Palestine and 6 months later the State of Israel was formed.  In 1947 the Canadian government ban against women serving as foreign officers was lifted and Elizabeth became the foreign officer of the unofficial Middle East Division. In 1954 -1956 Elizabeth became the 1st woman to go abroad as a head of a posting at the New Canadian Legation in Beirut, Lebanon  where she had the title of Madame Le Chargé and where she was the 1st woman to head a diplomatic mission in Lebanon. Her deafness bothered  her to the extent that in 1956 she returned to Ottawa to head the new Official Middle East Division. She officially retired for health reasons in 1958 but returned, upon request,  until June 30, 1960. Even then she occasionally worked through to 1977. At 82 she was a volunteer at the Ottawa Civic Hospital working with the hearing impaired.  In 1967 she received the Medal of Service of the Order of Canada and later she became an Officer of the Order of Canada. Sadly she never got around to writing her memoirs. Source: Margaret Weiers, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service (Toronto: Dundurn, 1995)  

Ruth Addison Born 1897. Died January 9, 2005. She graduated from the University of Manitoba and worked her way from a lower level clerk in the Canadian Civil Service to being an economist and then executive assistant to the Canadian Minister of the Department of Defense Production. In 1957 she was appointed as the 1st woman member  of the Civil Service Commission a position she held until 1968. Source: Jean Bannerman, Leading Ladies of Canada (Belleville, Mika Publishing, 1977);
Blanche Margaret Meagher.  Born January 27 1911, Halifax Nova Scotia. Died February 25, 1999, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Margaret attended Normal School (Teacher’s College) and taught school from 1932 through 1942. She took the Foreign Service exam and became a pioneer Foreign Service Officer with the federal department of External Affairs. She served in Mexico and London England. October 22, 1958 she was the 1st woman appointed as a Canadian Ambassador and served in Israel. While serving as Ambassador to Austria in Vienna she became the 1st woman to chair a Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency. From 1969 through 1973 she served as ambassador to Sweden. In Kenya she became the 1st female Canadian High Commissioner and the 1st Canadian diplomat to live in Nairobi. 1973-4 she was the 1st woman from External Affairs to serve as Foreign Service Visitor at Dalhousie University, Halifax. In 1974 she received the Order of Canada. From 1984-1989 she was a trustee for the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She was a true pioneer in the Canadian Foreign Service and a valuable mentor for those who followed in the profession. Sources: Margaret K. Weiers, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service. (Toronto; Dundurn, 1995); Blanche Margaret Meagher, Canadian Encyclopedia online (Accessed July 2015)
Gladys Muriel Porter. Born August, 1894 Sydney, Nova Scotia. Died April 30, 1967 Kentville, Nova Scotia. She became an active member of several social service organizations and supporter of several charitable causes, taking on a leading role as executive member of many of them at the community, county and provincial level. Much of her work was with hospitals and health care organizations. She was active in her United Baptist church and a founding member and first president of the local chapter of the Business and Professional Women's Club and served also as provincial president. In 1946 she was inducted into the Order of the British Empire in honour of her contribution to the civilian defense and war effort in both World Wars.  In 1943 she became a town councilor in Kentville and in 1946 won the election for mayor, making her the 1st woman in the Maritimes to do so. She was re-elected mayor for a total of 11 years resigning only after winning a seat in Kings North for the Progressive Conservative party in the provincial legislature in the election of June 7, 1960. She was the 1st woman to be elected to the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly. She served as a representative in the legislature until her death in 1967.
Jean Casselman Wadds. Born September 16, 1920 Newton Robinson, Ontario. Died November 25, 2011 Prescott, Ontario. She Married Azra Casselman who represented the electoral district of Grenville-Dundas, Ontario from 1925-1958. Jean was elected in 1958 and served in her husband’s riding in the House of Commons for ten years. She was the third woman to be elected to the Canadian Parliament. Her father was also a Member of Parliament, Earle Rowe and the became the only father daughter ever to sit in the same session of the Canadian Parliament. She was the first woman appointed to serve as Parliamentary Secretary. In 1961 she was the 1st woman appointed by the Canadian Government as a delegate to the United Nations. In 1979 she was the first woman to be appointed as Canadian High Commissioner to Great Britain. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau would credit her as one of the three key women along with Queen Elizabeth and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, responsible for the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution. In 1982 she received the Order of Canada. She was a strong supporter of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the St Lawrence Shakespearian Festival. Suggested Reading: Prescott 1810-2010. Sources: Obituary. Ottawa Citizen December 3, 2011. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa.
Marie-Claire Kirkland-Casgrain. née Kirkland. Born September 8, 1924, Palmer, Massachusetts, U.S.A. After attending McGill University and, graduating in 1947, she studies law.  In 1952 she became a lawyer and practiced law in Montreal.  In the early 1960s she was  an advisor to the Young Liberals in the Jacques-Cartier riding, she was also President of the Mariana B. Jodoin Club's Constitution Committee and the Fédération des femmes libérales du Québec. She was also the founding member of the Association des femmes avocates de la province de Québec. As if were not enough she was also and contributing writer for Châtelaine magazine. She married P. Casgrain and the couple had 3 children before they divorced.  She was 1st elected to the Quebec Legislature as member for the Jacques-Cartier riding during the December 14, 1961 by-election, and later for the Marguerite-Bourgeois riding. On December 5, 1962 she became the 1st woman appointed to the Quebec provincial cabinet when she was appointed the Quebec Cabinet as minister without portfolio. On November 25, 1964 she was appointed Minister of Transportation and Communications. From May 12, 1970 to February 15, 1972 she served as Minister of Tourism, Game and Fishing and as Minister of Cultural Affairs from February 2, 1972 to February 14, 1973. She was the only female member of the Quebec provincial government from 1961-1973 and She was also the 1st woman ever appointed as interim Premier of a provincial government during the absence of its representative in 1972. She played an outstanding role in the defense of women's issues and the adoption of several laws: in 1964, the renowned Bill 16 on the legal status of married women; in 1969, the bill governing matrimonial regimes and establishing sociétées d'acquêts, and in 1973, the bill establishing the Conseil du statut de la femme. In February 14, 1973 she was appointed as a provincial court judge and president of the Minimum Wage Commission. On June 26, 1985 she became a Chevalier de l’ordre national du Quèbec. She withdrew from politics and worked as a judge in Montreal until she retired in 1991. In 1992 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. Her work for the advancement of women’s issues was recognized in 1993 when she was presented with the Governor’s General Commemorative Award for the Persons Case.  She is also a Grande Dame de l’ordre de Saint-Jean-de-Jérusalem. In 2012, a statue was erected near the Quebec National Assembly to honour Marie Claire Kirkland-Casgrain as well as Idola Saint-Jean (1945-   ), Marie Gérin-Lajoie (1867-1945), and Thérèse Casgrain (1896-1981). These women were all political pioneers who fought for women’s rights and for improvements in women’s social and economic conditions to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Kirkland being made the first female Cabinet minister in Quebec.
Dorothy Annabelle Straton McPhedran. Born Underwood, Ontario June 14, 1921. Died January 2012. In 1942 she graduated with and honours B.A. in history from Victoria College, University of Toronto. She married and had a son but divorced in 1952 after suffering abuse. Overcoming stigma of divorce Dorothy taught in Kincardin before becoming head of the History Department of Northern and St. Clair Colleges.. In 1964 she was promoted as the first woman to be Inspector of schools for the Ontario Ministry of Education. In 1974 she married Bruce ”Alex” McPhedran and she completed course work for her PhD in Education at the University of Ottawa. In 1975 she became the first woman appointed special Assistant and Women’s Advisor for the Deputy Minister of Education. She had a love of travel and traveled to numerous countries around the world. Including going behind the Iron Curtain to Russia. She was a long time volunteer with Meals on Wheels, delivering meals to those who needed them well into her 80’s. Source: Obituary Globe and Mail January 2, 2012.  Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa Ontario.
Judy Verlyn LaMarsh. Born December 20, 1924 Chatham, Ontario. Died October 27, 1980. Like many women of her generation Judy attended Normal School to train as a teacher. Instead of teaching she joined the Canadian Women’s Army Corps and served from 1943-1946. After her military service Judy attended the University of Toronto for her B.A. and then attended Osgoode Hall and was called to the bar as a lawyer in 1950. As a politician she was elected to the House of Commons in Ottawa in a by-election in the fall of 1960. In 1963 she became the second woman to be appointed to a Cabinet position in the Canadian government. This colourful, flamboyant woman, as Minister of Health and Welfare, introduced the Canada Pension Plan and supervised the drafting of what became Canada’s Medicare system. She became the 1st official in the western world government to oppose tobacco smoking publicly. As Secretary of State for Canada she presided over the 1967 Centennial Year celebrations for Canada with great flair.  She also established the Royal Commission on the Status of Women. She left politics after Canada’s Centennial Year using her time in retirement to author 3 books including her autobiography, Memoirs of a Bird in a Gilded Cage in 1969. She became a broadcaster and hosted own weekday radio program on CBC Radio. She returned to work as a lawyer and in 1974 defended the Brunswick Four in a prominent LGBT Case. In April 1975 she headed the Ontario Royal Commission on Violence in the Communications Industry.  Ill with pancreatic cancer she was inducted into the Order of Canada from her hospital bed on July 22, 1980. The Government of Canada Building in Chatham, Ontario is known as the Judy LaMarsh Building. Sources: Judy LaMarsh, Making Medicare: the history of health care in Canada 1914-2007, www.historymuseum.ca (Accessed 2007); Canadian Encyclopedia Online (Accessed 2004)

Louise-Marguerite-Renaude Lapointe. Born Disraeli, Quebec January 3, 1912.  Her early studies in Music and foreign languages were useful to the journalist who first newspaper post saw her responsible for music criticism and women’s issues. She would be the 1st Canadian woman to become an editorial writer in 1965 which was marked with her being named “journalist of the year” In November 1971 she was appointed to the Senate of Canada where she would be the 1st French Canadian Woman to hold the position of Speaker of the Senate.

Jean Edmonds. Born 1921. After her studies at the University of Manitoba, Jean would spend the first twenty years of her career as a journalist for the Financial Post newspaper. In 1964 she joined the federal government public service. In 1966 she became the first woman executive in the federal government as an executive director with the Department of Manpower and Immigration. She would go on to the level of assistant Deputy Minister with the Department of Regional Economic Development. In 1988 she became chairperson of the Task Force on Barriers to Women in the Public Service and would publish the ground breaking report called Beneath the Veneer. The current Citizenship and Immigration Canada is headquartered in the Jean Edmonds Towers.
Ella Jean Canfield. née Garnet. Born October 4, 1918 Westmorland, Prince Edward Island. Died December 31, 2000, Prince Edward Island. She attended school High School in in Cambridge, Massacheutts while her family lived there. She later attended Union Commercial College in Charlottetown, P.E.I. and the Lincoln School of Nursing in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. On June 30 1939 she married Parker Ellsworth Canfield. The couple had one daughter. She was chair of the management committee of the Crapaud Exhibition, a member of the Home and School Association, and secretary-treasurer of the Englewood School Board. Canfield was an organizer of the Community Schools, served as president and treasurer of the Crapaud Women's Institute, and was a secretary of the St. John's Anglican Church Women's Organization. Jean was an active member of the PEI Zonta Club, The Canadian Club, and the Chamber of Commerce of Crapaud and Victoria.  She ran in 1966 for provincial election but was not successful. She was 1st elected to the Prince Edward Island Legislative Assembly in the May 11, 1970 provincial election as Assemblyman for First Queens becoming the 1st female member of the PEI Legislative Assembly and the 1st woman to serve on Executive Council.  In 1972 she served as Chairwoman of the Provincial Advisory Committee on the Status of Women in the Province of Prince Edward Island, 1972 to 1973. She was appointed as Minister without Portfolio and Minister Responsible for P.E.I. Housing Authority from October 10, 1972 to May 2, 1974. In 1977 she was a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. She served in the legislature until 1979. Source: Ella Jean Canfield, Prince Edward Island Legislative Documents Online. Accessed March 2016.
Mabel Margaret Van Camp Born Blackstock, Ontario 1920. Died April 19, 2012 Toronto, Ontario. She finished high school at 16 and was the first person from Blackstock to attend university. After graduating from the University of Toronto she studied at Osgoode Law school and was called to the bar in 1947.  Women were not well accepted in the profession and it took her awhile to find a firm that would hire her. Soon she was leading the firm when the boss was off sick. The firm became Beaudoin, Pepper and Van Camp. In 1965 she was appointed to the Queen’s Bench. In 1971 she was appointed as the 1st woman to the Ontario Supreme Court by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. A proper title was finally accepted when she became Madam Justice. She was also the 1st woman member of the Royal Canadian Military Institute. A true pioneer and mentor for women in the profession.  Her charities included the IODE, the YWCA for which she was President in Toronto in the 1960’s. In 2003 she was awarded the Order of Ontario. Source; ”I am the damn judge” by William Illsey Atkinson. The Globe and Mail. August 9, 2012.  Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa.
Monique Bégin. Born Rome, Italy March 1, 1936. She was 1st woman from Québec to be elected to the House of Commons in Ottawa in 1972. She distinguished herself as the executive secretary-general of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women. During her political Career she would serve as Minister of National Revenue, then as Minister of National Health and Welfare. She was responsible for increases in old-age supplements for needy senior citizens and the child tax credit and a new health law which strengthened the health insurance system. 
Rosemary Brown. Born Kingston, Jamaica  1930. Died April 26, 2003.  She believed in justice for all and worked tirelessly to ease violence and poverty in Canada and internationally. In 1972 she became the 1st Canadian Black women to be elected to public office when she was elected to the British Columbia Legislature. In 1975 she was the 1st woman to run for the head of a Canadian political party. On the last ballot she was second to Ed Broadbent of the New Democratic Party. She served as President of MATCH International, an international organization that supports women in the third world. She was a founding mother of the Canadian Women’s Foundation. Among her many awards are 15 honorary degrees from universities! Dr Brown was an officer in the Order of Canada. In 1989 she wrote her autobiography. There is a biography for youth to read by Lynette Roy,   Brown girl in the ring: Rosemary Brown [Toronto: Sister Vision, 1992]
Eileen Elizabeth Dailly. née Gilmore. Born February 15, 1926, Vancouver, British Columbia. At the age of 18 her political choices became evident when she joined the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) association. After high school she attended Normal School (Teacher’s College) in Vancouver and taught at elementary school. In 1951 she married James Dailly. In 1955 she gave up her classroom to stay at home with her son. The following year she was elected as a trustee of the Burnaby School Board. In 1969 she was elected to the Provincial Parliament as a C.C.F. Member from Burnaby North. Re-elected again in 1972 she found herself appointed as Minister of Education and she also became the 1st woman to be named as British Columbia’s Deputy Premier.  As Minister of Education she is perhaps best remembered for her February 14, 1973 amendment to the School Act which abolished corporal punishment in BC public Schools. It was an event unprecedented in Canada and very controversial. However it has never been re-instated. She also introduced improved access to education for aboriginal children, introduced mandatory kindergarten across the province and eliminated grade twelve graduation examinations. The end of high school exams would be reinstated ten years later by the in power Social Credit government. She continued to represent North Burnaby after the C.C.F. party was no longer in power retiring in 1986. From 1988-1991 she provided a seniors program on Cable TV. Source: Yvette Drews, Eileen Dailly https://www2.vlu.ca/homeroom/content/topics/people/dailly (Accessed July 2015)
Pauline Emily McGibbon née Mills. Born October 20, 1910 Sarnia, Ontario. Died December 14, 2001 Toronto, Ontario. Pauline graduated from the University of Toronto in 1933. In 1935 she married her high school sweetheart Donald Walker McGibbon and the couple settled in Sarnia, Ontario. A long time volunteer for various charities and groups she served as president of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire from 1963-1965. Pauline was also the 1st woman chancellor at the University of Toronto and at the same time 1st woman Governor of Upper Canada College 1971-1974She was appointed Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Ontario from 1974-1980, the 1st woman in the British Empire to obtain such a position. She was also the 1st woman President of the Canadian Conference of the Arts in 1972 and 1st woman Director of 4 major Canadian companies: George Weston, IBM, Imasco and Mercedes Benz. Pauline was inducted into the Order of Canada in 1967 and promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada in 1980. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (Accessed 1999). In 1988 she was inducted into the Order of Ontario. On October 5, 2006 the Ontario Heritage Trust and Sarnia Kiwanis Foundation unveiled a provincial plaque commemorating Pauline in Sarnia, Ontario. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (accessed 1999): The Ontario Trust Foundation (accessed 2006); The Hon. Pauline M. McGibbon , Collections Canada. National Library of Canada (accessed 2009)
Simma Holt. née Milner. Born March 27, 1922, Vegreville, Alberta. Died January 23, 2015. As a youngster she was drawn to watching the happenings of a murder trial in her home town. She declared later in life that this is when the love of the big story and the call of writing for newspapers came to her. On May 20, 1949 she married Leon Hold (d1985). While studying at the University of Manitoba in the early 1970’s she became the 1st female managing editor of the student newspaper, The Manitoban. She was a pioneer in journalism, entering the newsroom that was traditionally the strong hold for males only. She would eventually gain women colleagues to fend off the mean spiritedness and jibs of male reporters. She had a talent for front page news. She started her career in Calgary but soon found herself working as assistant city editor for the Vancouver Sun. She took up unjust causes and earned reprieve from the death penalty for 3 convicts. On July 8, 1974 she was elected to the House of Commons, the 1st Jewish woman elected to a seat in Ottawa where she worked with fellow Liberal Party maverick, Pierre Trudeau (1919-2000). Even here she faced anti-Semitism and anti-feminism. She was unsuccessful in her bid to return to Ottawa in 1979 and gladly returned to the Vancouver Sun. From 1981-1984 she served as a member of the National Parole Board of Canada. She also penned 5 books including her auto biography: Memoires of a loose Cannon in 2008. Her most successful book was in 1964 called the Terror in the Name of God, about turbulent times in Canada with the Sons of Freedom Doukhobors. She also wrote in 1982 The Other Mrs. Diefenbaker, which was the life story of the 1st wife of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker (1895-1979). In 1996 she was inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame and the Order of Canada. Source: Bob Mickleburgh, No one messed with Simma Holt, Globe and Mail, February 20, 2015; Brian Morton, Trail-blazing reporter was afraid of no one. Ottawa Citizen February 7, 2015. Suggestion Submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario
Sylvia Ostry  née Knelman. Born June 3, 1927 Winnipeg, Manitoba. She started her university studies at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec,  earning a BA, MA and PhD. She has studied and worked with many other universities in Canada, U.S.A. and England. She has had a strong three decade career as a civil servant holding administrative and political positions in various Canadian government departments, including being Chief Statistician 1972-1975. She would be the 1st woman to hold the rank of Deputy Minister in the government of Canada February 18, 1976.
Lise Thibault. Born Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan, Quebec April 2, 1939. As a young mother. Lise became involved in Local school committees. She would found Les Femmes d’aujourd’hui and was a teacher in adult education. She remained committed to community, cultural, political and social activities when she was a TV host for social and family oriented programming. She sat on various provincial government committees, was Director of the Quebec Bureau for the Handicapped, and worked with the Canadian Red Cross. In 1977 she became the first woman ever to hold the office of Lieutenant Governor of Quebec. 
Mary Wong. Born Hamilton, Ontario. In 1943 she and her husband opened a family restaurant in Hamilton, Ontario. She soon became involved with her home community as principal of the National Chinese School and as a Chinese interpreter in the city courts. She served as a member of the Canadian consultative council on Multiculturalism. In 1977 Mary Wong was the first Canadian of Chinese descent to be appointed as a Citizenship Court Judge. She retired from the "bench" ( as a judge) in 1985. She is an appointee to the Hamilton [Ontario] Gallery of Distinction.
Nellie J. CournoyeaBorn March 4, 1940 Aklavik, Northwest Territories.  Nellie grew up traveling and hunting in the traditional manner of her people. She married a Canadian Forces officer and the couple were posted in Halifax and Ottawa prior to heading back to the Northwest Territories with their 2 children. Shortly after the couple divorced.  In the 1960’s she worked as an announcer for the CBC radio. In 1969 she co-founded with Agnes Semmler a political association to help the people of Inuvialuit which gave her an active role in the 1984 land claim. In 1979 she was elected to the Legislature of the Northwest Territories and served on various cabinet positions prior to becoming the 1st native woman to lead a provincial territorial government in Canada. She served as Premier of the Northwest Territories from November 14, 1991 to November 2, 1995. Nellie was awarded the Woman of the Year for NWT in 1982 and in 1986 she received the Wallace Goose Award. She was recognized with the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 1994. In 2004 she received the Energy Person of the Year from the Energy Council of Canada. In 2008 the Governor General of Canada awarded Nellie Cournoyea the Northern Medal in recognition for her significant contributions to the evolution and reaffirmation of the Canadian North as part of our national identity. She volunteers as Director of the Ingamo Hall Friendship Center in Inuvik and is a founding member of the Northern Games Society. She is also a volunteer in Inuvialuit historical and cultural activities. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online Accessed 2006); Nellie J. Cournoyea, Collections Canada. National Library of Canada, (Accessed 2006).
Pamela Ann McDougall. Born May 9, 1925, Ottawa, Ontario. She earned a Bachelor of Science at Mount Allison University,      and did post graduate studies at the University of Toronto for her Master’s in 1946. She began to work as a clerk at the federal Department of External Affairs in the Consular Division. By 1952 she had written the Foreign Service exam and became a Foreign Service Officer working 1st at the United Nations in New York City, U.S.A.  and then she was off to Germany serving there from 1953-57 before returning to Ottawa where she worked on  the International Supervisory Commission for Vietnam. Her job included extensive traveling before being assigned in 1961-1963 to Delhi, India as 1st secretary and later counselor. Once again back in Ottawa she served as Deputy Head of the Far Eastern Division before she was posted to Warsaw, Poland where she was the second Canadian woman to become an Ambassador in January 1968. In 1979 she was appointed as Deputy Minister for Health and Welfare Canada, the 1st Foreign Service Officer to be promoted to this level. On August 27 1980 the Prime Minister named her Commissioner of the Royal Commission on Conditions in the Foreign Service mandated to inquire into changes in the conditions of foreign service and to report on steps that the government might take to accommodate them in the context of its approach to the legal, administrative and operational frameworks of the foreign service. She retired from the Government of Canada in 1981. In retirement she served as a member of the Board of Governors at Carleton University, Ottawa and was a Trustee of the Royal Ottawa Hospital for 5 years. In 1987 she married Lieutenant  Colonel Paul Mayer. Source: Margaret Weiers, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service (Toronto: Dundurn, 1995) 
Roberta Jamieson. Roberta Louise Jamieson Born 1953. Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, Ontario. A Mohawk and member of the Bear Clan, as a youth she loved to read because even then she knew that education was important. At first, she wanted to be a medical doctor and even enrolled in medical school at McGill University, Montreal. She quickly became intrigued with politics and decided that to solve issued for her people she should attend law school at the University of Western Ontario, London. Graduating in 1976 she was the first aboriginal woman to become a lawyer in Canada! She was named to head the first Ontario Indian Commission and in 1982 she was the 1st non-parliamentarian to join a House of Commons Committee, the Special Task Force on Indian Self Government. December 1986 she began a 10 year position as Ontario Ombudsman, the 1st woman and the first aboriginal person to hold this post. Roberta was elected Chief of Six Nations of the Grand River in November 2001, again the 1st woman to hold this post. She also ran in 2003 for National Chief but was defeated by Phil Fontaine. She has over the years also participated on several boards and committees at various local, provincial and national levels. She is the founding chair of the Imagine Native, an international media arts festival showcasing work of world indigenous artists. Married with one daughter she is also proud to be a grandmother. Life has brought her many awards for her achievements to date, including multiple honorary doctorate, a membership in the Order of Canada, 1994 and the National Aboriginal Award in 1998.  Source: Roberta Jamieson: Chief Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Contemporary Canadian Biographies. Thompson Gale, August 2003. (Accessed online June 2008.)
Elsie Eleanor Wayne. née Fairweather. Born April 30, 1932, Shediac, New Brunswick. Died August 30, 2016, Saint John, New Brunswick. Elsie married Richard Wayne and the couple had two sons. In 1977 she won election to the Saint John City Council and in 1983 she became the 1st woman mayor of Saint John. In 1998  she was successful in running for a seat as a Progressive Conservative member in the Canadian federal parliament. It was an all-time low for the PC party as only Elsie and Jean Charet were elected party members. In 1998 she was appointed PC Party interim Leader until Prime Minister Joe Clark was elected that year. She served as deputy leader under Clark. She was a “Straight Shooter’ when it came to speaking her mind. She was flamboyant and had flare and a great sense of humour even wearing reindeer antlers in the House of Commons. She stood up for recognition of the war effort of the Merchant Marines and for other veterans although she did not see  why veterans should have free viagra!. She retired from politics in 2004. Health problems flared when she had a stroke in 2009.
Anne Cools. Born August 12, 1943, Barbados. In 1957 she immigrated to Canada and settled with her family in Montreal. In the 1960’s she attended McGill University to earn her BA. In 1969 she was involved in a 10 day sit in at George Williams University (Now Concordia University) and served a 4 month imprisonment as a result. In 1974 she relocated to Toronto where she founded the 1st shelter for abused women. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s she ran unsuccessfully as a Liberal candidate for a seat in the House of Commons. January 13, 1984 she was appointed by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to the senate of Canada. She was the 1st Black woman in North America to hold a Senate seat. She was always strong minded and did not always agree on party lines and was not afraid to speak her mind. In 2004 she “crossed the floor’ and joined the Progressive Conservative party. ON June 25, 2007 she was removed from the Progressive Conservative Caucus for speaking out against Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the PC budget proposal. She became an independent in the senate. 

Daurene Lewis. Born 1943 Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Died January 26, 2013, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Daurene was proud of her maritime black history roots which reached back to USA revolutionary slaves escaping to Nova Scotia. Her family strongly believed in education for their children. Daurene studied Nursing at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. She worked for a short time in Toronto before returning home to care for her ill mother. Her mother was an accomplished weaver and Daurene learned from her making weaving her avocation and opening her own artistic studio. In 1979 she realized that in order to advocate needed change she must get involved and she became the 1st Black woman to run for Annapolis Town Council. In 1982 she was appointed town mayor.  And became the 1st Black woman in Canada to become a mayor in 1984. She did not want her ethnicity to be her legacy and worked hard to move the town ahead. After her term as mayor in 1988 she became the 1st Black woman in Nova Scotia to run in a provincial election. She was not successful in her bid for the provincial assembly and left politics. She worked in education of the arts and became principal of the two Nova Scotia Community College campuses. Helping to open a new campus in Dartmouth. She earned a masters degree in Business Administration at St. Mary’s University in Halifax and served as executive director of Mount St Vincent University Centre for Women in Business. In 2002 she was recognized for her works with the Order of Canada. She would serve on the Premier’s Council on the Economy, chair the Africville Heritage Trust where she was instrumental in building a replica of Halifax’s Africville Church. Source: “She was Canada’s 1st Black female Mayor”. by Allison Lawlor, The Globe and Mail, February 12, 2013 Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario

Janis Gurdrun Johnson.  Born April 27, 1946 Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1968 Janis graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts in Political science. She received the Velia Stern Outstanding Student Award when she graduated. After university she worked in the office of the Hon. Roberts Stanfield and was a political organizer in Ontario, western Canada and Newfoundland & Labrador for the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. In 1973 she married Frank Moores the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. The couple had 1 son.  In 1977 her volunteer efforts were recognized with the Queen's Jubilee Medal. By 1979 she was back in Manitoba where she was a businesswoman as head of Janis Johnson and Associates a public policy and communications group in Winnipeg. Om 1981 she was a founding member of the Manitoba Special Olympics and went on to serve as Director of Special Olympics Canada. From 1986-1991 she was the 1st woman to be appointed to the CN Board of Directors and helped establish the 1st onsite child care facility within a Canadian Crown Corporation. She also served in 1984 as the 1st woman as National Director of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. She also served and the advisory Board of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Prairie Theatre Exchange of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. On September 27, 1990 she was appointed to the Senate of Canada. In 1993 she received the Canada 125 Medal and in 1995 she received the Business and Professional Women’s Award. In 1994 the Special Olympics presented her with its Volunteer Award.  In 2000 she was a founding member and chair of the Gimli Film Festival and the country of Iceland presented her with the Order of the Falcon for working promoting Canadian-Icelandic relations.  In 2003 she received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and in 2009 she was the Outstanding Alumni of the University of Manitoba. In 2012 she was recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award.

Jeanne Mathilde Sauvé . (née Benoit) Born April 26, 1922, Howell, Saskatchewan. Died January 26, 1993, Montreal, Quebec. The Benoit family moved to Ottawa when Jeanne was just a toddler. She attended the University of Ottawa earning her tuition by working as a government translator. While working in Montreal  Jeanne met Maurice Sauvé. The two were married on September 24, 1948. The couple would have one son. The young newly weds headed first to London England and then to Paris where Jeanne worked at the Youth Secretariat of UNESCO. In 1951 she attended university at the Sorbonne earning a degree in French Civilization. In 1952, while living in St Hyacinthe, Quebec Jeanne helped found the Institute of Political Research and began working as a broadcast journalist for the CBC. She earned a position in the male bastion of political journalism and from 1956-1963 she hosted her own television show, Opinions. In 1972 she ran for a seat in the House of Commons and became the 1st Quebec woman in a federal cabinet with the position of Minister of State for Science and Technology. She would later serve in cabinet positions in the environment and Communications. On April 14, 1980 she was appointed as 1st woman to be Speaker to the House of Commons. When television camera first came to record proceedings of the house, Sauvé was asked to put some blue colouring in her dazzling white hair which was too bright for television filming. Her time as Speaker was known for its cuts in expenses and for starting the 1st daycare for Parliament Hill. On May 14, 1984 Jeanne Sauvé was sworn in as the 23rd Governor General of Canada since confederation. She was the 1st woman to receive this position. She served in this position until 1993 fostering youth peace programs, creating the Governor General’s Award for Safety in the workplace and supporting nationalism. Upon retirement she established the Sauvé Foundation where she worked until her death. The Jeanne Sauvé Trophy is presented in World Cup Women’s Field Hockey. In 1994 Canada Post issued a postage stamp in her honour.

Alexa McDonough. Born Ottawa, Ontario August 11, 1944. Alexa studied at Dalhousie University and the Maritime School of Social work.  In 1980 she became the 1st woman to lead a recognized political part in Canada. As a social worker she had chosen politics as her avenue to improve her community by leading the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party (NDP) . In 1995 she was elected as leader of the national NDP. She stepped down from her leadership position in January 2003 but retained her seat in the House of Commons to continue to serve her constituents.

Bertha Wilson. née Wernham.  Born September 18, 1923 Kirkcaldy, Scotland.  Died April 28, 2007, Ottawa, Ontario. She graduated with a Master of Arts from the University of Aberdeen in 1944. In 1945 she married John Wilson, a Presbyterian minister, who served as minister to the United Church in Renfrew, Ontario. When John became a naval chaplain during the Korean War she was working as a dental receptionist in Ottawa. In she settled with John who had been posted to Halifax, Nova Scotia.  In 1954 she entered Dalhousie Law School, Halifax and was called to the nova Scotia Bar in 1957. Relocating to Toronto, she was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1959 and specialized in legal research and opinion writing for other lawyers.  She was the 1st woman appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal in 1975 where she became known for her “imaginative and humane decisions”. In 1982 she was the 1st woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. In 1988 she was appointed a commissioner on the Reasmus-Dussault Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. In 1991 she was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and in 1992 she was named to the Order of Canada. Sources: Bertha Wilson biography, Supreme Court of Canada Accessed 2008; Obituary, the Globe and Mail April 30, 2007. Accessed 2008 

Iona Campagnolo.  Born Galiano Island, British Columbia October 18, 1932.  She began her working career as a broadcaster in her native British Columbia in 1965. She became very involved in her community, being head of the local school board, and alderman and finally elected as a Member of Parliament for Skeena from 1974 to 1979. In 1976 she came to the national spotlight when she became Minister of Fitness and Amateur Sport. She returned to politics as the 1st woman President of the Liberal Party of Canada from 1982 to 1986.  Now a private citizen she retains her interest in politics and can be seen and heard making political comment on major current topics. 
Sheila Maureen Copps.  Born November 27, 1952 Hamilton, Ontario. Sheila followed her father Victor Copps, a longtime Mayor of Hamilton, by choosing the profession of politics. Graduating from the University of Western Ontario in London with a degree in French and English she has been a consistent supporter of bilingualism in Canada. She studied for advanced degrees at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and the University of Rouen in France. Her 1st jobs were as a newspaper journalist in Hamilton and Ottawa. In 1981 she was elected to the Ontario Provincial legislature and in 1984 she successfully ran as a member of Parliament (Liberal) for the federal Government. She penned her autobiography entitled Nobody’s Baby in 1986. She was the 1st sitting member of Canadian Parliament to give birth in 1987 and made headlines by bringing her baby to work with her.  On November 4, 1993 she became the  1st woman Deputy Prime Minister. In 1996 she changed cabinet positions to Canadian Heritage. She had promised during the election to resign if the Liberals failed to eliminate the controversial Goods and Service Tax (GST) and kept her word resigning in May 1996 when Prime Minister Paul Martin said the tax would remain. She was re-elected on June 17, 1997 and was once again Minister of Canadian Heritage and Deputy Prime Minister. She was defeated in the March 6, 2004 election and on May14, 2004 she retired from elected politics in conflict with leader Paul Martin. After leaving politics her public appearances were on stage in Kingston Ontario in a dinner theatre production of the play, Steel Magnolias. In October 2004 she published her second autobiography Worth Fighting For which caused more controversy with Liberal Leader Paul Martin. She returned to her 1st career writing columns for the National Post and the Toronto Sun which she ceased in December 2007. Sheila also became a broadcaster with a radio talk show and later on a series for History Television. On March 23 2006 a gala tribute to her was held by the Liberals to help heal the controversial wounds. After losing her run for the president of the Liberal Party of Canada in 2012 Sheila announced her full retirement from politics. She was appointed to the Order of Canada on December 30, 2012. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (accessed 2005); Order of Canada. (Accessed 2013)

Muriel McQueen Fergusson. Born Shediac, New Brunswick May 26,1899. Died April 11, 1997.  After her Husbands death she took over his law practice. She worked to have women recognized as possible appointees to government positions. She was one of the early women senators and is credited with pushing the government o revise the Criminal Code so women could sit on juries in criminal cases. Women could now plead rape charges with women on the jury! She was the 1st woman to be appointed as Speaker in the Senate. Her home province is home to a Family Violence Research Centre named in her honour.

Ethel Dorothy Blondwin-Andrews  Born March 25, 1951, Tulita, Northwest Territories. Ethel attended various schools including residential school and Grandin College Leadership Program at Fort Smith. She followed this with a teacher certificate from Arctic College prior to earning her Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta in 1974. She was one of the 1st accredited Aboriginal teachers in the North, teaching in Tuktoyaktuk, Délįnę, Fort Providence, and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. From 1984-1986, she served as a Senior Public Servant with the Public Service Commission in Ottawa and before returning to the north to join the Government of the Northwest Territories as Assistant Deputy Minister for Culture from 1986 to 1988 where she served on the Arctic Institute of North America for two terms as well as the Assembly of First Nations Language Committee and worked on the Special Committee on Education for the Government of the Northwest Territories. In 1988, Ethel was elected as a Liberal from the District of the Western Arctic to the Canadian Parliament, the 1st aboriginal woman elected to the House of Commons. She went on to win the next four federal elections in 1993, 1997, 2000, and 2004. Under Prime Ministers Jean Chretien and Paul Martin she would be appointed to the Cabinet as Secretary of State, then Minister of State for Children and Youth. She returned to the North to work as Chairperson for Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated the organization created by the Sahtu region’s seven land corporations to ensure the Sahtu land claim (signed in 1994) is properly implemented. Sources: Ethel Blondwin-Andrews. Canadian House of Commons. Online (Accessed 2004) ; Ethel Blondwin-Andrews, Biography. Sahtu Secretariat INC. Online (Accessed July 2015)

Ingrid Marianne Hall                                          Foreign Service Officer
Born Montreal, Quebec.  After completing her Master of Art studies at McGill University in Montreal, she wrote the Foreign Service exam and joined the federal Department of External Affairs in 1968. She was posted to New York City and then to the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. U.S.A. In 1976 she was married and unlike many Foreign Service women who married she remained at work. The couple knew that they might find themselves separated with different postings and accepted this fact.  When she became pregnant with her 1st child she also remained working even though this was not the norm. During her maternity leave she made double contributions to her pension fund and paid her own health insurance in order to make sure she would have a job to return to at the end of her leave. Foreign Service women did not return to their jobs after a birth but Ingrid chose to after the birth of both her children. In 1979 she served in the Philippines and then back to Ottawa where she worked towards obtaining her goal to be in charge of a post. She had to convince not only the powers at be in Ottawa but also the government of the place she would be posted. She wanted to serve in Indonesia and she had to convince this Muslim, military and male dominated country. From 1989 through 1992 she was Ambassador to Indonesia in Jakarta. She was the 1st woman from any country to become ambassador to Indonesia. She set up an informal woman’s network for External Affairs and reveled in the fact that younger woman in the foreign service were having wider career opportunities. She also headed the Canadian Foreign Service Institute and worked on the domestic side of government in the Privy Council Office Machinery of Government. Ingrid  took up her current assignment as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Austria and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations Organizations in Vienna in October 2001. She is the Chair of the Board of Governors  of the International Atomic Energy Agency for 2004-2005 is the Ambassador and Permanent Representative from Canada. Sources: Margaret K. Weiers, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service. (Toronto; Dundurn, 1995);

Audrey McLaughlin.  née Brown. Born November 7, 1936 Dutton, Ontario. Audrey became the 1st woman in her family to earn a BA graduating from the University of Western Ontario. She earned her degree by correspondence from a mink farm that she and her husband ran north of London. The Couple have 2 children. She taught at a private college in Ghana, West Africa from 1964 through 1967 returning home to attend graduate studies in Social work at the University of Toronto. After graduating with her MA she worked for the Metropolitan Toronto Children’s Aid Society. She divorced in 1972 and remained in the work force and  by 1975 she was the executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association. Moving to Whitehorse in 1979 she worked as a business consultant and supervisor of social services. She ran and won a by election in 1987 and became the 1st New Democratic Party MP elected in the Yukon. She was the 1st woman chair of the Parliamentary caucus of any federal party in Canada in 1988. On December 2, 1989 she was chosen leader of the NDP, becoming the 1st woman in Canadian history to lead a federal political party. The 1993 federal election saw a reduction of support for the NDP and the following year she stepped down as party leader but remained in parliament to represent the people of the Yukon until 1997. In 1992 she published her autobiography, A woman’s Place. In 1996 she was elected president of Socialist International Women, an organization which promotes activities amongst various women's socialist and labour party organizations. Her efforts toward social justice saw her inducted into the Order of Canada in 2004. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (Accessed 2005); Audrey McLaughlin, Political Heros Online, (Accessed  2009)
Andrée Champagne. Born Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec July 17, 1939. An accomplished pianist and actor on radio and television she also worked hard for her profession and established the 1st Canadian retirement home for artists, Le Chez Nous des Artistes.  She began a career in politics in 1984. Elected to the House of Commons in Ottawa, she was immediately appointed to Cabinet in the position of Minister of State for Youth. In 1990 she became the 1st woman to be appointed as Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons. She has now retired from active politics and returned to private life.
Glenda Simms. Born Jamaica, 1939. Glenda was a teacher in her home of Jamaica but was encouraged by a Canadian teach working in Jamaica Glenda accepted a teaching position in Northern Alberta at the Fort Chipewyan reserve in 1966. Her students had never seen a black person before and Glenda had never seen aboriginal children. It did not take long for her to accept the warm and openness of the community. In 1967 she was joined by her husband in Canada and in 1968 her 3 children arrived. Glenda earned her Master’s degree in 1976 at the University of Alberta, Edmonton in Educational Psychology and her PhD in 1985 taught at various universities. From 1977 to 1980 she taught Native Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta; she was Head of the Native Education Department at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, University of Regina, from 1980 to 1985 and she served as the Supervisor of Inter-cultural Education, Race and Ethnic Relations for the Regina Public School Board from 1985 to 1987, Head of the Native Education program at the Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario 1987-1989. Her volunteer commitments have seen her in the role as President of the Congress of Black Women in Canada, Vice-president of Match International, being a member of the Native Curriculum Review Committee, treasurer of the Institute of Public Administrators of Canada in Regina.  She is a founding member and Director of the National Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of Canada and a member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Housing Corporation.  She became President of the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of women in January 1990, the 1st Black woman to be appointed to this level of the Federal government in Canada. In 1988 she was amongst the first group of Canadians to receive the Citizenship Citation, awarded by the Secretary of State for outstanding contribution to Canadian society. In 1988 she also received an Award of Excellence from the Canadian Association of Principals and in 1989 an Appreciation Award from the Organizers of the Junior Black Achievement Awards. She has been the recipient of the 1990 National Award from the Canadian Council for Multicultural and Intercultural Education. In 1991 she was one of the first two people inducted into the North Bay Human Rights Hall of Fame, In 1992 she was awarded the Inter-Amicus Human Rights Award by McGill University for her contribution to the rights of Aboriginal peoples, women and racial minorities; and in 1993 the Ryerson Fellowship Award by Ryerson Polytechnic University and the Distinguished Alumna Award by the University of Alberta. Also in 1993 she was made an Honorary Member of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada. In 2009 she launched St. Elizabeth Women (SEW) Ltd. A social action organization aimed at empowering women to deal with economic and social stress in Jamaica.
Rita Margaret Johnston. née Leichert. Born April 22, 1935 Melville, Saskatchewan. Rita Married George Johnston in 1951. She was 1st elected to the city council of Surry, British Columbia in 1970. In 1983 she was elected to the British Columbia provincial assembly becoming Minister of Municipal Affairs and Transit in 1986. In 1990 Premier Bill Vander Zalm appointed her as deputy premier. In April 2, 1991 she became the 1st woman to serve as a provincial premier in Canada when Bill Vander Zalm resigned and she became interim leader of the Social Credit Party in British Columbia. By July 1991 she was formally elected Leader of the party.  Her term in office was short lived when her part did not win the provincial elections of October 17, 1991. She resigned as leader of the provincial Social Credit Party on January 11, 1992. Leaving politics she returned to public duties in 2009 when she became an advisor for the British Columbia Conservative Party.  Sources: The Encyclopedia of British Columbia. Online Accessed 2015)
Avril 'Kim'   Phaedra Campbell. Born Port Alberni, British Columbia, March 10, 1947. Known as “Kim” since a teen, she attended the University of British Columbia and went on to earn a PhD at the London School of Economics, London England. Entering politics as a member of the Vancouver School Board from 1980-4. She moved to the British Columbia Provincial Legislature, 1986-88 and was elected to the Canadian House of Commons in 1988. In 1989 she was appointed Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.  The 1st woman to serve as Minister of Justice, February 1990, by January 1993, she also became the 1st woman Minister of Defense of a NATO country.   In June 1993 she became the 1st woman elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and the 1st woman Prime Minister of Canada. She resigned after election defeat in, November 1993. Appointed Consul General to Los Angeles, California from 1996-2000, she was also chair, 1999 – 2003, for the Council of Women World Leaders. Working with a group of national leaders to strengthen democracy in the world, she was founder and acting President of the Club de Madrid, and was appointed Secretary General in 2004.  A lecturer of public policy at Harvard, she currently describes herself as a teacher and recovering politician. Sources: Canadian Encyclopedia Online (accessed 2004); Canadian Who's Who.
Louise Frechette. Born July 16, 1946 Montreal, Quebec. In 1970 she earned her BA from Université de Montréal. In 1978 she earned an advanced Master’s Degree from the College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium. In 1971 she began her career at the Canadian Department of External Affairs. Her 1st posting as a diplomat was in Athens, Greece and in 1978 she joined the Canadian delegation at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1985 she was a three point Canadian Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. The government of Canada was impressed by her secret mission to Cuba in 1989 that she was named as the 1st female Canadian ambassador to the United Nations in 1992. Leaving the diplomatic corps in 1995 she became assistant Deputy Minister of National Defense, again the 1st woman to hold such a position. March 2, 1998, she was the 1st person to be appointed to the position of Deputy Secretary General, a position she held until March 31, 2006. That same year she was inducted into the Order of Canada. She is a member of the Global Leadership Foundation and the International Advisory Board at the Institute for the Study of International Development at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. Source: Former Deputy-Secretary-General, www.un.org (accessed September 2010.); Margaret Weiers, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service (Toronto: Dundurn, 1995)  
Joyce Fairbairn. Born Lethbridge, Alberta November 6, 1939.  She studied for a B.A. in Alberta and took her degree in journalism from Carleton University in 1961.  After working as  a journalist in the Parliamentary Press Gallery she became Legislative Assistant to Prime Minister Trudeau for 14 years. She was appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1984. She is very proud to have been inducted into the Kainai Chieftainship of the Blood Nation and given the name of Morning Bird Woman. In 1993 she was appointed to the Privy Council of Canada and was the 1st woman to be named Leader of the Government in the Canadian Senate and Minister with Special Responsibility for Literacy. 
Mary J. May Simon. Born Kangiqsaulujjuaq, Nunivak, Quebec August 21, 1947. She was a member of a family of eight children brought up in Canada’s arctic region. Since her father was white, she and her siblings, by law, could not attend school after grade 6 so their became schooled at home by their father. All would graduate high school. May became an announcer and producer of Inaktitut radio and television programs for CBC Northern Services. She left the CBC to become Vice President and later President of the Makivik Corporation which was established to oversee proper implementation of provided resources for the Inuit peoples. In 1994 she became Canada’s 1st ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs and from 1999 to 2000 she was Ambassador to Denmark, the first Inuit woman in this type of diplomatic role. In 2005 she received an honourary degree from Trent University. In 1991 she became a member of the Order of Canada and in 2005 an officer of the order. In 1992 she received the Order of Quebec. She also holds the Gold Order of Greenland. In 2011 she became special advisor to the Labrador Inuit Association. She is also the founding Chair of the Arctic Children’s and Youth Foundation to ensuring access to higher education for all who seek it. Source: Mary May Simon; Canada’s first Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs by Sierra Bacquie. Section15.ca accessed June 2011. ; Order of Canada website. Accessed June 2011.
Vivienne Poy. Born May 15, 1941. A fashion designer, entrepreneur and author, Vivienne is the 1st Canadian of Chinese descent to be a member of the Senate of Canada, appointed in 1998.  She was educated in her native Hong Kong and England and holds a B.A., McGill University, a M.A, & a PhD. from the University of Toronto, where she is Chancellor Emeritus.  Her extensive community endeavors include being involved with cultural and philanthropic causes across Canada. She is Honourary Co-Chair for the Campaign for Diversity with the Canadian Centre for Diversity, Honourary Patron of the Ottawa Chinatown Gateway Project, and the International Centre of Winnipeg and remains an active supporter of many other organizations. She was instrumental in having May recognized as Asian Heritage Month in Canada, and serves as Patron for Asian Heritage Month Societies in cities across Canada.  She was named a Trailblazer by Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women (Women’s Executive Network), and received an International Women's Day Award.  In recognition of her international influence, she has received honourary degrees from universities around the world.
Manitok Catherine Thompson. Born August 17, 1955 Coral Harbour, Northwest Territories. Manitok graduated from the Teacher Education Program in Fort Smith in 1977 and went on to teach in schools in Coral Harbour, Repulse Bay and Yellowknife until 1983. She remained in the education field for the next 12 years, holding the positions of Coordinator of Interpreter Services with the Stanton Yellowknife Hospital, Language Consultant, Inuktitut Programs Specialist and high school teacher. Manitok was also an active community volunteer, organizing the inaugural Keewatin Arts and Crafts Festival, music festivals, Rankin Inlet’s Hamlet Days and was a member of the Concerned Citizens against Drug and Alcohol Abuse. She also was a volunteer pastor for a small church in Repulse Bay. In recognition for her civic involvement she received the Volunteer Award for the Hamlet of Rankin Inlet. In 1994, she entered politics at the municipal level as a Counselor for Rankin Inlet and was appointed to the Nunavut Social Development Committee. She was 1st elected to the Northwest Territories' Legislature for the riding of Aivilik in a by-election on May 8, 1995, and re-elected in October of the same year. While holding the cabinet portfolios of Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs and Minister responsible for the Women's Directorate she was a member of the Standing Committee on Finance, the Standing Committee on Agencies, Boards and Commissions and the Special Committee on Housing. On February 15, 1999, the 1st election for the new territory, she won a seat in the Nunavut Legislature for the Rankin Inlet South/Whale Cove riding. Manitok served as Nunavut’s 1st woman cabinet minister as Minister responsible for Public Works and Services and Minister responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corporation. In 2001 she was named minister of Community Government and Transportation and Minister responsible for Sport Nunavut. . Retiring from territorial politics in 2004 she ran as an independent candidate in the federal Canadian election in 2004 where she finished in 2nd place. Manitok now works as an official with the territorial Nunavut government.  She is married to Tom Thompson and the couple have 2 children.
Claudette Boyer  Born January 9, 1938, Ottawa, Ontario. Died February 16, 2013. She attended the University of Ottawa earning her BA and then her teacher’s Certificate. She would teach in area schools for 30 years. She married Jean-Robert Boyer and the couple raised three children. She was an active member of the Association des enseignants et des enseignants franco-Ontariens, the Ontario Teachers’ Federation and the Canadian Teacher’s Federation. In 1982 she was elected as trustee to the Ottawa Board of Education where she served until 1986. With the establishment of a French Language School Board she joined the L ‘Association Canadienne-Française de l ‘Ontario. In 1990 through 1994 she served as President of the Ottawa –Vanier riding Association for the Liberal Party of Ontario. She ran unsuccessfully for provincial legislature in 1994. In 1999 she was successful and became Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa Vanier. She was the 1st woman francophone Member of Provincial Parliament in the Ontario Legislature. She was appointed by the Premier as Liberal Critic for Francophone Affairs. In 2001 she was removed from the Liberal Party and was forced to sit in the legislature as an independent after she became convicted of meddling in an accident case involving her husband. She retired from Politics in 2003.
Maryann Elizabeth Francis. Born Sydney, Nova Scotia. From 1966 through 1970 Maryann practiced her profession as a registered x-ray technologist. She then decided to earn her BA at St. Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1972 she became a Human Rights Officer with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. In 1974 she received the Silver Plaque from the NSHRC for outstanding contribution to her chosen filed. She took time to earn her Masters of Public Administration from New York University in 1984. From August 1999 through July 2006 she served as the 1st woman permanent director of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. In 2000 she became the 1st woman appointed as Nova Scotia’s Ombudsman. She was the 1st African Canadian woman to head the Ontario Woman’s Directorate, a government organization supporting and celebrating the achievement of women. She served in this position from 1994 through July 1997. In 2006 Maryann Frances was appointed the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia. Source: Office of Nova Scotia Lieutenant-Governor online. Accessed June 2011.
Glenna Hansen. Born 1956, Aklavik Northwest Territories.  In 1990 she was hired as an executive assistant by David Storr and Sons Contracting Ltd., Inuvik and by 1996 she was general manager of the firm. Glenna feels strongly about being involved in her community and has served as Chairperson of Aklavik Education Advisory Board and the Inuvik Regional Educational Board. In her business community she was a member of the boards of the Inuvik Community Corporation and Western Artic Business Development Services. She served on the Boards of directors of the Inuvialuit Investment Corporation and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation on behalf of her people. She was unsuccessful in her run for a seat in the Northwest Territories in 1999. In April 1 2000 she was appointed the 14th Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, the 1st person of Inuvialuit descent to hold the position. She held this position until 2005.  The position is largely ceremonial akin to that of the lieutenant-governor of a province. She ran again for the legislature in 2011 but was defeated.
Mobina Jaffer Born August 20, 1949 Kampala, Uganda. In 1972 she earned a bachelor of law at London University, London, England. After immigrating to Canada she was called to the bar in British Columbia where she opened her own practice. She is married and the couple have two children. She was appointed Queens Counsel in 1993. She ran unsuccessfully for a position in the Canadian Parliament in a Vancouver riding in 1993 and also in 1997. 1994 through 1998 she was Vice President of the Liberal Party of Canada. From 1998 to 2003 she was President of the National Women’s Liberal Commission. She was appointed the Senate of Canada on June 13, 2001 by Prime Minister Jean Creitien. She is the 1st Muslim Senator in Canada and the 1st of Asian descent. From 2002 through 2006 she was Canada’s Special Envoy in Sudan. 2002-2005 she served as Chair on the Canadian Committee on women, peace and security. 2003 and again in 2004 she was on the list of Canada’s Top 100 most powerful women. Source: Canada. Senate of Canada. Mabina Jaffer. Online accessed May 2013.
Phyllis Marion Boyd. Born Toronto, Ontario March 26, 1946. She completed her studies at York University and began working in areas that would define her future political beliefs. She was awarded the Outstanding Young Londoner in 1986. and the Mary Campbell Community Service Award. She worked for battered women's advocacy. The London status of women action group. And the London coordination on family violence. She was elected as a member of the provincial parliament of Ontario from London Centre in 1990 and served in the provincial cabinet as Minister of Education and Minister of Community and Social Services before becoming the 1st woman and 1st non-lawyer to be Ontario Attorney General from 1993-1995.
Beverly McLachlin. née Gietz. Born September 7, 1943 at Pincher Creek, Alberta. She studied philosophy and law at the University of Alberta where she earned the Gold Medal as top student. She was called to the Bar in 1969 in Alberta and in 1971 in British Columbia. She also taught at the University of British Columbia from1974-1981 and became the 1st woman judge in the B.C. County Court. Beverly was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 1981 and became Chief Justice of the province in 1988. Shortly thereafter  in March 1989 she was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. She became the 1st woman and 17th Chief Justice of the Canadian Supreme Court on January 7, 2000. She is the official Deputy Governor General. She is also Chairperson of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada and a member of the Privy Council of Canada. She and her husband Roderick had one son. Widowed in 1988, and remarried Frank McCerdle in 1992. She has taken strong stand on free speech and established a reputation for independent thinking.
Bev  Oda. Born Thunder Bay, Ontario July 7, 1944. After earning her BA from the University of Toronto she began her working career as a teacher but soon switched to broadcasting. She worked with TV Ontario, City TV and the Global Television Network and retired in 1999 from the position of VP with CTV and Baton Broadcasting. She also served on the Canadian Radio and Television Commission. In November 2003 she was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Her retirement was short lived as she ran successfully as a member of Parliament in the Ontario riding of Durham in 2004 and became Canada's 1st Japanese - Canadian MP.

Michaelle Jean Born September 6 1957 Port au Prince, Haiti.  She emigrated with her family in 1968 to live in Canada’s Province of Quebec. After she completed her Masters of Arts at the University of Montreal she took up teaching. She also worked for the betterment in the lives of women and children in crisis by contributing to the establishment of safe shelters. Taking some time off work,  she studied language arts in Italy. She is fluent in five languages, French, English, Spanish, Italian and Creole. Returning to Canada she began an energetic broadcast journalism career with Radio-Canada and earned the right to have her won show. Her journalistic efforts were put to use to create an awareness in human rights. Her efforts  gained her awards and recognition from the Human Rights League of Canada, Amnesty International , Canada and awards such as the Prix Mirelle-Lanctot, the Galaxi Award and being made a Citizen of Hounour by Montreal. She is married and has a daughter, Marie Eden. She was invested as Canada’s 27th and 1st Afro-Caribbean Governor General in September 2005.

Yonah Martin Born April 11, 1965 Seoul, Korea. Yonah immigrated to Canada with her family in 1972. In 1986 she had earned her B.A. at the University of British Columbia followed the next year with her Master’s in Education. She proudly worked over twenty years as an educator. In 1990 she married Doug Martin and the couple had one daughter. In 2003 she co-founded a non-profit organization Korean Canadian C3, a community organization of volunteers who embrace cultural diversity and bridge Korean Canadian communities by providing cultural education and volunteer resources. She has also served on numerous boards and committees including: the Multicultural Advisory Council of British Columbia and the Canadian Paralympics Foundation. As an educator she is interested in mentoring youth and is actively involved with the Executive Mentorship Program of the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. In 2004 she received the Spirit of Community Award for Cultural Harmony and in 2009 she received the Order of Civil Merit Moran Medal from the Republic of Korea. She is the 1st Korean Canadian Parliamentarian, appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  Sources: C3Society.corg (accessed December 2011) ; Senate of Canada online (accessed December 2011)
Melanie Mark. Born 1976, Mount Pleasant, British Columbia. Melanie is Nisqu’a Gitxson Cree and Ojibway by heritage. Her family was abandoned by her father and Melanie and her family knew true hardship growing up. However Melanie learned that she had to do something to move forward with her live. She studied at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. She is the mother of 2 daughters. She has been a facilitator and served as president of the Urban Native Youth Association in Vancouver. She has also been a coordinator with the National Aboriginal Youth and Save the Children Canada in Vancouver. She is co-founder of Vancouver’s’ Aboriginal Policing Community Centre. In February2, 2016 she ran in a provincial by-election and became the 1st First Nations woman to be elected to the Legislature of British Columbia.


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