Government of Canada Recognizes Significant Contributions of Women to Canada’s History
Ottawa, Ontario, Wednesday March 7, 2012 — Today, on the occasion of International Women’s Week 2012, the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced the designation of 16 new national historic sites, persons, and events that recognize the fundamental contributions of women throughout Canada’s history.
“The contribution of women to the Canadian identity cannot be overstated, and I’m very happy to announce 16 new designations that recognize the leadership, expertise, and creativity of women who have, individually and collectively, helped create the Canada of today,” said Minister Kent. “National historic designations like these connect us to the forces that made Canada. By understanding and appreciating our shared history and a sense of common purpose, we become a stronger Canada.””Women play important roles in their families and communities, and are key to our country’s prosperity. I am thrilled to recognize and commemorate these truly inspiring Canadian women,” said the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, and Minister for Status of Women. “We can take great pride in their individual and collective achievements, which have contributed positively to Canadian life.”
The Government of Canada’s theme for International Women’s Week 2012 is Strong Women, Strong Canada – Women in Rural, Remote and Northern Communities: Key to Canada’s Economic Prosperity.
The new designations will be included in Canada’s system of national historic sites, places and events, on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC). Women in rural Canada have made major contributions to their families and communities, such as the Métis matriarch Catherine Beaulieu Bouvier Lamoureux of Fort Providence, NWT. In Newfoundland and Labrador outport fisheries, women worked on the Shore Crew to dry and prepare fish for sale at market, tasks essential not only for the economic well-being of their families but also that of the entire region. In Quebec, the Cercles de fermières gave a voice and influence to farmwomen in the province as well as promoting community and the teaching of farm skills. Mikak, an Inuit woman of the 18th century, had a profound effect on the history of Labrador, aiding the establishment of Moravian missionaries among the Labrador Inuit, while also pursuing a traditional life on the land. Women such as journalist Kathleen Blake Coleman, the “Mother of Nurses in Canada” Mary Agnes Snively, and activist Kathleen “Kay” Livingstone were pioneers in their respective fields, contributing to the development of their professions and helping to pave the way for women to follow.
Each designation is a chapter in Canada’s history, from the Mother House of the Grey Nuns in Montréal, to the Canadian Federation of University Women. These sites, persons, and events help Canadians to better understand the important contributions women have made to communities across Canada.
Established in 1919, and supported by Parks Canada, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of the Environment regarding the national historic significance of places, persons and events that have marked Canada’s history. Parks Canada manages a nation-wide network of national historic sites that make up a rich tapestry of Canada’s cultural heritage and that offer visitors the opportunity for real and inspiring discoveries.
For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at www.parkscanada.gc.ca under Media Room.
Office of the Minister of the Environment
Backgrounder associated with this News Release.
Women in Canadian History