Copyright © 2004-2020 Dawn E. Monroe. All rights reserved.


  The names appearing 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 3000 Canadian Women of Achievement.


Sheila NaGiera.  (Magella or MaGeila?) Is she real? Only the undiscovered foggy history of Newfoundland knows for sure. As oral history tells it, she may have been an O’Connor, the daughter of a claimant to the Irish Throne of Connaught. Oral traditions abound in tales of Newfoundland’s early Irish Princess. She is reputed to have come to Newfoundland in the early 1600’s and married one Gilbert Pike. The couple became planters and small business people in nearby Carbonnear Island in 1611. Were they indeed the 1st European couple to settle Newfoundland’s shores??? Check out The Beaver, February / March 2005 pages 44-45 at your Public Library.

Pioneer --- Francoise Marie Jacqueline de la Tour is the 1st European woman to make a home in Acadia.
Pioneer --- Mrs. Sargeant, wife of the Governor of the Hudson Bay Company, her companion, Mrs. Maurice, and a maidservant are the 1st English women to come to James Bay in 1683.
Pioneer --- Marie Rollet. Born France, circ 1580. Died May 27, 1649. In 1617 she arrived in New France with her husband and young children. Her husband would be known as Canada’s first farmer. He was also an apothecary and Marie befriended the local natives to whom her husband administered. She is Canada’s 1st farmer’s wife. Their farm was on Cape Diamond which is located in the heart of the modern city of Quebec. She may also be considered Canada’s 1st teacher as records show she enjoyed teaching the local native population. After the death of her husband in 1627 she remained in her new homeland. She would marry a second time to a settler by the name of Hubot and they would raise an adopted native daughter.
Pioneer --- Esther Brandeau. Born approximately 1718. She was the 1st person of the Jewish faith to set foot in New France. Disguised as a boy and using the name of Jacques La Farque she sailed to Quebec in 1738. Once her disguise was discovered she told a tale of having been the only family member to have survived a shipwreck and having survived as a cabin boy and baker’s boy in a Christian community. She was unwilling to accept the Catholic teachings of the Nuns of Quebec and after being deported back to France she disappears from written history
Elizabeth Bushell. Born Boston (?) USA. She moved from Boston to Halifax with her father in the 1750’s. In 1751 he set up Canada’s 1st printing shop.  Little is known about Elizabeth’s life but there is some documentation that indicates that she worked in the print shop from 1752 until the death of her father in 1761. On March 23, 1752 John Bushell, with the help of his daughter, launched the Halifax Gazette. The press and Elizabeth were responsible for printing of government documents as well as print jobs for local businesses. She shares a place with her father in our history as establishing the 1st printing office and the first newspaper in Canada. She may have returned to the United States after the death of her father. It is known that her brother ran a printing business in Boston until his death in 1797. She may have worked with her brother.
Frederika Charlotte Louise Riedesel née von Massow. Born July 11, 1746 Brandenberg, Germany. Died  March 29, 1808 Berlin, Germany.  She married Friedrich Adolph Riedesel (died 1780) an officer in the Prussian military. She would have 9 children. Her husband was in charge of a German contingent hired by Britain to fight revolutionaries in the United States. Charlotte decided to travel with her three young daughters, the youngest just 10 weeks old, to join her husband in North America. She set sail from England to Canada in April 1777.  She joined her husband after  Burgoyne campaign. She was often in attendance helping with the war wounded. The family moved to Boston and then New York City in 1779 and a daughter born in New York, U.S.A. was named America in 1780.  In 1781 they traveled to Quebec and were assigned to the town of Sorel where that Christmas they erected, according to their German tradition, a Christmas tree, the 1st in Canada.  Another daughter would be born, this time she was named Canada. In 1780 her husband became heir to his family title in Germany. Charlotte had kept a journal of her life in North America. The journals were published after the death of her husband.
Marie-Anne Lagemodiére.  Born Maskinongé, Quebec August 2, 1780. Died December 14, 1875. Marie-Anne traveled with her fur trading husband and in 1806 was one of the 1st white women to visit such outposts as Red River and Fort Edmonton. Her daughter, Reine, was the first legitimate white child to be born in the Canadian west in 1807. Marie-Anne was also the grandmother of Louis Riel. 
Pioneer --- Frances Ramsay Simpson. Born London, England March 28, 1812. Died March 21, 1853. (Lady Simpson) She married her cousin, George Simpson, February 24 1830. His career a Governor with the Hudson Bay Company would bring her to Canada. She and her companion, Catherine Turner, wife of another HBC employee, were the 1st white women to travel to remote Hudson Bay Company areas. After a visit to Rainey Lake ( in modern Ontario) the settlement was named Fort Frances in her honour.  Living in Red River she became homesick and lonely and remained semi invalided after the birth and death of her first child. Eventually the family settled permanently in Lachine Quebec in 1845 where they raised their five Canadian born Children. Her diaries of her life traveling in the Canadian west with her husband have left a written testament of her pioneering adventures.
  Public Domain
Elizabeth McDougall (née Boyd) Born Grey County Canada West (Ontario), 1853.  Died March 31, 1941.  As the wife of a Methodist missionary husband she accompanied her husband to his postings. She took the trek across the early plains to become the 1st white woman in the Alberta foothills. For some 25 years she and her husband worked to share their faith at the Stoney reserve. She managed to travel with her husband by all of the traditional conveyance of the time including canoe, wagon and dog sled.  She would raise her six children in the foothills. In 1898 she retired to Calgary where she became president of the Southern Alberta Pioneer Women and Old Timer’s Association. She held the strong belief that it was the presence of the frontier women who allowed the frontier families to survive. She pointed out the large number of bachelors who found it necessary to leave prairie life when they did not have the emotional and physical support in their work from a loving, energetic and sympathetic woman.
Yoko Oya. née Shishido. Born 1864 Kanagawa, Japan. Died 1914 Vancouver, British Columbia. At the age  of 23 she married Washiji Oya and the couple headed for Canada. Landing in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1887, Yoko was the 1st Japanese woman to immigrate to Canada. The couple settled in an area called Little Tokyo and opened the 1st general store in the community. In 1889 Yoko gave birth to the 1st Canadian Japanese child, a son. The couple would have two sons both of whom were educated in Japan before returning home to take over the family business. The business was vandalized in September 7, 1907 during the racist riots.
Josephine Herélle-Henriette Marchand-Dandurand née Marchand. Born December 5 1861, Saint Jean sur Richelieu, Lower Canada (Now Québec). Died March 2, 1925, Montreal, Quebec. Josephine was educated in a convent school where she enjoyed education in both French and English. She began to write short stories, tales and plays when she was young. From 17 she kept a secret diary sometimes with entries sometimes in English. On January 12, 1886 she married Raul Dandurand, a lawyer and later appointed to the senate of Canada. The couple would have one daughter. From 1893 through December 1896 she founded the monthly magazine Le coin du feu which was the 1st French language periodical in Canada to be edited by a woman. She wrote much of the articles and columns in the monthly production using such pen names as Mme Danderand or Marie Vieutemps. After ceasing her own magazine she wrote for Le Monde illustré, Le journal de Francoise and La Revue moderne. In 1894 she became a lecturer in English as was called ‘the female Laurier’ which was a reference comparing her to the eloquent Canadian Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier. In 1898 she founded the Euvre des livres Gratuits to provide reading materials to students and teachers in remote areas. The Government of France awarded her with the title of Officier d’Académie in recognition of her championing the French language in Canada. In 1900 she represented Canada as a commissioner of the Government at the International Congress of Women and the Paris World Fair. She was a member of the Montreal local Council of Women and went on to serve as the Vice President of the Council of Women of Canada. In 1902 she founded the women’s section of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montreal which provided another outlet for her strong feminist views. In 1924 she published a book of her journalistic writings. In 2015 the city of Ottawa announced that it would name a street after Josephine Marchand-Danderand as part of a special project to rename 12 streets after Canadian women of Achievement. Sources: Line Gosselin, MARCHAND, JOSÉPHINE (Dandurand), Dictionary of Canadian Biography vol.15, Toronto: University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2005; Erin McCracken Names of trailblazing Canadian Women may be coming to a street near you. Ottawa South News, November 5, 2015.
Emilie Tremblay.  (née Fortin) . Born Saint-Joseph-d’Alma,  Quebec January 4, 1872. Died Victoria, British Columbia April 22, 1949. She moved with her family as a teen to Cohoes, New York, U.S.A. December 11, 1893 she married a miner from the Canadian Yukon Pierre-Nolasque Tremblay. He would take his bride across country to access trails to the north. In 1894 she was the 1st white woman to climb the famous and traitorous Chilkoot trail. She learned to cook on the trail and also learned English to converse with the miners they met. The couple lived in a small log cabin and opened their doors that first Christmas with Emilie cooing a full course Christmas meal for one and all. During a trip home to New Your, gold was discovered in the Klondike and the northern live changed with a flood of hopeful fortune seekers. The Tremblay’s returned home to the north laden with supplies to sell to the miners at Bonanza Creek located close to the new Dawson City. In 1906 the couple travelled to Europe in style and visited relatives in Quebec on the way home. The couple adopted one of Emilie’s nieces to return home with them. In the family settled in Dawson City where Emilie opened a dry goods business known simply as Mrs. Tremblay’s Store. Emilie was active in charity work with her church. She knit 263 pairs of socks for soldiers in World War l. She founded the Society of the Ladies of the Golden North in 1922 and in 1927 she was president of the Yukon Order of Pioneers. In 1937 she received the King George IV Medal. In 1940, now a widow she married Louis Langois and once again, of their own choice, the couple lived in a small northern cabin. In 1946 she attended the annual Convention of Alaska and Yukon Pioneers in San Francisco. The following year the aging couple sought comfort living in Victoria, British Columbia. Sources: Pioneers every one by E. Blanche Norcross (Burns and MacEachern Ltd, 1979) : Emilie Tremblay. The great names of the French Canadian Community Online (Accessed November 2012)
Jessie Tarbox Beals. née Tarbox. Born 1870 Hamilton, Ontario. Died May 30 1942 New York City, New York, U.S.A. At 18 Jessie left Canada to teach in Williamsburg, Massacheutts, U.S.A. where she settled for ten years. in 1897 she married Alfred Beals and in 1902  the couple worked as itinerate photographers with Jessie taking the photographs and Alfred processing the photos in the dark room. When some of her photographs were published in a Vermont newspaper she earned the title as 1st woman photo journalist in North America. She is perhaps best known for her work at the 1904 World's Fair in St Louis, Missouri and as the official photographer of Greenwich Village in New York City. The couple settled in New York City in 1905. By 1917 they were divorces but Jessie carried on with her profession and bringing up their daughter. She took photographs of the homes and gardens of the wealthy which were published in garden magazines. She struggled during the Great Depression and died in poverty. (2019)
Kate Reed. née Armour Born September 16, 1856 Cobourg, Ontario. Died September 18, 1928 London, England. On a trip to New York City, USA Kate met her 1st husband, an American lawyer, Grosvenor Porter Lowery. The couple had two children. After her husband’s death she returned with her children to Ottawa where she shortly married a former fiancé Hayter Reed(1847-1936) on June 16, 1889. The couple had one child. While in served as an early governor of the Victorian Order of Nurses. Kate was also a founding member of the Aberdeen Association (Now the National Association of Women of Canada) By 1900 Kate, with the family now living in Quebec City, began to help decorate the Chateau Frontenac Hotel of which her husband was in control. A connoisseur of antiques and paintings her efforts were noticed by the powers at be of the Canadian Pacific hotels and by 1905 when her husband was manager and Chief of the CP Hotel department Kate was using her skills to do interior décor with the architects of the hotels across the country becoming perhaps the 1st professional woman in interior design. She also encouraged the exhibiting of works of Canadian female artists. After her husband retired from CP hotels she helped with hotels owned by Canadian Steamship lines. Her personal papers including her journals are retained at the McCord Museum in Montreal.
Kathleen "Kate" Rice. Born December 20, 1883, St. Mary’s Ontario. Died 1963 Minnedosa, Manitoba. Kate came from a well to do family and was well educated having earned a degree in mathematics at the University of Toronto in 1906. For a while she taught in St. Catharines, Ontario  and at Albert College, Bellville, Ontario before heading to the Canadian west and teaching in 1908 in Tees, Alberta. By 1912 she had landed in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. She spent 2 years in The Pas where she spent her summers as a prospector. She enjoyed prospecting and taught to earn enough money to earn provisions for mining. In 1911 she set out for Flin Flon. By 1914 she decided to take on a business partner, Dick Woolsey. She latterly split her cabin in half with a rope with each to their own side, it was a business partnership! Kate wrote scientific papers on the northern lights and dabbled in journalism writing for the Toronto Star. She even designed a hydro electric project with which she hoped to power one of her own mines. She knew well the Aboriginal population in the areas of northern Manitoba, learning how to trap and live off the land as well as learning to speak their language. They simply called her Mooniasquao, meaning white woman.  She is considered the 1st woman prospector and is responsible for the beginning of the gold mining community in Manitoba. After Dick’s death in 1940 she remained in the backwoods for 2 more decades. She eventually returned to settled areas only to find herself in a mental institution. She was eventually ejected for not being mentally ill but being just a tough old miner. She died in an nursing home in Minnedosa. Although she is buried in an unmarked grave, the owner of the Snow Lake Manitoba newspaper erected tombstones for both miners. Kate’s tombstone reads “Extraordinary woman of the wilds”. In 2014 Kate was inducted into the Canadian Miners Hall of Fame. Sources: “Not Crazy, just a female prospector: Kate Rice honoured for mining first” by Chris Purdy, Canadian Press, January 15, 2014 Online (Accessed February 2014) ; Canadians All: Six portraits of our People by Terry Angus et all. (Methuen, 1986)
Dorthea Mitchell. Born June 1, 1877, England. Died February 2, 1976 Victoria, British Columbia. Dorothea was brought up in India where her British father was a railway engineer. Family fortuned wained and Dorothea and her sister worked as governesses in 1897 after their father's death. Soon Dorothea left England for Canada arriving in 1904. Living at first in Toronto and Montreal she took jo as a companion in Silver Mountain, near Fort William/Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay) in Northern Ontario. Here she became a post master and railway stationmaster. In 1911 she petitioned the Ontario Provincial government for some crown land and she became the 1st single woman in Ontario to be granted a homestead. She ran a sawmill and lumber company on her newly acquired land. She earned respect of the lumber barons for her fairness and treatment of immigrants and became known as 'Lady Lumberjack'. She retired to Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay) in 1921. It was at this time that she began her connections to theater setting up the Port Arthur Amateur Cinema Society. She wrote a script based on her lumbering career: A Race for Ties which went on to become the 1st feature length amateur film in Canada premiering May 31, 1929 in Port Arthur. In 1930 her script entitled Fatal Flower, a crime story was produced by the Port Arthur Amateur Film Society. It was one of the last silent films to be made. Sadly the Great Depression interrupted the finishing of the film. During World War ll she worked with the Canadian Red Cross but at 63 she was deemed to old to go oversees which was her initial desire. She relocated to British Columbia for a better health and she became involved in the Victoria Branch of the Canadian Author's Association where she served as secretary for the 1960's. While in Victoria she published several short stories. In 1967 she published Lady Lumberjack when she was 90 years old.
Frances Marion Beynon. Born 1884 Streetsville, Ontario, Died Winnipeg, Manitoba October 5, 1951. She moved with her family to Manitoba in 1889, settling in the Hartney district on a family farm.  Like her siblings, Beynon earned a teaching certificate. She taught near Carman before moving to Winnipeg in 1908 to work in the T. Eaton Company’s advertising department. She was an active member of the Quill Club. In 1912 she became the 1st full-time women’s editor of the Grain Growers’ Guide, holding the post until 1917. She and her sister Lillian fought for a variety of women’s issues, including suffrage, dower legislation, and homesteading rights for women, but she lost much public credibility when she began to criticize the war. She left Manitoba in 1917 for the United States, where she wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, Aleta Day, and continued her journalistic work. Sources: Francis Marion Beynon: The Forgotten Suffragist by Brie McManus Manitoba History, Number 28, Autumn 1994 : Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, 1911. C. W. Parker, editor. Canadian Press Association, Vancouver. : Dictionary of Manitoba Biography, by J. M. Bumsted (University of Manitoba Press, 1999)
Flora Ann Campbell. Born 1883. Died 1961. Flora worked as a probation officer and superintendent at a women’s hostel in Ottawa. On December 31, 1913 she became the 1st woman to be hired to serve on the Ottawa Police Force. She never wore a badge or a uniform nor did she ever carry a weapon. Her main role was to deal with women who were charged and had to appear in court. Many offenders who were acquitted of charges had Flora to help them find employment. (2018)
Mona Harrigan.  Born Port of Spain, Trinidad Died 1983. In 1908 the family emigrated to a farm in Salmon Arm, British Columbia where Mona and her sister Agnes grew up with a love of the outdoors. Unable to secure jobs as guides in Jasper Park they originally accepted “women’s work” of camps and did cooking and cleaning. In 1928 Mona and Agnes stood firm and because of their acquired knowledge of the area and the fact that Fred Brewster though women clients might prefer a woman guide, the girls became the 1st women guides in Canada National Parks working in Jasper Park, Alberta.  Their trips soon became in demand but they were still forced to tend animals and cook as no men world work the trips with them! The girls worked successfully on separate trails. On New Years Eve 1930 Mona married Charlie Matheson, a Park Warden. The couple opened and operated an outfitters and riding stable in Jasper in 1937. By 1940 they operated their own guest ranch until they retired in 1952. The sisters’ stories were told by Cyndi Smith in her book Off the beaten track: women adventurers and mountaineers in Western Canada. Coyote Lake Louise, 1993. Source:  Harrigan Sisters by Frances Rooney Section15.ca accessed June 2009.
Annette, Emilie, Yvonne, Cécile, and Marie Dionne all share the same birthday in Corbeil, Ontario May 28, 1934. They were the only known-surviving quintuplets in the world at the time of their birth. Emilie died in August 1954. Marie died February 1970. While they were young they were wards of the provincial government of Ontario. Most of their youth they were exploited. People came from all over to see the tiny tots play in their back yard. They were even taken to Hollywood where they would do commercials for products. In 1965 the remaining four sisters published their story in the book We were five. Three of the sisters would marry but their marriages did not survive and they returned to living with one another in Montreal.
Eleanor 'Ella' Johnson. Born 1875. Died 1950. She worked as a reporter of ladies fashion. She donned men’s clothing posing to prove she could do a news story as well as any man. She worked reporting on the waterfront docks for the Vancouver World. She also reported on life in Chinatown and City Hall. She became Financial and Marine editor for the Vancouver Sun. Tired of being a reporter she became the 1st woman taxi driver in British Columbia working in Victoria prior to World War l. She also worked as a logger and even tried real estate. A handy carpenter she built her own house in Burnaby, British Columbia and then ran her own cement construction company winning contracts to build the 1st sewers in Burnaby and for a roundhouse for the Canadian Pacific railway. In 1933 she took an interest in provincial politics and ran unsuccessfully as a candidate for the Liberal Party. She ran in 1937 as an independent but was once again unsuccessful.  In 1941 she left Vancouver and some people saw her on a Mexican newsreel. In 1951 she was found dead in a hotel room in Arizona under the name Edna Jepson. Source: Canadian Girls Who Rocked the World by Tanya Lloyd Kyi. Walrus Books 2001.
Molly Kool. Born Alma, New Brunswick  February 23, 1916. She would learn and take to the ways of the sea from her father. She learned quickly and could repair an engine, run the winch, handle the lines and set sails as well as cook and sew canvas! She was a woman who became accomplished in a man's profession with courage and tenacity. She received a telegram on April 19, 1939 from Navigation School...she passed. She was the 1st registered woman sea captain in North America and second ( to a woman in Russia) in the world! She would sail as a Sea Captain for five years before she married in 1944 and while she enjoyed sailing for pleasure she never worked for pay at sea again.
Mary Margaret "Margery" Brooker Teacher. Born 1901 Dumfries, Scotland. Died 1955, Winnipeg, Manitoba.  , she received a Master of Arts from Glasgow University, and studied languages at Rouen, the Sorbonne in France as well as  the University of Hamburg, Germany.  She immigrated to Canada in 1929, and worked as a teacher at Cecil Rhodes School, Winnipeg. She was the supervisor of French Instruction for the Manitoba Department of Education until 1938, at the same time she taught at Winnipeg Normal School (Teacher’s College). In 1941 she was appointed School Inspector for the Virden District,  the 1st woman in Canada to be appointed in such a position. She worked fourteen years inspecting rural schools. In 1946 she accepted two fellowships to travel abroad and study languages; the Humbolt Siftung Resident Fellowship from the Berlin Research Institute, and the Carnegie fellowship from the Institute of Education at the University of London. Upon her return to Canada in 1948 she was appointed school inspector in the Winnipeg School District. Source: Memorable Manitobans Profile by Gordon Goldsborough. Online (Accessed December 2011)
Joan (Joane) Elizabeth Humphrey (professional name J.J. McColl) Born December 24, 1936, Vancouver British Columbia. Died September 23, 2008 White Rock, British Columbia.  While in high school she enjoyed working on the school newspaper and being in the Drama group. She choose the professional name of J.J. McColl and began her radio career as Vancouver’s 1st woman D.J. hosting her own show on CJOR and later on CBC Radio. She worked with James Cavell the author and with James Beard as his CTV show in the 1960’s. She also created radio documentaries and authored an award winning 10 part drama called Mothering in the 1990’s. After a visit to Ireland she wrote a musical about a group of 50-something women at a high school reunion but the show never took off. In 2001 she dappled in drama again by acting in small roles such as being the real estate agent in Sean Penn’s The Pledge in 2001. At 65 years of age on June 22, 2002 she married Frank Howard. Source Broadcaster and writer… by Moira Dann, The Globe and Mail, October 20, 2008; Herstory: The Canadian Women’s Calendar 2012.
Viola Rita MacMillan née Huggard. Born April 23, 1903 Dee Bank, Ontario. Died August 26, 1993. She worked as a maid and a telephone operator in order to pay for school. In 1923 she married George Macmillan. She worked part time as a stenographer and in the good weather she and George were prospecting for gold in northern Ontario. She would strike it rich in Hislop Township near Timmons, Ontario. She was now  a prospector and a mine manager. During World War ll she became the 1st woman president of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada. She would hold this position for twenty years . During her time as president the association grew from a membership of 100 to 4,000. By the Mid 1960’s the mines were slowing in production, some to a point of closing. Cobalt with its sliver, Kirkland Lake and Timmins with their gold were experiencing what might be called “tired mine” syndrome. However Aerial surveying pinpointed huge deposits of copper, zinc and other base metals and groups like Texas Gulf lead the new rush of mining. Texas Gulf is in 2013 known as Kidd Creek Mine and is still an active mine site. The mid 1960’s mining rush also brought trouble for Viola as she held back a report on one of her mine sites and let the excitement and the rumor mill create an increase in cost for her mining shares. Once released the report proved to be negative and Viola was arrested and charged with wash trading. In 19677 the Queen Bee, as she was called was acquitted of fraud charges after serving only 6 weeks of her nine month prison sentence. Viols returned to tramping in the bush prospecting and promoting mining continuing well into her eighties. In 1991 she was inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame and in 1993 she received the Order of Canada. The Viola R. MacMillan Award is given tor company or mine development. Source: Canadian Mining Hall of Fame Online Accessed January 2013;  Great Northern Characters by Michael Barnes (General Store Publishing House, 1995.
Jeanne Brault Laurin. Born 1923, Beauharnois, Quebec. Died September 11, 2012, Beauharnois, Quebec. Even at the early age of 9 Jeanne was interested in all things about cars and trucks. Her father was a mechanic and she spent many hours of you youth helping him at the family garage. In 1943 she became the 1st official woman mechanic in Canada. In 1945 Jeanne married Rolland Laurin (d. 2001) and the couple had three children.  Her biography has been written with the help of her oldest daughter Jocelyn: Ma Vie Pleine de Vie. (2012) Source: Elles du Nord online. (Accessed August 2014) Suggestion submitted by Jeannine Ouellette, Elles du Nord.
Carmen Elizabeth Clarke Born 1911, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died July 1960, Vancouver, British Columbia. As a child she enjoyed music but it was not to be her career. She studied to become a nurse and worked with Children at the Vancouver Hospital for Children.  In 1947 she wrote a poem “There’s a Bluebird on your windowsill for one of her small patients  and later added music to her lyrics. She was encouraged by friends and colleagues to perform the son on the local radio. The song would published by Empire Music and it was performed locally in British Columbia by the Rhythm Tones and nationally by Don Murphy.  American singers Doris Day and Tex Williams made the song a hit in 1949. Elizabeth became the 1st woman to write a song that sold over 1, 000,000 copies! She donated all royalties to Canadian hospitals for sick children. In 2010 the song was inducted into the Canadian Song Writers Hall of Fame. Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia online (Accessed January 2013) ; The History of Metropolitan Vancouver Online Accessed December 2012)
Dorothy 'Dodi' Elizabeth Robb. Born 1920? Died February 17, 2012 Collingwood, Ontario. A pioneer worker with CBC television in 1952 she went on to become the 1st head both daytime and children’s programming for CBC TV. Dodi wrote and published five musicals for children’s theatre and collaborated with Pat Patterson who wrote music. Dodi created award winning shows for CBC, TVO and CFTO in Toronto. She continued to work as an on air commentator for Vision television after she had retired from the CBC in 1985. In 1994 she was presented with the Governor General’s Award for the Persons case  which recognized her efforts to improve career opportunities for women. The Muppet “Dodi” an elderly female bush pilot who flies across Canada  who was introduced for the Canadian version of Sesame Street in 1996 known as Sesame Park  was styled after Dodi Robb. Perhaps her greatest contribution to Canadian television culture was the creation of the Kids of Degrassi Street which eventually became Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High. The Globe and Mail newspaper calld Dodi Canada’s Queen of Children’s Television.  Source: Obituary Globe and Mail February 25, 2012.
Ruth Hammond. Born July 6, 1920, Toronto, Ontario. Died October 16, 2015) Toronto, Ontario. Ruth graduated with her B.A. from the University of Toronto and attended the Ontario College of Education in 1944. She taught for a couple of years before becoming a reporter and Women’s Editor at the Toronto Star newspaper from 1946-1950. On October 7 1950 she married her 1st husband David Wall Bunting (D. 1988) and the couple had 2 children. As a member of Canada’s first newspaper Guild at The Toronto Star, Ruth was among the 1st women to speak out in the interests of achieving significant gains in terms of employee salaries, rights, and working conditions in the newsrooms of the day.  In 1951 she established Ruth Hammond Public Relations and had a successful career in this field. Among her 1st clients was Kate Aitken, then one of Canada’s foremost journalists. Ruth took over the public relations program for the Women’s Division of the Canadian National Exhibition. In 1956, Ruth Hammond joined the Canadian Public Relations Society, one of the 1st women public relations consultants to participate in Society activities. She established, with colleagues, public relations courses at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Ryerson University), York University, and the University of Toronto. In 1968 she became the 1st woman accredited by the Canadian Public Relations Society. From 1966/67 she served as the President of the Canadian Women’s Press Club in Toronto.  She served as a director of the Canadian Public Relations Society in Toronto from 1969-1974 and was the force behind the professional accreditation for the Society. In 1985 she received a Certificate of Achievement, Public Relations and Education, Government of Ontario, and was the YWCA Woman of Distinction for the Year. This was followed in 1986 by the Award of Excellence in Communications from Ontario Community Colleges. In 1989 she became a Life Member of the Canadian Public Relations Society and was inducted into the Society College of Fellows in 2001.
Theresa Helen McNeil. née Membourquette. Born 1928 Lower Ardoise, Nova Scotia. Died March 11, 2009. Theresa married Burt and was the busy stay at home mom to the couple ‘s  17 children. When Burt died suddenly in 1973 there were still 7 children under the age of 10 at home. Theresa was hired by  Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, as High Sherriff. She was the 1st woman in Canada to hold such a position. She inspired all of the people around her including her children who would in time become teachers, public Servants, police officers, small business owners even a Nova Scotia Member of Parliament. She was also a tireless volunteer who worked in and for her community until she became ill to deliver Meals on wheels.  In 1992 she received the Canada 125 Medal and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2002. In 2005 she was named to the Order of Nova Scotia. Source: Protocol Office, Order of Nova Scotia http://gov.ns.ca/prot/2005 recipients (Accessed August 12, 2008)
Nicole Juteau Born September 22, 1954, Laval, Quebec. She was the 1st woman to earn her diploma in correctional studies at College Ahuntsic in 1975. Police recruitment officers had no jobs to offer the graduate providing any excuse they could think of to turn down her enquiries of work. Eventually La Sureté du Québec (Quebec provincial police) and the police of the City of Sainte Foy expressed and interest. It was on June 19, 1975, the International Year of the Women, she began her internship with La Sureté du Quebec à Parthenais working for the 1st few months making photocopies in their office, mainly because they had no uniform for a woman. She took a position with the police of Shawinigan becoming the 1st policewoman in Quebec. Source: Pionnières Québecoise accessed June 2013.
Rose Marie Rauter       Forester    
Marie was the 1st woman to graduate in forestry from the University of Toronto. She went on to earn her Masters in forestry genetics. She began her career with the Ministry of Natural Resources in Ontario. In the 1970’s she served a Supervisor of the Tree and Seed and Forest Genetics Unit.  In 1984, Marie convinced the forest industries of the Province of Ontario that they should actively participate in the tree improvement program, which resulted in 1985, in the formation of the Ontario Tree Improvement Council. She chaired a working group in the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). She has presented papers throughout North America and abroad and has been an invitational participant in events such as the world forest policy forum in Indonesia. In 1992, she became the President and CEO of the Ontario Forest Industries Association, a position she held until 2000. Marie lead the development of Ontario Industry Codes of Forest Practice and been involved in many regional, provincial, national and international discussions on behalf of Ontario forest industries. She is an active member of several committees and associations including the board of the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association, the National Roundtable of the Economy and Environment, the Environment Forestry Task Force to the Biodiversity Advisory Committee for Environment Canada and External Affairs, and she was prominent in developing Canada's position at the Rio Conference. She served on numerous boards including the Advisory Committee of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia and the Ontario Board of the Canadian Nature Conservancy. Source: Jean Bannerman, Leading Ladies of Canada (Belleville, Mika Publishing, 1977);
Christine Bertram Silverberg . Born Brampton, Ontario. 1949. Graduating from York University in Toronto, Ontario in 1971, she Married Dr. Ben Silverberg in and applied to work with the police force in Mississauga, Ontario. Women were not allowed on uniform patrol. She was assigned to the youth bureau where she became involved in youth and child abuse investigations that included undercover work as part of the criminal investigations. Take courses she earned a MA in Criminology at the University of Toronto in 1983. She continued her studies at Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, with courses in executive development and public relations. In 1990 she took a position in the Ontario provincial Ministry of the Solicitor General. She soon returned to police services as deputy chief of the Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Police in Ontario. In October 1995 she  became the 1st woman to be appointed to the position of Chief of Police of a major Canadian metropolitan centre. She has been honoured by the Piegan Nation with the name “Bluebird Lady”. She has also earned a Platinum Podium Award from Toastmaster’s International for leadership. She has also been involved in community and professional organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, and the National Coordinating Committee on Organized Crime and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Leaving police services in 2000 she returned to university to accomplish her original career dream of becoming a lawyer. She graduated law from the University of Calgary in 2004. That same year she was names as one of Canada’s 100  Most Powerful Women. She articled at a national law firm and made partner in January 2008. Source: Silverberg realizes long-held dream by Valerie Berenyi, Calgary Herald February 16, 2009 online. Accessed July 2011.
Beverly 'Bev' Ann Busson. Born August 23, 1951 Halifax Nova Scotia. Bev joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in the 1st class of women in1974 after graduating Teacher's Certificate from Nova Scotia Teachers' College.  Later she would return to earn a law degree from the University of British Columbia. She would become the 1st female commissioned officer and the 1st female Criminal Operations Officer. She worked in Salmon Arm, Vancouver, Ottawa before becoming the 1st female Assistant Commissioner and then the 1st female Commanding Officer of a province as Commanding Officer of the RCMP in Saskatchewan. For a year in 1999-2000 she took leave to head the British Columbia Organized Crime Agency. From there she served as Deputy Commissioner for the RCMP Pacific Region from 2000 to 2006. In 2004 she became a Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces and two years later she became a Member of the Order of British Columbia. In 2006 she was named one of Canada's Most Powerful Women by the Women's Executive Network. Bev is the 1st woman to be appointed Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police December 16, 2006. She held the position until July 16, 2007. After her retirement from the RCMP she served as a member of the RCMP Reform Implementation Council and as an advisor to the Government on National Security. As a Volunteer volunteered on a number of endeavors including serving as a director of the Justice Institute of British Columbia, and the Okanagan College Foundation, and participating in the Women's Executive Network Mentorship Program. On September 24, 2018 she was appointed to the Senate of Canada representing the province of British Columbia.
Ashley Callingbull-Burnham. Born October 21, 1989, Enoch, Alberta. She enjoyed various forms of dance including tap and ballet. Her talents were put to use when she was ten and she won all of Enoch’s Princess crowns. She went on to win a place in a Hudson Bay Company commercial and appeared a TV mini series as well as doing some stage work. In June 2010 she was 2nd runner-up in the Miss Universe Canada Pageant, the 1st member of the Cree Nation to achieve such a position. She was the youth representative for the Stollery Children’s Hospital. In September 2010 she won Miss Canada to represent Canada in Miss Friendship International Pageant in Hubei, China. She also represented Canada at the Queen of the World Final in Germany. In October 2016 she was the representative from Canada at the Miss Humanity International pageant in Barbados. In 2012 she took top honours at the Miss World Canada. She is a student at university and is often a motivational speaker at various venues including Harvard University in the U.S.A. Ashley feels that the beauty contests are more about providing a platform to let the world learn about subjects and causes about which she is passionate.  In 2011 she earned the Role Model Award at the Dreamcatchers Gala, Calgary, Alberta. As a model she posed for the cover poster for the ‘Fight the Violence’ advertisement to stop abuse in the home. In 2014 she worked the Catch the Dream with Actor Adam Beech. August 29, 2015 she earned the title Miss Universe the 1st First  Canadian and 1st First Nations woman to win this title. In 2016 Ashley was attending law school.  
Catherine Beaulieu Bouvier Lamoureaux.  née Beaulieu. Born 1836 Salt River Region, North West Territories. Died 1918 Fort Providence, Northwest Territories. Catherine was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church at Portage la Loche, Saskatchewan. Between 1848 and 1852 she attended the Grey Nuns’ school in St. Boniface, Red River. At 16 in 1852 she married Joseph Bouvier (d1877) and the couple had 5 children. She was known for driving her dog team 150 miles along her own trail to old Fort Rae to visit family members and deliver mail. The Mackenzie Highway now follows her travel route. She also snowshoes out in spring to gather birch sap to make her Birch syrup. In 1879 she married Jean-Baptiste Lamoureaux (d 1918) While they lived in Fort Providence, Northwest Territories she help established the Sacred Heart Hospital and worked with the Grey Nuns to establish a school. She was a strong believer of preserving her Métis culture and language. She was known as Kukum Baie which meant grandmother of us all, one who gives and sustains life. In 2011 the Canadian Sites and Monuments Board declared her a Historical Person, the 1st Métis woman of the Northwest Territories to receive this distinction.

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