March 8th was International Women’s Day and in honour of this day Heritage Canada released it’s newest ‘Heritage Minute‘. The Heritage Minute is various pieces of Canadian history in an easy to digest 1 min or less video. These minutes (formally called ‘Historica Minutes: History by the Minute‘) have been part of the Canadian culture since 1991 and have been learning tools for students, adults and also subjects of many parodies.

Canada's Heritage Minutes

Their most recent video is about The Edmonton Grads (1915–40) a women’s championship basketball team coached by Percy Page. During their 25 years as a team, the Grads won an astounding 95 per cent of their matches. The Grads were national and world champions, often defeating their opponents by lopsided scores. The team won the Underwood International Trophy (USA–Canada) for 17 years straight (1923 to 1940), and was undefeated in 24 matches held in conjunction with the Olympic Summer Games in 1924, 1928 and 1936.

The edmonton grads womens basketball team
Source: Globe and Mail

For today’s post I wanted to showcase some of the women of Canadian history (like the Edmonton Grads) who have made their mark in various ways, focusing on the time periods from the 1900′ to the late 1940’s.

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Nursing Sisters: The minute commemorates the service and sacrifice of women on the front lines of the First World War through the retelling of a real event from May 1918. It is the story of two of the nearly 3000 trained nurses who served overseas.

Agnes MacPhail: .1935-Canada’s first female MP (members of Parliament) contributed to the reform of the Canadian penal system.

Mona Parsons: 1945- Mona Parsons is sentenced to a Nazi prison camp (but escapes execution) for helping downed Allied airmen escape.

Nellie McClung: 1916-The next video depicts Nellie McClung’s confrontation with Premier R.P. Roblin to win the right to vote for Manitoban women. She is noted for staging a ‘Mock parliament, attacking votes for men’.

Pauline Vanier: Is part of one of Canada’s most remarkable families who worked tirelessly to aid displaced persons and refugees during the Second World War (1939–1945).

Emily Murphy: 1929-Recounts how Murphy and a group of Canadian women secured the rights of women as persons throughout the Commonwealth.

The last Heritage Minute for today’s post, is Viola Desmond. She was an entrepreneur who challenged segregation in Nova Scotia in the 1940’s.

 

Friends, I hoped you enjoyed learning a little about some of these amazing women of Canada. I also hope this post encourages you to go out and learn more about the women of your own country and share their story. Knowledge is power!

If you want to watch more videos or listen to short radio programs on the other women I did not have time to post here, then please visit the Heritage Minutes Website.

Liz

8 comments on “The Women of Canada’s Heritage Minutes: 1900’s to the 1940’s”

  1. I love heritage minutes! One of my favs is also about Laura Secord! Did you happen to see the cbc interview with the last remaining Edmonton Grad player? she was so sweet!

    • Laura Secord is an awesome one as well (The Viola Desmond is my fav). I did see the interview, so wonderful that there is still someone around to share the story of these women.

      Have a super weekend!

      Liz

  2. What a wonderful idea, we could do with something like this in the UK. Being bitesized they’re just so easy to digest. I particularly love the bloomers the basketball teams were wearing! xx

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