Women Making History

I am sitting in the Local History Room of the Saskatoon Public Library, browsing through issues of Herstory: The Canadian Women’s Calendar.  It is one way I am celebrating Canadian Women’s History month. 

I loved the Herstory Calendars, published from 1974 to 2015.  As I diarized and made notes, I was also learning and appreciating, as I read stories and bios of Canadian women, explored women’s issues of the time, and enjoyed poetry and quotes.  It was validating for me to spend time with the calendar, since it reflected much of what was on my mind. 

There were so many things that stood out for me as I found my way through several Calendars. Here’s a few:

Great Job Saskatoon Women’s Calendar Collective.  Not only did these calendars celebrate Canadian women and highlight women’s work and issues, but this work demonstrated the power of a collective, the Saskatoon Women’s Calendar Collective.  The groups of women who took time from their busy schedules to inform other women of their great heritage.  

It must bring home the knowledge that when we reach out across this country and touch each other we draw strength from each other.

Making a Difference. 

I am convinced the calendars had the lasting impact the collective hoped for, as noted in this passage from the 1974 Calendar: ‘It must bring home the knowledge that when we reach out across the country and touch each other we draw strength from each other’.

So, do our children know the surge of energy that came from women in the 70s’?

What About 40 Years Ago.  I was curious about what the world was like for women 40 years ago.  Here is a passage from the 1981 Calendar, which has me wondering how much this has changed.  

Although women make up 51% of Canada’s population, relatively few historical and biographical accounts of women are published.  Herstory is committed to writing about women’s issues and of the little-known, and the famous, women of Canada.  There are yet many more stories to be told. We learn of them, we tell of some, we we are proud. It is this experience that the Saskatoon Women’s Calendar Collective Continues to share with you’.  

We are ALL Special.   Many calendars included a photo of a women and the quote: Herstory is about a few of Canada’s special women.  As you use it during the year, you will add another one – yourself.    This took me to thinking about special women in my life.  Like my mom, Ruth, born in 1919, and like many women of her generation, experienced the depression, many tragedies, joys and sorrows.  She moved with her family in October 1932, by horse and cart, from Hawarden to Love, Saskatchewan. It was the best time of the year to cross the Saskatchewan River.  I also celebrate my daughters, and sister, granddaughters, sisters-in-law, many nieces and their children.  All special women.

The theme for the 2021 Canadian Women History month is recognizing women who are making history now. In particular ‘the amazing women who are making a lasting impact in our country, especially in the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to advance reconciliation, through their work and commitment to make our country a better place’. For me, this list is long, and I bow my head in gratitude.

And I just have to say, I do love libraries.  Some sources:

We’ve been celebrating women all along, you might like these posts:

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