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Women's History

Although perhaps less well known, pioneer women equally contributed to the development of the prairie west. One of Grant MacEwan's favorite subjects was writing biographies on many of the great figures of early western Canadian history who have been largely overlooked and forgotten. In this section of Grant MacEwan's Prairie West, we shed light on women-from life on the frontier to the suffragette movement. In his book ...and Mighty Women Too, MacEwan shares 32 distinct stories about western Canadian women focusing on generic themes such as identity, labour, frontier life, among others. Each woman mentioned in MacEwan's book contributed to the quality of life in western Canada in a different fashion. For instance, some of the women were notable mainly because of their ability to cope with the conditions indicative of frontier life and thus made it more bearable for others. MacEwan long believed his book 50 Mighty Men deserved a companion volume and ...And Mighty Women Too does just this. It is a long overdue collection of stories celebrating the strength, courage, and resourcefulness of some of western Canada's most significant women. Each individual impacted the West in her own unique way.

Though men often outnumbered women five to one on most frontier communities the female role was in no way less important. Macewan's writings epitomized the frontier spirit by portraying women as courageous and diverse individuals who remained firm in their convictions regardless of the obstacles that lay before them. MacEwan had a knack for tackling subjects that other historians ignored or dubbed as obscure. Western Canadian women's history had its fair share of colourful characters and momentous events. Thus, when presenting an objective analysis of western Canadian history MacEwan instantly recognized the need to present women in a way that truly reflected the pioneer spirit.


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