If, like me, you don’t recognize these women as household names, you are likely a victim of history education that focuses on males and white people. And while you are likely not a racist misogynist, we all have to do more to dismantle white, male supremacy.
It starts with putting women on our money, see below, but it can’t stop there. Ask all the students you know if their social studies and history teachers are giving more than token attention to women and non-white people.
Here is the short list of women still under consideration:
Viola Desmond (1914-1965): A black businesswoman from Nova Scotia who famously challenged racial segregation at a film theatre in her home province.
E. Pauline Johnson (1861-1913): A poet and writer whose performances reflect both English and Mohawk traditions and who is recognized as helping to shape Canadian literature.
Elizabeth (Elsie) MacGill (1905-1980): The world’s first female aircraft designer. She worked as an aeronautical engineer during the Second World War.
Fanny (Bobbie) Rosenfeld (1905-1969): An Olympian who won gold in the relay race and silver in the 100 metre dash at the 1928 summer Olympics.
Idola Saint-Jean (1880-1945): A Quebec journalist, educator and feminist who fought for the women’s vote in Quebec.The five women were selected by independent advisory council from a list of 12 names, which were drawn from 461 eligible nominees submitted by Canadians.
My money is on Johnson, because POETRY! 🙂