Telling Tales
372 pages, 6 x 9
16 b&w photos, 1 map
Release Date:01 Feb 2001
Release Date:15 Sep 2000
Release Date:01 Oct 2007

Telling Tales

Essays in Western Women's History

UBC Press

Women played a vital role in the shaping of the West in Canada between the 1880s and 1940s. Yet surprisingly little is known about their contributions or the differences sex and gender made to the opportunities and obstacles women encountered. Telling Tales contributes to the rewriting of western Canada’s past by integrating women into the shifting power matrix of class, race, and gender that undergirded its colonization and settlement.

This book cover a range of topics – African-American settlement on Vancouver Island, prairie childbirth narratives, and Mennonites as domestic servants are but three examples. They focus on women of both minority and dominant cultures and reflect the West’s characteristically mixed population. Telling Tales challenges founding myths of the region and invites a retelling of the story of western Canadian colonization and settlement.

Catherine A. Cavanaugh teaches women's studies in the Centre for Work and Community Studies at Athabasca University. Randi R. Warne teaches in the Department of Religious Studies at Mount St. Vincent University.


Introduction / Catherine A. Cavanaugh and Randi R. Warne

1 I Wish the Men Were Half as Good: Gender Constructions in the Canadian North-Western Mission Field, 1860-1940 / Myra Rutherdale

2 Categories and Terrains of Exclusion: Constructing the “Indian Woman” in the Early Settlement Era in Western Canada / Sarah Carter

3 Imagining Native Women: Feminine Discourse and Four Women Travelling the Northwest Coast / Nancy Pagh

4 Irene Marryat Parlby: An “Imperial Daughter” in Western Canada, 1896-1935 / Catherine A. Cavanaugh

5 Gender(ed) Tensions in the Work and Politics of Alberta Farm Women, 1905-29 / Sheila McManus

6 Childbirth on the Canadian Prairies, 1880-1930 / Nanci Langford

7 Nursing Nation Builders: The Council Idea, Western Women, and the Founding of the Victorian Order of Nurses for Canada, 1896-1930 / Beverly Boutilier

8 Scattered But Not Lost: Mennonite Domestic Servants in Winnipeg, 1920s-50s / Frieda Klippenstein

9 Negotiating Sex and Gender in the Ukrainian Bloc Settlement: East Central Alberta between the Wars / Frances Swyripa

10 “Abundant Faith”: Nineteenth-Century African-Canadian Women on Vancouver Island / Sherry Edmunds-Flett

11 Marriage, Family, and the Cooperative Ideal: The Telfords / Ann Leger-Anderson




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