Month: January 2020

City Women

Women who were born and raised in cities before becoming settlers in western Canada endured so many difficult adjustments. Mary Bednarz Ziomek had been a maid in a wealthy household in Poland before coming to Canada. In 1919, she was 28 when she married and moved with her husband to a homestead north of Vermilion,…
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Resilient Women

During the early settlement of western Canada, most women had no farming experience. Those who had farmed before had been supported by an extended family, by villages within walking distance and by a culture and language common to everyone they knew. On their homesteads in western Canada, women were often extremely isolated. In times of…
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Absentee Fathers

In western Canada, how we imagine settlement happened has more in common with the American story: Little House on the Prairie, than with what actually happened. Instead of Ma, Pa and kids, it was more often Pa gone (working away for months at a time or dead) and Ma with kids, surviving through sheer grit.…
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