In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re taking a look at a few of Saskatchewan’s powerhouse women!
Sarah Ramsland: known for urging the province to mark its historic sites, Sarah was the first woman in Saskatchewan to be elected to Legislature in 1919. Her husband, the Liberal MLA for Pelly, passed away during a flu epidemic in 1918, and she decided to continue his work.
Linda Haverstock: Linda was the first woman to lead a political party in Saskatchewan. In 1989 she was elected the leader of the Liberal party and remained leader until 1996. She would later become lieutenant governor of Saskatchewan in 1999.
Sylvia Fedoruk: born in 1927 in Canora, Sylvia was the first woman to serve as the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, from 1988 to 1994.
Joan Beatty: born in the community of Deschambault Lake, Joan was the first Aboriginal Woman MLA elected in Saskatchewan.
Ethel Catherwood: born in North Dakota, Ethel Catherwood moved with her parents to Saskatoon where she proved to be an all-around athlete. Ethel won gold in the women’s high jump at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam, the first gold medal ever awarded for women’s high jump. The 1928 Olympics also marked the first-time women received the status of official Olympic competitors and Ethel the first Canadian woman to be crowned champion.
Sandra Schmirler: The 1998 Nagano Olympics marked the debut of curling as a medal sport at the Olympics. With 3 World Championships under their belts, Schmirler skipped her team to Olympic Gold.
Catriona Le May Doan: born and raised in Saskatoon, Catriona became the first Canadian athlete to defend gold successfully in an individual event at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. Catriona was Canada’s Athlete of the Year in 2002 and has been Canada’s Female Athlete of the Year three times, 1998, 2001 and 2002.
Hayley Wickenheiser: most well known for her skills on the ice, Shaunavon native Hayley was also the second female athlete from Canada to compete in both the winter and summer Olympic games, representing Canada playing softball in 2000.
Yvette Moore: born in Radville, Yvette became the first woman to open an award-winning gallery, opened in Moose Jaw in 1999. She has received multiple awards including the Mr. Christies Book Award and the Tourism Saskatchewan Award of Excellence.
Joni Mitchell: the famous singer/songwriter grew up in Saskatoon. Songs Help Me and Free Man in Paris from 1974’s Court and Spark album, are said to have been written in and about Regina’s Empire Hotel.
Buffy Sainte-Marie: born to Cree parents on the Piapot Indian reserve in southern Saskatchewan, folksinger/songwriter Sainte-Marie is best known for her classic tunes Universal Soldier and Until it’s Time for You to Go. She’s a forceful proponent of Native rights and culture.
Anne Szumigalski: winner of the 1995 Governor General’s Award for Poetry, Anne was born in London, England, but as co-founder of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild and the literary journal Grain, she has influenced a generation of writers from Saskatchewan and beyond.
Agnes Martin: an abstract artist born in Macklin, Agnes Martin is considered “one of the most important figures in postwar American art”. Critics said her paintings evoke a meditative mood, reflecting the Zen Buddhism and Taoism she studied during in her formative New York years. Martin’s paintings have been displayed in major galleries around the world, including New York City’s Guggenheim and Museum of Modern Art.
A small, but mighty province, these are just a few of many brilliant women that have and will call Saskatchewan home.
-Paige Sandvold is the Content Manager on the Brand and Digital Platform Team
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