Speaker Series Recap – Settler Suffragists

On Tuesday, January 26, EDHS hosted a virtual Speaker Series presentation, Settler Suffragists and the Edmonton Equal Franchise Campaign, 1905-1916.

Dr. Sarah Carter, Henry Marshall Tory Chair in the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta, guided our online audience through the campaign for women’s voting rights that culminated in Alberta’s 1916 Equal Suffrage Bill.

Dr. Carter filled in the details behind the simple narrative of a successful movement for women’s rights to vote and hold office. In reality, suffrage took years of struggle, and there was a diversity of opinion, even among its champions, on what it should mean and how far it should extend. There were some men vociferously in favour of women’s suffrage, and some women bitterly opposed; many of the same people who sought to expand voting rights for settler women held exclusionary views on the rights of “foreign” and Indigenous women.

Dr. Carter’s presentation drew on her new book, Ours by Every Law of Right and Justice: Women and the Vote in the Prairie Provinces. It is published by UBC Press.Our next Speaker Series presentation, also online, will be on Tuesday, February 23. You can register to attend (virtually, of course) through our website closer to the date.