Women Who Made History: Amazing Atlantic Canadian Women Represents a More Authentic History of Our Region
Amazing Atlantic Canadian Women
Stephanie Domet and Penelope Jackson
Who inspired you when you were younger? Who broke the barriers of societal standards? Who was a game changer? A first? A leader?
Amazing Atlantic Canadian Women by Stephanie Domet and Penelope Jackson is an important and impactful read for the simple fact that it celebrates phenomenal, powerful women of purpose, whose experiences showcase courage, triumph, talent and resilience.
Many of us have had history lessons, projects and classes dedicated to male figures who were often white and powerful, in a lot of these cases they were people from other parts of the world. It’s very rare to read or hear about stories of women from diverse backgrounds who are influential and also from our surrounding communities. Many of the women in this book broke barriers, paving the way for a new generation of young women, and used their voices to advocate for women’s rights at a time when that was unheard of. They understood their own value regardless of contemporary societal standards and guidelines.
When asked why it was important to include a range of diverse stories, Domet says, “To make sure it was reflective of the amazing women who are a part of the Atlantic region, and to look beyond the stories we are so often told. Sometimes it can feel very non-diverse in Atlantic Canada if you just look at the surface level.”
These 74 stories of women who have had different experiences, ways of life and learning will help us create a more authentic narrative when telling the history of Atlantic Canada, which includes the stories of these real heroes, leaders, advocates and activists who have walked before and among us. Exploring their challenges will help us create more effective policies, guidelines and methods for centring inclusivity and equity in our societal systems.
One-sided narratives have set us back so many years, because we grew up thinking there could only be one person, one way of thinking or doing. Amazing Atlantic Canadian Women is an important read, especially for the younger generation. I believe it will push them to remain true to themselves, not allowing anyone to deter them from their dreams, while creating a community where everyone feels safe, included and seen.
Books like this keep me hopeful for what the literary world will look like in the future, the stories we will hear, the people we will learn about, the storytelling methods we will adapt, the questions we will ask ourselves and the actions that will follow.
Edith Clayton, who wove her first basket at the age of eight; Carrie Best, who wrote her first poem at the age of four; Maria Angwin, the first woman licensed to practice medicine in Nova Scotia. When you think of inspirational, barrier breaking, game changing, first, leaders, these are some of the amazing women that should be mentioned, celebrated, taught and loved.