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Nellie McClung was an orator and an entertainer; she was an author and an advocate; she was a teacher and a legislator. She was a prairie woman who used her talents, determination, and energy to bring about change in society. She was a Trailblazer.


The Manitoba 150

Women Trailblazers

In partnership with the Winnipeg Free Press, the Nellie McClung Foundation is proud to introduce the 150 Manitoba Women Trailblazer Awards, an opportunity to salute the contributions that Manitoba women have made to social justice, arts, sports, politics, community activities and promoting democracy while developing this great province.


These Trailblazer Awards will honour Nellie McClung’s vision by recognizing the spirit of her life’s work being advanced by women leaders of today or throughout Manitoba’s history. The 150 Manitoba Women Trailblazers will be officially announced on January 28th, 2021, the 105th Anniversary of most Manitoba women being the first in Canada to receive the right to vote. 

Unfortunately, due to the unforeseen circumstances, we find ourselves in and the restrictions presented placed by COVID-19, we will be unable to host an in-person event as originally planned.


We still aim to publicly recognize the great accomplishments of all the award recipients along with the names of those who were nominated and will do so through a virtual book. The virtual book will also feature all of the women nominated and will be available on our website,


The 150 Manitoba
Women Trailblazers
Virtual Book


About the Book

We are honoured to present the 150 Manitoba Women Trailblazer awards, a Manitoba150 project celebrating MB trailblazing women who have left their footprint on our province’s history over the past 150 years. These women were nominated by members of their communities because they were first in their field or had a significant impact in their profession or community. There is no doubt that many of these women in our past have, at different times, held views that do not accord with today’s views. Learning the history of these trailblazing women helps us gain a greater understanding of the challenges they faced to risk and defy the status quo at the time, yet inspire greater love, compassion and learning for misunderstandings and imperfections for future generations.  Nonetheless, the purpose of this project was to acknowledge the contribution of women, many of whom are unknown, to the development of our province.


Over 350 women were nominated and 150 were chosen by an independent panel based on the following criteria:

  • Worked or volunteered or played a role that was first in their field or had a significant impact or outcome on society in Manitoba.

  • Demonstrated leadership and acted as a role model.

  • Reflected the spirit of Nellie McClung.

  • Worked/lived for a significant part of their lives in the territory that is now called Manitoba.


The Trailblazers come from various backgrounds and unique experiences. They are a product of the era in which they lived. We can be astounded by their fortitude and endurance and/or critical of their actions and choices. They were, however, trailblazers:  persons who made new tracks through ‘wild country’ – be it guiding the voyageurs, growing families and communities, cracking glass ceilings or establishing their presence in political decision making. They are our history – and they are an important part of who we are as a province. 


Their contributions are to events in history and to contemporary society in social justice, arts, sports, politics, community activities and promoting democracy and which are woven through the fabric of this province. 


These Trailblazers leave a legacy for future generations.  They were the steppingstones that have contributed to women today being better able to gain full equality. It is our hope that they provide inspiration and courage to other women and girls to know that they too can make a difference.


- The Nellie McClung Foundation


The Nellie McClung Foundation wishes to thank the nominators for their hard work in compiling all of the nominations. All recipient profiles and images were provided by the nominators.

We would also like to thank both Shannon Sampert and Catherine Mitchell for their editing of the profiles.


A special thank you to the Winnipeg Free Press for their assistance in the nomination process and to the selection committee for selecting the recipients.


The translation of this book was made possible through two generous grants from the Province of Manitoba Francophone Affairs, as well as Sport, Culture and Heritage. We would like to thank Catherine Dulude from Ardoise & Co for translating the book.


We would like to thank our sponsors Manitoba150 and TD Bank, without their generous support this book would not have been possible.

Our Sponsors






Adele Wiseman

Agnès Roy

Angelique and Marguerite Nolin

Ann Callahan

Anna Pazdzierski

Anne Bannatyne

Anne Ross, C.M.

Barbara Bruce, O.M.

Beatrice Watson

Bernadette Smith, O.M., MLA

Bonnie Korzeniowski, B.S.W, MSc.A

Carol Shields, C.C., O.M., F.R.S.C.

Catherine (Kate) McPherson

Catherine Mulaire

Chief Betsy Kennedy, O.M. 

Christine (Chris) Burrows

Clara Hughes, O.C., O.M., M.S.C., OLY

Clarissa (Chriss) May Joyce Tetlock

Connie Magnusson Schimnowski

Constance (Connie) Eyolfson

Corrine Joan Scott, O.M., M.B.A.

Daphne Odjig, C.M., O.B.C.

Dayna Spiring, LL.B.

Debora Durnin-Richards, PHEc, M.Ed.

Delphine Rivard

Diane Redsky, O.M.

Diane Roussin

Doreen Brownstone, O.M.

Doris Mae Oulton, O.M.

Dr. Alexandria Wilson, Ed.D.

Dr. Charlotte W. Ross, M.D. 

Dr. Helen Glass O.C., O.M., Ed.D., LL.D., Hon. D.Sc.

Dr. Isabel G. Auld, C.M., LL.D

Dr. Jennifer Shay, O.C., Ph.D.

Dr. Jessie Lang, LL.D.

Dr. June James, O.M., Hon DIP(RRC) , BSC.,  BSC (med), M.D , FRCPC.

Dr. June Menzies, C.M., O.M.

Dr. Margaret Stovel McWilliams

Dr. Marsha Hanen, C.M., Ph.D.

Dr. Mirjana Roksandic, Ph.D.

Dr. Noralou P. Roos, O.C., Ph.D.

Dr. Rayleen De Luca, C.M., O.M.

Dr. Sherry Peden, Ph.D.

Dr. Sybil Shack, C.M., LL.D.

Dulcie Price

E. Cora Hind

Edith Hancox

Edith Mary McDowell, LL.D.

Eira "Babs" Friesen, C.M. 

Elaine Froese

Elba Haid

Elder Mae Louise Campbell

Elder Ruth Elaine Christie, LL.D.

Elizabeth Parker

Erna Kimmel

Evelyn Hart, C.C., O.M., F.R.S.C.

Florence Edith McTavish Rogers

Gabrielle Roy, C.C., F.R.S.C.

Gail Asper, O.C., O.M., LL.D.

Gertrude Richardson

Gudrun Helga Julia Sigurdson

Harriet Snetsinger Dick

Helen "Ma" Armstrong

Helen Granger Young, O.M. 

Helena F. Reimer, C.M.

Hon. Janis Gundrun Johnson, C.M.

Hon. Janice Filmon. C.M., O.M. 

Hon. Judge Kimberly Prost, LL.B.




Anna Maynard

Anna Negrych

Annette Saint-Pierre, C.M.

Arlene Wilson

Ashley Richard

Barbara Biggar

Beatrice Mosionier

Beatrice St. Amant

Berenice Sisler

Bintou Sacko

Blandine Tona

Brenda Arakaza

Brenlee Carrington Trepel, LL.B.

Brigette Lacquette, OLY

Catherine Kerr

Cathy Hiller

Cécile Mulaire

Cindy Klassen, O.M., OLY

Colleen Cutschall

Colleen Sklar

Diane Gray

Donna Miller, Q.C., LL.B.

Dorothy Livesay, O.C., O.B.C., F.R.S.C.

Dr. Anna Stokke, Ph.D.

Dr. Anne Smigel, Hon. LL.D.

Dr. Cynthia Grant, Ph.D.

Dr. Darlene Wight, M.A., D.Litt.

Dr. Di Brandt, Ph.D.

Dr. Diane McGifford, Ph.D.

Dr. Donalda (Dina) Huggins M.D. 

Dr. Ethel McPhail, M.D. 

Dr. Flordeliz Gigi Osler, M.D.

Dr. Grace Ann Stewart, Ph.D.

Dr. Halimatou Ba, Ph.D.

Dr. Jaime Cidro, Ph.D.

Dr. Julie Nagam, Ph.D.

Dr. Linda J. Malcomson, Ph.D.

Dr. Lise Gaboury-Diallo, C.M., Ph.D.

Dr. Margaret Newton, Ph.D., FRSC, LL.D.

Dr. Marjorie Anderson, Ph.D.

Dr. Marlyn Cook, M.D.

Dr. Mary Jane Logan McCallum, Ph.D.

Dr. Olva Odlum

Dr. Reeni Soni, M.D. 

Dr. Sandra Kirby, O.C., OLY

Dr. Sara Israels, O.M., M.D.

Dr. Sheila Dresden

Dr. Tabitha Wood, Ph.D.

Dr. Tracie Afifi, Ph.D.

Dr. Ursilla McAlister Macdonnell, Ph.D.

Edythe Millicent Brown Ehrlich

Eileen Charlotte Collins, O.M. 

Eleonore Phillibert

Elise Harrer Vane

Elizabeth Dafoe

Emilie Ross (née Poitras)

Ethel Mary (Playfair) Harrison

Evelyn Wawryshyn Moroz

Evelyne Anderson

Frances Gunn

Gail Freeman-Campbell

Gail Serena Singer

Germaine Krawzuk

Grace Eiko Thomson

Gudrun Jónsdóttir Storm

Gudrun Skulason

Gwen Hoebig

H2O Academy Co-Founders Kaley Maksymyk & Krista Morden

Heather Robertson

Heather Whittaker

Helen M. Powell

Helena Penner Hiebert

Hilda Klassen

Holmfridur Danielson

Honourable Candice Bergen, P.C., MP

Honourable JoAnne Buth

Hortense Rabet

Hrund Skulason

Ida Carriere

Jane MacLatchy

Janine Tougas

Jennifer Hofer

Jennifer Saunders

Jessie McDermott

Joan (Sigrid) Johnson

Joan Hibbert

Johanna Seier

Josephine Hogg Campbell

Judge Mary A. Wawrykow, Q.C., LL.B.

Judith Chambers

Judith Weiszman, P. Eng

Judy Peake

June Westbury

Kal Barteski

Katharina Thiessen

Katherena Vermette

Kathryn (Kathy) June Hamelin

Katrina Leclerc

Laura Ealing

Laura Goodman Salverson

Leah Hextall

Leila Castro

Leonore Saunders, O.M.

Letitia Hargrave

Lillian Gibbons

Lillian James

Lillian Vilborg Bjarnason MacPherson, LL.B., M.L.I.S.

Lisa Meeches, C.M., O.M.

Loreena McKennitt, C.M., O.M., C.D.

Loréna Aglae “Dollee” Chevrier

Lorena Mitchell

Louise Habimana Uwera

Lucille Cenerini

Lydia Pajunen

Lynn Sissons

Mabel Josephine Wardrop

Manie Tobie (pen name for Thérèse Goulet-Courchaine)

Margaret Ann Scott

Margaret Bloodworth, C.M., LL.B.

Margaret June Kenter

Margaret Laurence, C.C., LL.D.

Margaret Sweatman, M.A. 

Maria Vogt

Marie Benoist-Gallays

Mariette Mulaire, C.I.M., C.I.T.P.

Martha Ruth Brooks

Mary Barrett Speechly, LL.D.

Mary Dopson

Mary Gowler

Mary Riter Hamilton

Mary Sawka

Maude Bisset

Maxine Critch

Meeka Walsh, C.M.

Millie Lamb

Miriam Toews, O.M., Hon. D.C.L., D.Litt., 

Nahanni Fontaine, MLA

Neila Premachuk, O.M. 

Nicole Bremault

Parusia Purohit, N.P.

Pauline Boutal, C.M.

Reeve Lori Schellekens

Renee Kaplan

Rhonda Head

Roxy Freedman

Ruth Waterman Rubinstein

Ruthanne Dyck

Sandra Hodzic, M.B.A., M.P.A.

Sara Usman

Sarah Malabar

Sharron Zenith Corne

Shirley Elias

Shirley Richardson

Sigurros Vidal

Skylar Park

Sonja Bejzyk, S.M.V.

Sophia Thomas Mason

Sophie Gaulin

Speaker Devi Sharma, Winnipeg City Councillor

Sue Boreskie

Susan Auch, OLY

Teresa Dukes

Teresa Rogers

The Honourable Ruth Krindle, LL.D., LL.B.

Thelma Alma Wynne

Trailblazing women at the University of Manitoba/Femmes pionnières à l’Université du Manitoba 

Venla Hovi, OLY

Vera Derenchuk

Vera Lysenko

Violet Irene Guymer (née Poynter)

Wanda Koop, C.M., O.M., LL.D., D.F.A., D.Litt., R.C.A.

Wendy Pongoski

Winnifred Van Slyck, C.M.




This is a call to nominate Manitoba women who were Trailblazers: women who were first in their field or who through their work, had a significant impact on their field or community.




A woman, or a collective of women, who have made an impact on the development of Manitoba.

Nominees must have:
  • Worked or volunteered or played a role that was first in their field or had a significant impact or outcome on society in Manitoba.

  • Demonstrated leadership and acted as a role model.

  • Reflected the spirit of Nellie McClung.

  • Worked/lived for a significant part of their lives in the territory that is now called Manitoba (please verify this in the application).

  • Nominee (if alive) must agree to nomination.

Not Eligible:
  • Women who will be participating in the selection process

Who can nominate:
  • Anyone can nominate.


  • Oral history and accounts

  • Personal diaries

  • Family genealogies

  • History books

  • Government records

  • Newspapers

  • Community Club minutes, other meeting minutes

  • Birth records



We would like to thank all those who provided nominees for the Nellie McClung Foundation’s 150 Manitoba Women Trailblazer Awards.

We are pleased to announce that we received over 350 nominations.


The Nellie McClung Foundation, in partnership with the Winnipeg Free Press, has put in place a third-party selection committee that will undertake the review of all nominations.

Successful nominators/nominees will be notified by email, January 2021.

All nominees will be recognized in a book and showcased at the Manitoba Museum in a temporary exhibit open to the public dates to be confirmed.

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