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 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.