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Saskatchewan River: Plains Speaking

Pioneer in the fight for women's rights

More on the Saskatchewan River:
Saskatchewan River:
From glaciers to grasslands

Early Bird:
Beaked dinosaur is missing link to birds

Dry Bones:
Dinosours abound in Alberta’s badlands

Plains Speaking:
Pioneer in the fight for women’s rights

Last Stand:
The Northwest Rebellions ends Métis autonomy

End of Steel:
Canada's northernmost metropolis

Dirty Thirties:
Prairie life in the era of the Bennett Buggy

Unwild West:
Mounties keep order on the Prairies

Dream of Wheat:
Prosperous farmers feed the world

Wonder City:
Saskatoon sprouts from the Prairie

Hardship and self-reliance developed a strong sense of fair play among settlers of the Canadian Prairies. It made the region a leader in many political struggles for equal rights and social justice.

One of the best-known leaders in the right for social justice was Nellie McClung.

Born in Ontario, Nellie Letitia Mooney moved west with her family when she was 10. She became a teacher and joined her first social cause, the Women's Christian Temperance Union. It was dedicated to banning alcohol.

After becoming a wife and mother, Nellie McClung campaigned tirelessly against the evils which plagued childhood in the early part of the century — undernourishment, slums, child labour, and parental drunkenness. She helped organize the Political Equality League, worked for the Red Cross, and fought for aid to prisoners of war. She also brought attention to prison conditions and advocated more liberal divorce laws. She somehow found time to pen sixteen books and have a demanding career as a public speaker.

Nellie McClung was elected to the Alberta Legislature from 1921-26. She went on to serve on the Board of Governors for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and became a delegate to the League of Nations in 1938.

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