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Ruth Gorman and the Fight for Aboriginal Rights in mid-20th Century Alberta

September 20, 2014 2 – 4 pm

Order of Canada Recipient (1968) & Alberta Woman of the Century (1961)

Who: Dr. Frits Pannekoek, President Emeritus of Athabasca University
What: A gathering and lecture for general public. FREE admission.
When: Saturday, September 20 @ 2pm
Where: Royal Alberta Museum Theatre

Talk and gathering based on the late Ms. Gorman's memoir, Behind the Man: John Laurie, Ruth Gorman, and the Indian Vote in Canada (2007).

Announcing the first Mâmawapowin / Ti Tâga Orezuichiye / Gathering About First Nations: a public event celebrating aspects of Alberta's Aboriginal peoples' history. The gathering is a collaboration between several central Alberta First Nations, the Stoney Nakoda, the University of Alberta and the Royal Alberta Museum.

The gathering will be delivered by Dr. Frits Pannekoek, President Emeritus of Athabasca University. Dr. Pannekoek edited Ms. Gorman's memoir, Behind the Man: John Laurie, Ruth Gorman, and the Indian Vote in Canada (2007). He has published extensively in the areas of western Canadian, Aboriginal, and Métis history.

This year, the gathering is titled Ruth Gorman and the Fight for Aboriginal Rights in mid-20th Century Alberta. It will tell the little-known story of Ruth Gorman, one of the few female lawyers in Alberta in the 1940s and 1950s. Ms. Gorman acted for the Indian Association of Alberta and played an important role in securing the vote for Status Indians federally in 1960 and in Alberta in 1965. She continued to play an active role in Alberta's First Nations' communities and struggles until her death in 2002.

Ms. Gorman was also an active member of the Calgary Local Council of Women, was named Calgary's Woman of the Year in 1960 and an Alberta Woman of the Century in 1961. In 1968 she was one of only the second group of officers named to the Order of Canada. This year marks the 75th anniversary of Ms. Gorman graduation from the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta in 1939, and the gathering is being held alongside U of A's homecoming celebrations for 2014.

There will also be official comments from several First Nations elders and speakers and an open discussion. Books will be sold in the Museum Shop.

Please note our administration is temporarily closed for holidays, from December 26, 2016 through January 2, 2017.