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Gwen Tuinman

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Canadian History

Fall Fairs in Upper Canada: A Brief History

One of the pleasures of October is attending the fall fairs so prevalent across Ontario. After discovering archived images of fairs held in the early 1900s, I became curious about the origins of such events. These curated details will find their way into my writing one day.

Agricultural Societies appeared in Upper Canada as early as 1793 when the first one began at Niagara. In the eighteen-thirties and forties, the societies grew in popularity. Their membership activities provided an opportunity for socializing among farmers. The farmers’ wives, however, were disallowed from participating in the society. Women rarely broke the monotony of their daily routine except to visit a neighbour or a general store. To join in men’s activities was considered improper.

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Nahneebahweequay (1824-1865)–A Champion for Indigenous Land Rights

Nahneebahweequay—a woman of courage and tenacity—was born in 1824 to the Mississaugas of the Anishinaabe First Nation. Her name means upright woman. She became an activist for Indigenous land rights with her feet planted firmly in both her native heritage and the English world in which she was known as Catherine Sutton. Her fight for justice led her to meet with Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace.

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Women’s Farming Activist: Georgina Binnie-Clark (1871-1947)

In the early 1900s, Georgina Binnie-Clark lobbied for women farmers’ equal right to claim government land grants and she educated new generations of women agriculturalists. Her story is particularly interesting in light of the present-day women’s farming movement and also because she campaigned for justice during an era that disapproved of outspoken women.

Continue reading “Women’s Farming Activist: Georgina Binnie-Clark (1871-1947)”

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