Women’s Firsts – Manitoba

Period Timeline Event
1890 By 1890, most women could run for school board. Many early women political figures were active at municipal or school board.
1920 Jessie Kirk became the first woman on the Winnipeg City Council.Edith Rogers became the first woman MLA from Manitoba.
1948 In 1948, Frances Atwell graduated from the University of Manitoba with a B.Sc. in Pharmacy in 1948, thereby becoming possibly the first black pharmacist Winnipeg.
1950 Evelyne Gardener was the first black woman to graduate as a Licensed Practical Nurse in Winnipeg.  Later she became an R.N.
1950s Joyce Stevenson was mayor of Minnedosa.Flora Cowan served as Alderman in Brandon for 16 years. She was also the first woman deputy mayor of Brandon.
1960 Dr. June Marion James: James was the first black woman accepted into the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba, and the first black woman to receive the Order of Manitoba in 2004.
1962 Violet Einarson was the first woman mayor of Gimli.
1963 Margaret Konantz became the first woman MP for Manitoba.
1966 Thelma Forbes was the first woman Speaker, and held the position of first woman cabinet minister from 1966-1973.
1971 Jean Folster of Norway House was the first Woman Magistrate and Band chief.Muriel Smith was the first woman to be deputy premier.
1974 Inez Stevenson, First African-Canadian Woman elected to a Manitoba school board (Winnipeg No. 1)
1979 Muriel Smith was the first woman to run for leadership of political party.Pearl McGonigal became the first woman deputy mayor of Winnipeg.
1981 Pearl McGonigal moves from Winnipeg city politics to become the first woman Lieutenant-Governor.
1984 Sharon Carstairs was first woman to lead a political party.
1989 Sharon Carstairs was the first woman Leader of the Opposition in 1989.
1992 Susan Thompson becomes the first female mayor of Winnipeg.
2006 Tina Keeper is the first Aboriginal woman MP.