A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada
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EPISODE 14: First Lady of the Yukon: Martha Black
Directed by David Adkin

SYNOPSIS

In 1898 an irrepressible and privileged American woman set off for the Klondike. Martha Black became the second female Member of Parliament and the first female M.P. from the Yukon.

KEY IDEAS

  • American immigration to Canada
  • Women Pioneers
  • Immigration during the Klondike

KEY TERMS

  • Gold Rush
  • Chilkoot Pass
  • Member of Parliament
  • War Volunteer
  • Equality for Women

OBJECTIVES

  • To understand the motivation behind American immigration to Canada
  • To become aware of why it was exceptional that Martha Black followed the Gold Rush
  • To appreciate the many ways a Canadian citizen can be an active member of their community and country

STUDENT ACTIVITIES

  1. Research the history of the Gold Rush and the impact it had on the Yukon.

  2. Make a list of provisions and supplies that you would have taken on the trek to the goldfields in 1896. Contrast it with what you would take today.

  3. Compare Martha Black's personality with the traditional character of women at the turn of the century.

  4. Discuss the meaning of the title, "The First Lady of the Yukon".

  5. Draw up a chronology of Canadian women in politics. Include brief biographies of each woman.

  6. Put together a scrapbook with pictures and information about Yukon flora and fauna. Look into how the Yukon ecosystem might be different today than at the turn of the century.