Edith, Edith Anderson Montour, Jenny Kaplan discussed on Encyclopedia Womannica
Hello. From wonder media network, I'm Jenny Kaplan, and this is romantica. This month we're highlighting indigenous women from around the globe. Today, we're talking about a woman who broke barriers and encouraged those around her to do the same. She was the first indigenous woman in Canada to become a registered nurse, and the first indigenous woman to gain the right to vote in a Canadian election. Let's talk about Charlotte Edith Anderson montour. Charlotte Edith Anderson montour, who mostly went by Edith, was born in 1890 on the 6 nations reserve in OS weekend, near brantford Ontario. She was of Mohawk descent. Edith excelled in school and was a high school graduate, a rare accomplishment for Canadian women, both indigenous and non indigenous at that time. She wanted to go to nursing school, the Canadian federal law prohibited indigenous students from enrolling. Still, Edith didn't let that stop her. Instead, she applied to New York's New Rochelle nursing school and was accepted. In 1914, Edith graduated at the top of her class and became the first Canadian indigenous registered nurse. Edith worked as a nurse in New York until 1917 when the U.S. entered into World War I. She then joined the U.S. Army nursing corps, along with 14 other Canadian nurses. Her community expected her to die overseas. Before she left, she received ceremonial Mohawk clothing to wear and burial. Nevertheless, a 27 years old, Edith traveled to France and began treating wounded soldiers. The working conditions were harrowing. Edith worked 14 hour shifts in brutal wartime conditions, sometimes witnessing whole towns being demolished. Even in the midst of this violence, Edith made deep human connections. She befriended a 20 year old soul named Earl king. She called him her pet patient. He had been shot in the neck, but they all expected him to make a full recovery. Unexpectedly, Earl hemorrhaged and died one morning. Edith wrote in her diary, my heart was broken. Cried most of the day and could not sleep. She reached out to Earl's parents and formed a friendship with them, later going to visit them in Iowa. When Edith returned from the war, she was granted the right to vote. In Canada, the military voters act of 1917 gave all Canadians who served in the war the right to vote. Including Edith. Indigenous women generally in Canada didn't gain the right to vote until 1960. Edith eventually moved back to the reservation where she grew up, and worked as a nurse there until 1955. She had 5 children. Helen Moses, her daughter. Continued her mother's legacy, becoming a founding member of the Canadian indigenous nurses association. In 1996, Edith died just a few days before her 106th birthday..