October is Canadian Women’s History Month and this year it’s being celebrated on Salt Spring Island with a fun and inspiring event.
Women’s history is a passion for Salt Spring Public Library information technician Sophia vom Bauer Jackson, who had a vision for the library to bring together a diverse group of female presenters for an afternoon in the library’s program room. The result is Canadian Women’s History Month – Sharing Stories in Words and Songs, taking place on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 2 p.m.
Vom Bauer Jackson notes that it was less than 100 years ago — on Oct. 18, 1929 — that women were declared “persons” in Canada, and then only the case for Caucasian women.
Saturday’s event will feature six individuals and groups: Penelakut Elder Jillian Harris, Molly Akerman, Briony Penn, and members of the Japanese Garden Society of Salt Spring Island, Raging Grannies and Women of Note choir.
“Each person or group will have 15 to 20 minutes for a presentation, and each of them has something really interesting to present,” said vom Bauer Jackson.
Harris, a former chief of the Penelakut Tribe, will talk about the Women of Courage project — sponsored by the ecumenical justice group Kairos she has been involved with.
Akerman, who grew up on Salt Spring and is taking Indigenous studies at university, will talk about how women bond and support each other when they are in need.
Penn’s subject is women in academia and First Nations working to protect forests.
While the Salt Spring Raging Grannies are not presently active, said vom Bauer Jackson, they will celebrate past activities.
The Women of Note ensemble will, not surprisingly, sing their story.
Japanese Garden Society members will talk about the experiences of the Japanese women who came to Canada and Salt Spring.
An intermission will provide an opportunity for people to circulate in the room and make new connections.
“I want women to connect with each other,” said vom Bauer Jackson. “I want them to be encouraged, inspired by all the women around us . . . They do all these things and make it all work and try their best to make the world a little bit better. I want to inspire that kind of spirit.”