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History Women

Ours by Every Law of Right and Justice

Women and the Vote in the Prairie Provinces

by (author) Sarah Carter

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2020
Women, Women's Studies, Women in Politics, Canadian, Post-Confederation (1867-)
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2020
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2020
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2021
    List Price

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Many of Canada’s most famous suffragists lived and campaigned in the Prairie provinces, which led the way in granting women the right to vote and hold office. In Ours by Every Law of Right and Justice, Sarah Carter challenges the myth that grateful male legislators simply handed women the vote when it was asked for. Settler suffragists worked long and hard to overcome obstacles and persuade doubters. But even as they petitioned for the vote for their sisters, they often approved of that same right being denied to “foreigners” and Indigenous peoples. By situating the suffragists’ struggle in the colonial history of Prairie Canada, this powerful and passionate book shows that the right to vote meant different things to different people.

About the author

Sarah Carter, F.R.S.C., is H.M. Tory Chair and Professor in the Department of History and Classics, and Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. She is a specialist in the history of Western Canada and is the author of Aboriginal People and Colonizers of Western Canada to 1900, Capturing Women, and Lost Harvests. Sarah Carter was awarded the Jensen-Miller Prize by the Coalition for Women's History for the best article published in 2006 in the field of women and gender in the trans-Mississippi West.

Sarah Carter's profile page


  • Short-listed, Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize, Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Winner, WILLA Literary Award, Scholarly Nonfiction
  • Short-listed, Margaret McWilliams Prize in Manitoba History

Editorial Reviews

Carter’s book is undoubtedly required reading not only for students of suffrage history, Prairie history and Canadian history more generally but also for scholars interested in the empirical investigation of that history.

Canadian Journal of Political Science

Outstanding research and a fluid writing style make this book an impressive, useful, and accessible history of Canadian women's fight for suffrage. Carter's portraits of the women leading the efforts bring the period to life for the reader ... It delves into complex political and sociological aspects of the movement and the unsettling biases of the movers. It includes the perspectives of Indigneous peoples, white British settlers, ethnic minorities, farm women, and the working class. An important contribution to women's studies.

WILLA Literary Award for Scholarly Nonfiction Judges

With clarity, sensitivity and deftness, Carter shows that these activists’ accomplishments, and the oppression they furthered, were equally real… she sets a useful template for historians to examine and understand other similarly complex events and figures in Canadian history.

Canadian Journal of History

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