Lilies and Fireweed is packed with unforgettable stories of women surviving in the unforgiving, sometimes hostile environment of pioneer and aboriginal British Columbia. Based on award-winning journalist Stephen Hume's popular series "Frontier Women of BC" that appeared in the Vancouver Sun in 2002, this collection of essays contains stories, photographs and other materials that have never before been published.
From hospitals to dance halls, and from the classroom to the cannery floor, this insightful pictorial history examines indigenous and immigrant women's positions in the workplace, home and wilderness. Hume delves into the lives of aboriginal and pioneer women who had an important and multifaceted influence on the development of British Columbia.
We meet women such as 17-year-old Frances Barkley, who insisted on accompanying her husband on a merchant voyage to British Columbia in 1786 and subsequently twice circumnavigated the world; Lady Amelia Douglas - a Cree woman and wife of Governor James Douglas - who had her own important but often overlooked role in the forging of British Columbia; Mrs. Washiji Oya, the first Japanese woman to settle in Canada in 1887; and Maria Pollard Grant, who, in 1895, became the first woman elected to public office in BC.
Brimming with fascinating historical photographs, Lilies and Fireweed brings to light the forgotten stories of mothers, dance-hall girls, artists, teachers and adventurers that are as enthralling and diverse as BC itself.
About the author
Stephen Hume was raised in fishing, farming and logging communities across Alberta and BC and studied at the University of Victoria. A journalist for over 35 years, Hume was editor-in-chief at the Edmonton Journal before moving to BC to become columnist and feature writer for the Vancouver Sun. He has won more than a dozen awards for his poetry, essays and journalism, including the Writers Guild of Alberta Literary Award, the Southam President's Award and the Marjorie Nichols Memorial Award. Stephen became the first Canadian to win the Dolly Connelly prize for environmental writing. His other books include Raincoast Chronicles 20: Lilies and Fireweed, Bush Telegraph and Off the Map, which was shortlisted for a Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Book Prize. He currently teaches professional writing at the University of Victoria.
Other titles by Stephen Hume
A Walk with the Rainy Sisters
In Praise of British Columbia's Places
Early in the Season
A British Columbia Journal
In Search of Modern British Columbia
A Stain Upon the Sea
West Coast Salmon Farming
Off the Map
Western Travels on Roads Less Taken
British Columbia's Cattle Country
Discovering the Pacific Province
Seasonal splendors of the North American West