Today marks the 25th anniversary of National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day to celebrate, highlight and reflect upon the rich histories, cultures and achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples. June 21 was chosen because it coincides with the summer solstice, a sacred and joyous time for many First Nations peoples because it marks the longest day of the year. There are lots of COVID-friendly National Indigenous Peoples Day events happening around the capital
Julia was born in 1896 and grew up on a homestead near Chipman, Alberta. She and her husband Nick moved to Edmonton in 1936.
Julia enrolled in the University of Alberta Extension Department and took courses related to psychology, philosophy and world affairs. She tried unsuccessfully to run for a seat 11 times before actually being elected in 1963.
Julia was regarded as an accomplished, though somewhat unconventional, speaker. As a politician, she was known and loved as a supporter of the common people; her success spurred renewed civic involvement. One of her biggest issues was to fight for household owners with basement suites.
While still in office, Julia suffered a fatal heart attack and passed away on October 11th, 1969 at age 70. Her seat on council was filled in a by-election won by her son Julian.
Portrait of a great-hearted woman (Maclean’s; September 19, 1964)
Sources: Edmonton Bulletin, September 25, 1945 Edmonton Journal, October 14, 1969; Naming Edmonton: From Ada to Zoie, 2004
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