City Adds Four New Inductees to Online Exhibit

Freda McDonald making a basket at Fort William Historical Park
Freda McDonald making a basket at Fort William Historical Park

THUNDER BAY – Each year in October, to coincide with Women’s History Month, new inductees are added to the City of Thunder Bay Women’s History Month online exhibit. The exhibit recognizes and celebrates women of all ages who played important roles in the history and development of our city.

The original launch of this exhibit was held in 2013. Over the years many new and deserving women have been added. These women are celebrated for their significant contributions to public service, health care, education, community development, women’s rights, military, and the war effort, and to the arts. “Every year we add more experiences to our exhibit,” said Lauren Halsey, Associate Archivist, City of Thunder Bay. “This year, we are excited to bring attention to the contributions that Indigenous women have made to local history.”

Four new inductees are being recognized and added to the online exhibit this year:

Grandmother Josephine Mandamin, whose life’s journey was to serve the public and help improve the lives of Indigenous people. Her work in Thunder Bay spans over 40 years. She is the recipient of the awards for Indigenous leadership and reconciliation as well as for her water protection work.

Elder Freda McDonald, whose years of research for her work at Fort William Historical Park made her a recognized expert in Ojibwa culture. She has shared her knowledge of Ojibwa culture and spirituality with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike in Thunder Bay and beyond.

Dolores Wawia, who spent a lifetime developing and promoting Aboriginal education. She has been awarded both the Order of Ontario and the Lakehead Alumni Honour Award for her work as a pioneer in Native education.

Eunice Wishart, determined to make a place for women in politics, was elected in 1948 as Port Arthur’s first female alderman and in 1956 as Port Arthur’s first female mayor. Outside of politics, Wishart was also deeply involved in her community by serving within numerous organizations.

The exhibit can be viewed at To learn more, citizens are invited to contact the City of Thunder Bay Archives, or stop by the Archives located at 235 Vickers St. N., from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday.

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