Edith MacTavish Rogers


Edith MacTavish Rogers. Photo from Winnipeg Foundation archives.

The Road to 100

Honouring those who have shaped our community through The Foundation.

Manitoba’s first woman MLA: Edith MacTavish Rogers

Two simple words – walking together – represent The Winnipeg Foundation’s aspiration for our 2019 -2021 Strategic Plan. While brief, these words have deep meaning and responsibility. These words are optimistic in spirit and are a call to action in their own right; they are a call for a community brim full of possibility to develop deepened understanding through the power of many partners.

In the months leading up to April 2021, the 100th anniversary of the creation of The Winnipeg Foundation, we are seizing the opportunity to delve into stories from our very beginnings. Some of these stories may be well known from publications during past decades, and from archival records. We affectionately refer to the years between 1951 and 1997 as our middle age. In regular postings, we’ll share stories and reflections on people, events and initiatives that continue to inspire us. Stay tuned.

The Winnipeg Foundation has been described as a “Legacy of Dreams.” At the core of The Winnipeg Foundation’s mission are people. People of vision, people who care enough to mobilize, people who believe in a better future For All.

It is timely to start near the very beginning of The Foundation’s story. Edith MacTavish Rogers was born at Norway House in 1876, daughter of D.C. MacTavish, former Chief Factor of the Hudson’s Bay Company. She grew up in Norway House in a lively Cree Metis family. In 1920 Edith Rogers became the first woman elected to the Manitoba Legislature. An early and active advocate of the Child Welfare Act, she was an energetic volunteer in the social welfare field. She served as the only woman on the then Winnipeg General Hospital Board. Of enduring importance to the Winnipeg community, Edith Rogers introduced the legislation that incorporated The Winnipeg Foundation as the first community foundation in Canada. The newly renovated Winnipeg Gallery at the Manitoba Museum displays personal items donated by Edith’s descendants.

A shared history of promise, thanks to those who have gone before us.

This story is featured in the Fall 2019 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.

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