Who are the women who've looked after Canada's children?
The Secret Life of Canada looks at the changing face of caregivers in Canada.
In their final episode of the season, The Secret Life of Canada takes on the history of Canada's nannies and caregivers, asking "does Canada have a class system? From Ireland to Finland to the Caribbean to the Philippines, the faces of the women have changed — but has central story?
Co-hosts Leah-Simone Bowen and Falen Johnson explore the stories of Indigenous girls and women from all over the world, from the 1940s on, who were tasked with caring for Canada's children and families.
What you'll hear this episode
- How Indigenous and Black women who were enslaved became some of the first nannies in Upper Canada.
- The history behind early Irish Immigration in Canada and the discrimination many Irish Catholics met when they got here.
- The competition to find a nanny when they were scarce.
- Why Finnish and Scandinavian women were preferred as domestics.
- How residential schools turned care giving into an industry, fuelled by the labour of Indigenous girls and women.
- A brief history of the West Indian Domestic Scheme and discriminatory practices of the Canadian Government in regards to West Indian Immigration.
- The concept of a racialized labour hierarchy.
- How Caribbean and Filipina women fought the system to push for better working conditions.
- An interview with Dr.Ethel Tungohan the Canada Research Chair in Canadian Migration Policy, Impacts and Activism.
- Indigenous Women, Work, and History 1940–1980. Book by Mary Jane Logan McCallum.
- Filipinos in Canada: Disturbing Invisibility. Book, edited by Roland Sintos Coloma, Bonnie McElhinny, Ethel Tungohan, John Paul C. Catungal, and Lisa M. Davidson
- A Nation of Immigrants: Women, Workers, and Communities in Canadian History, 1840s -1960s. Book, edited by Franca Iacovetta, with Paula Draper and Robert Ventresca.
- Silenced: talks with working class Caribbean women about their lives and struggles as domestic workers in Canada. Book by Makeda Silvera
- Gender Migration and the work of Care. Canada: Migrant Domestic Workers Website.
- The West Indian Domestic Scheme in Canada. Journal article by Frances Henry.
- The Transformation of the Canadian Domestic Servant, 1871–1931. Journal article by Eric W. Sager
- Geniesh: an Indian girlhood. Book by Jane Willis
- Immigrant Domestic Servants in Canada. Book by Marilyn Barber
- Urban Domestic Servants in 19th Century Canada. Study by Claudette Lacelle. Minister of Supply and Services Canada, 1987.
- Irish Migrants in the Canadas: A New Approach. Book by by Bruce S. Elliott
- Negotiating Citizenship: Migrant Women in Canada and the Global System. Book by by Abigail Bakan and Daiva Stasiulis.
- Resisting discrimination: Women from Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean and the women's movement in Canada. Book by Vijay Agnew.
- Scratching the surface: Canadian, anti-racist, feminist thought. Book, edited by Enakshi Dua and Angela Robertson.
- Racialized migrant women in Canada: essays on health, violence and equity. Book, edited by Vijay Agnew
- Government of Canada: Live In Caregiver Program website.
- Graphic History Collective: Caregiving Work in Canada Radical History Poster Project.
- History of Finland-Canada Relations. Website by Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
- Canadians for an Inclusive Canada. Website.
- Domestic Service (Caregiving) in Canada. The Canadian Encyclopedia
- Filipino Canadians. The Canadian Encyclopedia
- Caribbean Canadians. The Canadian Encyclopedia
- Finnish Canadians. The Canadian Encyclopedia
- The Black Women Who Helped Build Canada. Article By Bee Quammie.
- Immigration Policy, the West Indies, and Canadian Black Activism in the 1960s. Article by Paul Hebert
- Why Is Stephen Harper Sending Domestic Workers Back to 1973? Huffington Post blog post by Syed Hussan.
- The Massey Murder. Book by Charlotte Gray.
- The Massey Murder: 100 years later, the tabloid tale still fascinates. CBC article by Reg Sherren.
- Alias Grace. Book by Margaret Atwood.
- Walk Towards the Gallows: The Tragedy of Hilda Blake, Hanged 1899. Book by Reinhold Kramer and Tom Mitchell.
- Hilda Blake Biography. Website Government of Manitoba.
- The Hopeless World of Hilda Blake. Web post by Reinhold Kramer & Tom Mitchell.