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Edith MacTavish Rogers

Photograph of Edith MacTavish Rogers

First woman elected to the Manitoba Legislative Assembly.

Born in Norway House, Rupert's Land in 1876.
Died in Colborne, Ontario in 1947.


Political Affiliation: Liberal

Legislative Career: First elected to the Manitoba Legislative Assembly in the 1920 provincial election as member for Winnipeg riding. Served until 1932.

Edith Rogers spent her early years in the north at Norway House and Rupert House as her father was an officer of the Hudson's Bay Company (as was her grandfather), but she was educated in Montreal. She settled in Winnipeg after marrying in 1898, raising her children and taking up social life as the wife of a prominent businessman, becoming involved in philanthropic work, including acting as a volunteer organizer of social events for charitable causes.

She advanced to social welfare work during World War I when she assumed a leadership role in Winnipeg's efforts to cope with the needs of families of soldiers. When the war ended she continued working with social agencies on the needs of the returning soldiers and their families. She progressed to active politics in 1920, winning the nomination to run in the 1920 provincial election and subsequently winning a seat. She won twice more, in the 1922 and 1927 provincial elections, before retiring from active politics in 1932. Another first achievement was serving as the only woman board member of the Winnipeg General Hospital.

In public service she mastered the legislative and committee process and achieved improved laws and benefits for the welfare of mothers, children and others, while continuing to help the many individuals who appealed to her for assistance. She sat as both a government and opposition member.

During World War II she became just as active as before, assisting with the Winnipeg war organization and effort. She then retired for the final time to a family residence in Colborne, Ontario prior to her death in 1947. Edith Rogers was remembered by individuals from all walks of life for her unwavering sense of fairness and her personal touch.


Kinnear, Mary and Fast, Vera. Planting the Garden: an annotated archival bibliography of the history of women in Manitoba. — Winnipeg: The University of Manitoba Press, 1987. — P.159.

Konantz, Gail. — Edith Rogers. — Winnipeg: Peguis Publishers Limited, 1981. — 52. p. — (Manitobans in profile).

Pioneers and prominent people of Manitoba. — Ed. Walter McRaye. — Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Co., 1925. — P. 93.

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