Lilies and Fireweed

Frontier Women of British Columbia

Raincoast Chronicles 20

By Stephen Hume

Photo research by Kate Bird


Lilies and Fireweed is packed with unforgettable stories of women surviving in the unforgiving, sometimes hostile environment of pioneer and aboriginal British Columbia. Based on award-winning journalist Stephen Hume’s popular series “Frontier Women of BC” that appeared in the Vancouver Sun in 2002, this collection of essays contains stories, photographs and other materials that have never before been published.

From hospitals to dance halls, and from the classroom to the cannery floor, this insightful pictorial history examines indigenous and immigrant women’s positions in the workplace, home and wilderness. Hume delves into the lives of aboriginal and pioneer women who had an important and multifaceted influence on the development of British Columbia.

Brimming with fascinating historical photographs, Lilies and Fireweed brings to light the forgotten stories of mothers, dance-hall girls, artists, teachers and adventurers that are as enthralling and diverse as BC itself.


[Click here to view the Table of Contents] [Click here to view Chapter 1]

Agnes Deans Cameron, at age 27 in 1890, was the first female high school teacher in BC. BC Archives F-08820

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