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Canadian Girls in Training

Founded in 1915 by the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) and major Protestant denominations, Canadian Girls in Training (CGIT) sought to address the needs of teenage girls from a Christian perspective. It reflected then-modern concepts in Protestantism, including historical criticism of the Bible and the Social Gospel, as well as progressive Education. CGIT emphasizes cherishing health, seeking truth, knowing God, and serving others. Affirming ideals of progressive education, volunteer leaders worked with small groups of girls to select and plan a wide range of programs and activities in a democratic environment. The exact date of CGIT’s entry into Saskatchewan is unclear, but YWCA board minutes show initial organization occurring in Regina in March 1918. The movement proved popular with teenage girls and helped many to develop leadership skills and self-confidence. During the 1920s groups sprang up in communities across the province. CGIT survived the drought and economic depression of the 1930s, but membership numbers declined in the course of the second half of the century. As of 2004, CGIT groups continue to exist in Saskatchewan, though greatly diminished in number.

Lisa Dale-Burnett

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