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Oxner, Bertha (1885–1960)

Bertha Oxner, 1953.
University of Saskatchewan Archives A-3211

Born in Nova Scotia in 1885, Oxner became a teacher and in 1908 moved to Saskatchewan, where she taught in Saskatoon, Brock and Saltcoats. She then attended the University of Saskatchewan, where she obtained a BA, and Chicago University, where she earned an MA; she also did post-graduate work at Chicago in textiles and clothing. Oxner returned to Saskatchewan, and in 1925 became assistant professor in household science at the University. She and Ethel B. Rutter developed the School of Household Science and its bachelor of household science degree. In 1930 she was appointed director of women’s work. She developed extensive educational programs for rural women and the Homemakers’ Clubs. As well, she wrote a column in the Western Producer . In 1936 she assisted development of girls’ Homecraft Clubs. She also organized the first Homemakers’ Club on a First Nations reserve, and initiated courses for Métis women. Oxner was active in many groups: the Canadian Association for Adult Education, National Vocational Training Advisory Council, Canadian Association of Consumers, Canadian Home Economics Association, Saskatchewan Technical Education Committee, and Saskatchewan Farm Housing Committee. Retiring in 1949, she returned to Chester, where she died on December 7, 1960. In 1978 Oxner was inducted into the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Dagmar Skamlová

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