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Atkinson, Isabel (1891-1968)

Born in Bramley, England on July 22, 1891, Isabel Atkinson moved with her widowed mother to Waterbury, Connecticut when she was 14. She worked in a factory, and became a women's rights' activist. In 1914 she came to Saskatchewan to live with her mother and brother on the latter's farm near Strasbourg, and to assist on the farm. In 1919 the two women moved to Kerrobert, where Isabel worked as a bookkeeper for twenty-five years. She helped found the local library and avidly studied social issues, especially public health. Four years after her mother's death, she moved to Saskatoon. Her concern for housing, public health, and social services led her to travel abroad to study programs in Commonwealth countries in 1948-49. She wrote about them in a series of articles published in the Star-Phoenix and other Newspapers. The Winnipeg Free Press later published selected articles in booklet form.

Active in the Consumers' Association of Canada (CAC), Atkinson became provincial president in 1954, and was national president of this Ottawa-based organization from 1956 to 1960. After returning to Saskatoon, she continued to do research for the CAC. Her other involvements included the Saskatoon Council of Women (for which she received a life membership) and the Liberal Party. She died in Saskatoon on August 11, 1968.

Bob Ivanochko

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Further Reading

Pratt, F. 1985. “Isabel Atkinson.” Western People, a supplement to The Western Producer.
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