Miners, Victoria “Tory” (1888-1956)

In 1913, a young schoolteacher from Ontario moved to Saskatchewan. Victoria, or “Tory,” Miners played a vital role in changing the working conditions of female teachers in the province. She did this by starting a movement to improve compensation for women teachers; the initial goal was to advocate not only for equal pay, but also for sufficient pay. The formation of the Saskatoon Women Teachers' Association (SWTA) took place in 1915; by 1918, with Miners as president, the SWTA became the largest teachers' local in the province. In 1919 she was a delegate at the founding meeting of the Canadian Teachers' Federation; in 1924 she achieved another important milestone for educators by becoming the first female public school principal in Saskatoon. As well as working to acquire better pay for teachers, Miners also influenced teachers to advance their own education. Following her own encouragement to others, she completed a BEd in 1936 and an MEd in 1937. Victoria Miners retired from public school teaching in 1948, but continued to instruct at the College of Education in Saskatoon. She died in a car accident in Ontario in 1956.

Karen Zemlak