Fonds 10-186 - Helen Forsey fonds

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Helen Forsey fonds

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  • Textual record

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CA ON0034 10-186

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  • 1952-[2010], predominant 1975-2000 (Creation)

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2.56 meters of textual records
6 prints
5 photographs

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Name of creator

Biographical history

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Biographical history

Helen Forsey was born in Ottawa, Ontario. In 1966 she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, at McGill University. She married, in 1969, and later had two children.

Helen Forsey began her career in international development, implementing and organizing educational, agricultural, and health projects with organizations such as Cuso International, The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and Oxfam Canada. She worked at local levels, in Canada, as well as implementing and organizing projects in South America, Jamaica, and Ghana.

Helen Forsey credits both her personal experiences and her involvement with the Aylmer Women’s Coalition, in 1975, with igniting her early feminist activism. For the next several decades, she would facilitate women’s rights through her writing and research work as well as through program planning and administration.

Through both her professional contributions and volunteer work, Helen Forsey furthered causes such as opposition to violence against women, social justice, ecofeminism, disarmament, opposition to homophobia, and anti-sexism. Her many initiatives included co-founding Women’s Action for and co-founding the Women and Food Production international conference, in 1984. In 1979, she led a successful campaign to have sexist and violent advertising removed from the Ottawa bus system.

She contributed to numerous feminist organizations such as Interval House, the Ottawa Women’s Centre, the Project Committee of MATCH International, and Women for the Survival of Agriculture. Her columns, articles, and letters to the editor were published both locally and nationally, in magazines and newspapers such as “Canadian Forum,” “Herstory,” “This Magazine,” “Upstream” “Herizons,” and the “Kingston Whig Standard,” providing meaningful feminist analysis of contemporary issues.

She led and participated in ecofeminist talks and workshops in grassroot and academic settings as well as working as research associate for Simone de Beauvoir Institute, Concordia, from 1993-1994. Helen Forsey has researched and written about environmental, political, feminist, and Indigenous issues, including writing works such as “Unsettling Mixture An Activist’s Writings,” (2019) and “A People’s Senate for Canada: Not a Pipe Dream!” (2015).

She resides both in the Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland, and in Algonquin Territory, Ontario.
Helen Forsey est née à Ottawa, en Ontario. En 1966, elle obtient une licence en agriculture à l'université McGill. Elle s'est mariée en 1969 et a eu deux enfants.

Helen Forsey a commencé sa carrière dans le développement international, en mettant en œuvre et en organisant des projets éducatifs, agricoles et sanitaires avec des organisations telles que Cuso International, l'Agence canadienne de développement international (ACDI) et Oxfam Canada. Elle a travaillé au niveau local, au Canada, et a mis en œuvre et organisé des projets en Amérique du Sud, en Jamaïque et au Ghana.

Helen Forsey attribue à ses expériences personnelles et à sa participation à la Coalition des femmes d'Aylmer, en 1975, l'origine de son militantisme féministe. Au cours des décennies suivantes, elle a contribué à la défense des droits des femmes par ses écrits et ses travaux de recherche, ainsi que par la planification et l'administration de programmes.

Par ses contributions professionnelles et son travail bénévole, Helen Forsey a fait avancer des causes telles que l'opposition à la violence contre les femmes, la justice sociale, l'écoféminisme, le désarmement, l'opposition à l'homophobie et l'antisexisme. Parmi ses nombreuses initiatives, on peut citer la cofondation de Women's Action for et la cofondation de la conférence internationale Women and Food Production, en 1984. En 1979, elle a mené avec succès une campagne visant à faire retirer les publicités sexistes et violentes du réseau de bus d'Ottawa.

Elle a contribué à de nombreuses organisations féministes telles que Interval House, le Centre des femmes d'Ottawa, le comité de projet de MATCH International et Women for the Survival of Agriculture. Ses chroniques, articles et lettres à la rédaction ont été publiés tant au niveau local que national, dans des magazines et journaux tels que "Canadian Forum", "Herstory", "This Magazine", "Upstream", "Herizons" et le "Kingston Whig Standard", fournissant une analyse féministe significative des questions contemporaines.

Elle a dirigé et participé à des conférences et des ateliers écoféministes dans des contextes locaux et universitaires et a travaillé comme associée de recherche pour l'Institut Simone de Beauvoir, à Concordia, de 1993 à 1994. Helen Forsey a mené des recherches et écrit sur des questions environnementales, politiques, féministes et autochtones, notamment dans des ouvrages tels que "Unsettling Mixture An Activist's Writings" (2019) et "A People's Senate for Canada : Not a Pipe Dream !" (2015).

Elle réside à la fois dans la presqu'île d'Avalon, à Terre-Neuve, et dans le territoire algonquin, en Ontario.

Custodial history

Scope and content

This fonds documents Helen Forsey’s involvement in second- and third- wave feminism; specifically, pacifist and disarmament causes as well as ecofeminism and efforts to end violence against women. The fonds depicts Helen Forsey's involvement in women's groups and events such as the Ottawa Women’s Lobby, Upstream, and the International Women's Year Arnprior Conference of Women.

The fonds includes records documenting Helen Forsey’s research into feminist causes with news clippings and articles tracking social issues such as domestic violence, militarism, pornography, homophobia, and sexism in the media.
Each series contains samples of Helen Forsey's writings and related correspondence, illustrating her writing process and response to contemporary issues impacting the status of women.

* Due to subject matter of research materials, the fonds includes records that may be upsetting or triggering to some.


Ce fonds documente l'implication d'Helen Forsey dans le féminisme de la deuxième et de la troisième vague. Il témoigne en particulier de son engagement dans des causes pacifistes en faveur du désarmement, de l'écoféminisme et des actions contre la violence faite aux femmes. Le fonds décrit la participation d'Helen Forsey au sein du Lobby des femmes d'Ottawa, sa participation au magazine Upstream, et sa participation à la Conférence des femmes d'Arnprior dans le cadre de l'Année internationale de la femme.

Le fonds comprend des documents qui témoignent des recherches d'Helen Forsey sur les causes féministes, des coupures de presse et des articles qui traitent de questions sociales telles que la violence domestique, le militarisme, la pornographie, l'homophobie et le sexisme dans les médias.

Chaque série contient des échantillons des écrits d'Helen Forsey et de la correspondance qui s'y rapporte, illustrant son processus d'écriture et sa réponse aux questions contemporaines ayant un impact sur le statut des femmes.

* Le fonds comprend des documents sensibles abordant certaines thématiques qui pourraient ne pas convenir à tous publics.

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