The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) is a non-partisan, voluntary, self-funded organization with over 100 CFUW clubs, located in every province across Canada. Graduate Women International (GWI), formerly International Federation of University Women, is an international network linking women graduates from all cultures, all fields of study, all professions and all generations. GWI has national affiliates in 62 countries, including the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW), and individual members in more than 40 others.
CFUW Edmonton gathers on Treaty 6 territory and the traditional meeting ground for many Indigenous peoples. The territory provided a travelling route and home to the Cree, Blackfoot, and Métis, as it did for the Nakoda, Tsuu T’ina, Chipewyan, and other Indigenous peoples. Their relationships to the land create a rich heritage for our learning and our life as a community, and their histories, languages, and cultures continue to influence our vibrant community.
CFUW Edmonton’s activities are based on member-initiated ideas and projects within the context of the national organization’s policies. It is a diverse group of women who, through their involvement in academic, cultural and social programs in CFUW Edmonton and the community, strive for the development and education of all women.
- Since 1911, CFUW Edmonton has awarded annual bursaries and scholarships totaling about $1,096,216 to female University of Alberta students. Since the 1980s, it has awarded major scholarships in post-graduate study. The CFUW Edmonton Academic Awards Fund (AAF) administers most of the bursaries and scholarships.
- The Education Standing Committee was a major committee from 1910 through to the 1970s. Members were involved in teaching shut-in children, adult education, public forums, and submissions to the Edmonton Public School Board and the Provincial Curriculum Committee.
- The Library Standing Committee provided book handling/library services to the University of Alberta Hospital for almost 40 years (1928–1967) and worked for improved library facilities in schools and public libraries in Edmonton.
- In the 1960s, CFUW Edmonton was instrumental in creating provincial day care standards. CFUW Edmonton also took a leadership role in the preservation of Rutherford House, the home of Alberta’s first premier.
- For Canada’s Centennial year, the club’s Centennial project was to help convince the Government of Alberta of the need to establish a provincial archives.
- Between 1970 and 1975 the Anti-Pollution Group (renamed in 1971 to the Environmental Concerns Study Group) initiated the recycling of telephone books in Edmonton and put together and distributed a slideshow that promoted recycling. This popular slideshow was shown in schools across Alberta and in provincial campgrounds. For about 20 years following 1970, the club had a representative on the Public Advisory Committee of the Alberta government’s Environment Conservation Authority/Environment Council of Alberta.
- In 1986, the Environmental Concerns Study Group was reactivated and, ever since, has been a very active watchdog on environmental issues. Members (of the now named Environment Group) have made many presentations on the club’s behalf to the Edmonton City Council and to committees and hearings concerning environmental matters.
- In the 21st Century, the Health Issues Group was formed and members are dedicated to learning about and publicizing health issues.
- Since the 1920s, CFUW Edmonton has been actively involved in not only local and provincial matters, but also in national and international matters through the Canadian Federation of University Women and the International Federation of University Women.