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Gumboot Girls

Adventure, Love & Survival on the North Coast of British Columbia

Edited by Lou Allison

with Jane Wilde

Forty years ago, droves of young women migrated away from urban settings and settled in rural areas across North America. Many settled on the north coast of British Columbia, on Haida Gwaii or around Prince Rupert. Gumboot Girls tells the stories of thirty-four women, through their own eyes, as they moved from their comfortable city-dwelling surroundings to the rugged north coast. Part back-to-the-land, part adventure, heartbreak and love, this collection of stories edited by Lou Allison and compiled by Jane Wilde was inspired by the book Girls Like Us by Sheila Weller. Wilde, the creator of the collection, encouraged, prodded and cajoled her friends (and some of their friends) to tell the story of a generation of young women who flocked to the north coast of BC in the 1970s.

If you’re looking for the sequel to Gumboot Girls, go check out Dancing in Gumboots

“The value of these memoirs is what these women deemed to be the significant events in their lives that should be recorded for posterity … the narratives of social history, such as work, social activism, and family. What these memoirs teach us is that these stories don’t make sense without contemplation of love and loneliness, joy and sadness, and pride and doubt.”
BC Studies

“These stories reflect on how a wave of women who settled in the Comox Valley broke down gender barriers as tree planters and fishers, embraced feminism and built lives based on self-confidence and self-reliance.”
Decaf Nation

“Gumboot Girls is a highly inspiring and positive voice.”
Porcupine Blog