Metis Women Remembered
By Christa Nicholat
with permission from
Edith Hilda Merrifield, from the Pasqua Reserve, served in the military service from June 21st, 1942 to May 14th, 1946. She was a private in the Canadian Women's Army Corps and served in Canada. Edith heard of the war by listening to the news and reading the Leader-Post.
Edith went to Regina with a girlfriend to enlist. After she was sworn into the Canadian Women's Army Corps she was sent to Vermillion, Alberta for training. Edith trained for tear gas, map reading, and rifle training. She was then posted back to Regina where she worked as a clerk in the supply depot and also took a course in supplies. Edith didn't care too much for it though, and she put in a transfer to the military police. She applied to go to British Columbia but was sent down east. Edith was stationed in Ottawa as a member of the military police. While in Ottawa she met her husband who was a pilot in the air force. During the war Edith was sent back and forth between Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Kingston.
Edith states that "Discrimination was bad at that time; when I wasn't in the army, I experienced a bit of it. What made up for it though was the girls I was with in the army. They used to stand up for us."
Edith took her discharge in Ottawa and she lived there for more than 20 years. She took a hairdressing course and worked as a hairdresser for many years and eventually even opened up her own hairdressing business. In 1969 Edith and her husband came back to Saskatchewan. Edith then upgraded from Grade 5 to Grade 10 and then applied for university. She took a four-year program at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College and became a language teacher in Cree and Saulteaux.