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Historic Klondike woman should be on Canadian money: Yukon premier

Last Updated Feb 26, 2016 at 9:00 am EST

WHITEHORSE – Yukon’s premier has a suggestion for which Canadian woman should be featured on new banknotes, and it’s someone he describes as a staunch champion for the territory.

Darrell Pasloski has written to Stephen Poloz, governor of the Bank of Canada, to recommend that Martha Louise Black be featured.

Black was born in Chicago, Ill., in 1866.

Pasloski says she was known as “Yukon’s First Lady” when her husband George became the territory’s commissioner in 1912.

She opened the commissioner’s residence in Dawson City to everyone, dedicating herself to Yukon’s citizens.

Black also helped establish organizations that supported Canadian troops during the First World War, including the Patriotic Service League of Dawson City.

When her family went overseas during the war, Pasloski says Black volunteered in a number of organizations, such as the British Red Cross and the YMCA.

“Her influence in shaping the course of events in the territory along with her undying passion for Yukon make her a strong candidate for portrayal on our Canadian banknotes,” he writes in a letter dated Feb. 25.

In 1935, Black became the second woman elected as an MP.

Pasloski says Black fell in love with the North when she visited Yukon after immigrating to Canada in 1898. At the time of her federal election success, he says she was the first foreign-born woman elected to the House of Commons.

Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative leader recently said he wants suffragette Nellie McClung to be given a prominent spot on a Canadian banknote.

Brian Pallister says in a letter to Poloz that McClung should be recognized for her role in the enfranchisement of women.

The Queen is the only woman currently featured on a bill.