My first conversation with Madeleine Gould took place in the late 1980s, in my role as a reporter with CBC Radio in Whitehorse. The strong-minded Madeleine had applied to join the Yukon Order of Pioneers, a male-only, 100 year old club whose job it was to preserve Yukon and YOOP history.
She was refused membership, took it to court, and the case dragged on for more than nine years and went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. In the end she lost, but she certainly didn’t go down without a fight. I remember seeing a photo of her and some other Dawson City women, carrying placards in a local parade that said, “No Yoopie, No Woopie”.
Madeleine passed away a few years ago at the age of 88. So imagine my surprise when I stepped into the Dawson City Museum the other day and saw her and her long-time husband John standing behind a bar.
We had a bit of a chat, her reminiscing about her time at her husband’s mining claim back in the 1940s and 50s. It wasn’t the first time I heard her say that their cabin had running water, but only when she ran up the hill with the buckets.
Good to see you again Mrs. Gould!