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Personal papers

The Personal papers series documents Madeleine Parent's family life, relationships she built as a labour organizer and activist, and writings. Although this series documents aspects of Parent's personal life, it includes substantial documentation on Parent's activist work and research interests.
Sub-series A1 (Education and awards) documents Parent's early and post-secondary education, awards, and honorary degrees from various Canadian institutions. The Family papers sub-series (A2) contains documents related to both her father's and mother's families and from both her marriages. Also included are materials related to the passing of her second husband, Robert Kent Rowley, keepsakes, and photographs of family and friends.
Sub-series A3 (Agenda and notes) consists of calendars and notebooks of Parent's appointments and affiliations with people, organizations, and unions, including the Canadian Textile Council and Canadian Textile and Chemical Union. Also included are notes that Parent kept on various subjects for different purposes. The notes relate to materials found in the Research, writings, and interviews sub-series (A4), which documents Parent's speeches and writings and contains research files on various topics. Also included are transcripts, notes, and agreements related to interviews Parent gave.
The final sub-series, entitled Personal correspondence (A5), contains correspondence and greeting cards, the bulk of which is from the 1990s to the early 2000s. However, there is also some correspondence from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Parent, Madeleine, 1918-2012

Family papers

This sub-series includes various materials documenting Madeleine Parent's family and friends. Several documents relate to Parent's father, John B. Parent, such as his American citizenship, Michigan record of birth, and registration for American military service. Also included are documents related to the Hogue and Forest family. There are signed funeral guestbooks for Parent's mother, Rita Marie-Anne Hogue, and Parent's second husband, Robert Kent Rowley, and a file of sympathy letters and tributes for Rowley. There are also related materials to Rowley's death in the last series of this fonds, the Robert Kent Rowley papers (MG 4269 H).
Also documented are Parent's marriages, including her divorce from her first husband, Val Bjarnason, and marriage to her second husband, Rowley. Moreover, there is correspondence from Parent to Rowley, mostly from her trip to China in 1960. The sub-series also contains various membership cards and passports that belonged to Parent. There are photographs of Rowley's funeral, John B. Parent, portraits of Madeleine Parent, Parent's mother's family portrait (1899), and unidentified friends and family. Finally, this sub-series also contains a file of correspondence and four audio recordings related to Parent's retirement in 1983.

Parent, Madeleine, 1918-2012

Madeleine Parent Fonds

  • CA MUA MG4269
  • Fonds
  • 1890s-2010

The fonds chiefly consists of materials that Madeleine Parent gathered or created as a labour organizer and activist. The United Textile Workers of America series (B) and the Canadian independent unions series (C) make up the bulk of the fonds. Series B and C relate to Parent’s activities as Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian District of the United Textile Workers of America (UTWA) and the Canadian Textile Council (CTC), later the Canadian Textile and Chemical Union (CTCU). Parent’s union activities closely connect with Robert Kent Rowley, with whom she co-founded the CTC. Series C also documents Parent’s work for the Confederation of Canadian Unions (CCU), including files on member unions. Documentation includes meeting minutes, collective agreements, financial documents, correspondence, labour publications, and photographs. Series B and C also detail strikes in Quebec and Ontario organized by the UTWA Canadian District, CTC, and CTCU. Some of the strikes include the Dominion Textile Company Limited strikes in 1946 and 1952, Harding Carpets Limited in 1956, Artistic Woodwork Company Limited in 1973, and the Puretex Knitting Company Limited strike in 1978.

The smallest of the series, D and E, document the legal proceedings for the 1947 charge laid against Parent for seditious conspiracy and Parent’s campaign for Montreal City Council in 1954. Series F and H document Parent’s women’s and social justice activism, predominantly from the 1970s until the early 2000s. Among the records are files regarding her work with the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC) and her advocacy for immigrants’ rights and indigenous rights, such as her support for Mary Pitawanakwat, an Ojibway woman unjustly dismissed from the federal civil service. Social justice files relate to various topics, including nuclear phaseout, workplace health and safety, peace activism, and human rights violations.

Personal papers, found in series A, include family documents and photographs, personal correspondence, and Parent’s agendas, research notes, and writings, as well as documentation related to interviews. Much of this material relates to labour and social justice activism and her activities as a labour organizer. The final series, H, consists of Rowley’s personal papers compiled by Parent. Included are files of correspondence, writings, and notebooks, as well as materials created about Rowley posthumously regarding his biography and tributes to him after his death.

The fonds also documents Madeleine Parent’s social and political activism, especially in the years following her retirement from the union in 1983, through correspondence, speeches and lectures, newspaper clippings, minutes, agenda books, 1948-2009, telephone journals, 1990-2005, photographs, as well as audiotapes of interviews and speeches. There are records concerning her involvement in public campaigns concerning such issues as free trade, 1987, de-indexing of family allowances, 1985-1986, freedom of choice/abortion rights, 1986-1987, Charlottetown Accord, 1992 and the human rights case of Mary Pitawanakwat, 1994-1995. Some of these campaigns reflect her involvement in the National Action Committee on the Status of Women.

Also included are documents pertaining to her personal life including family documents, correspondence, biographical information, photographs, and diplomas.

This fonds also contains personal and labour-related writings, including articles, letters to the editor, book reviews, reports on union activities, notes on Canadian history, and correspondence of Kent Rowley, 1942-1975.

Parent, Madeleine, 1918-2012

United Textile Workers of America

The series contains materials Madeleine Parent kept or created between 1943 and 1952 while she was a union organizer and Secretary-Treasurer for the Canadian District of the United Textile Workers of America (UTWA) / Ouvriers unis des textiles d'Amérique (OUTA). Materials give some insight into the administration of the American-led union's Canadian District and some of its Quebec, Ontario, and Nova Scotia Locals. Some of the files document a specific company, strike, or dispute.
Documenting the activities of the UTWA Canadian District are meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, press releases, flyers, financial statements, legal documents, and collective agreements. Several files document the UTWA's Canadian District Annual Conference and issues of the Canadian District's publications "The Textile Worker" and the "UTW News," and other union publications. Also included is a copy of the UTWA's 1901 and 1943 constitutions and by-laws.
There are files related to the union's activities in twenty different companies. However, the company most prominently represented in this series is the Dominion Textile Company Limited and its affiliate, Montreal Cottons Limited. The Dominion Textile files include materials documenting the 1946 strike in Montreal and Valleyfield, Quebec. There is also information on the disputes which led to the 1952 Dominion Textile workers' strike.
There is overlap between this series and the Canadian independent unions series (MG 4269 C). Specifically, materials documenting the Canadian Textile Council (CTC), which Parent and Robert Kent Rowley founded in 1952. Materials documenting the 1952 Dominion Textile strike, for instance, is an example of the overlap between these two series.

Parent, Madeleine, 1918-2012

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