At the September 9, 2021 general meeting of the Nanaimo Historical Society (via Zoom), our guest speaker was Haley Healey, author of Flourishing and Free: More Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island.

Haley, with roots in Muskoka Ontario, received a teaching degree before moving west and settling in Nanaimo. Whilst exploring the territory of her new home Haley was first inspired by Cougar Annie’s Garden located at isolated Boat Basin in a northern reach of Clayoquot Sound. This led to further research and gathering more biographies of pioneering and outstanding Vancouver Island women. The compilation became Haley’s first book: On Their Own Terms: True Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island; profiling Cougar Annie, plus a range of 16 other local women with diverse and compelling backgrounds.

After completing and publishing On Their Own Terms, the momentum of Haley’s research continued to spill over with more profiles of extraordinary and accomplished Vancouver Island women. Rather than let these heroines remain unsung Haley’s publisher, Heritage House, was keen to follow up On Their Own Terms with a sequel, Flourishing and Free, featuring an additional 16 local and historic heroines.

We acknowledge that we meet on the traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw people from whom Nanaimo takes its name.