Skip to main content

Political and Social History of Northern BC

Northern BC Archives collections on political personalities, social and political activists, and political history at various levels of government in Northern BC.

Bridget Moran fonds (1935-1999)

2008.3.1.22.62 - Moran Signing Copy of 'Judgement at Stoney Creek'Bridget Moran fonds - 2008.3

This body of work has been designated by the Department of Canadian Heritage as archival work of outstanding regional and provincial significance.

Physical description: textual records 3.96 metres and other materials illustrating Bridget Moran’s careers as a writer, a social worker and social activist.

Bridget Moran (née Drugan) (1923-1999) was a prominent social activist, social worker, writer and mentor who spent most of her adult life in British Columbia. In 1951 Moran immigrated from Ireland to British Columbia where she began a career as a social worker; first in welfare offices in Haney, Salmon Arm and Vernon, and then in 1954 in Prince George where she took a position as District Supervisor of Welfare Services for a large section of the Central Interior of BC. Moran worked as a social worker for 10 years based out of Prince George attending to the welfare service needs of BC’s Central Interior population. Her career with the public service came to a very public end when she was suspended from her position in 1964 after she wrote an open letter in a Vancouver newspaper criticizing Premier W.A.C. Bennett’s Social Credit government for what she saw as gross neglect in addressing the needs of child welfare in the province. Although Moran eventually won reinstatement after a two year battle, she was told there would be no work available for her in the BC Ministry of Social Services. She continued her career in social work; first, for the Prince George Regional Hospital, and later with the University of Victoria Social Work Department as a practicum instructor for social work students in Prince George. In 1977 she practiced social work with the PG School District, retiring in 1989.

2008.3.1.16.4 - Moran Receiving Lieutenant Governor's Medal for Historical WritingMoran then pursued a career as a writer. In 1988 she wrote Sai’k’uz Ts’eke: Stoney Creek Woman: The Story of Mary John based on extensive oral histories that Moran conducted with Elder Mary John about life on the Stoney Creek reserve. Her second book Judgment at Stoney Creek: Sai’k’uz Ne ba na huz’ya, (1990) is based on her account of the inquest into the death of Coreen Thomas and provides an in-depth analysis of tenuous white-native relations in rural BC in the 1970s. Moran’s book, A Little Rebellion (1992) provides an auto-biographical account of her public dispute with the Bennett government. The book Justa: A First Nations Leader, Dakelhne Butsowhudilhzulh’un (1994) is based on extensive oral interviews Moran conducted with Tl’azt’en Nation member, Justa Monk, who transformed his life and was elected Tribal Chief of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council. Moran was commissioned by the Elizabeth Fry Society to write the case history of “Theresa” a battered woman, for the book Please don't bring me flowers: women in violent relationships (1992). Her book Prince George Remembered from Bridget Moran (1996) provides excerpts of oral history interviews that Moran conducted in the late 1950s with white settlers providing memories of their arrival in Prince George c.1911-c.1920.

2008.3.1.16.5 - Moran Giving Speech as Best Author of 1988These archival records illustrate Moran’s careers as writer, social worker and social activist primarily within Northern BC region. Types of records reflective of her career as a writer include: unpublished manuscripts, notebooks, oral history interviews and transcripts and VHS recordings of classroom talks given by Bridget Moran, Mary John and Justa Monk. Records reflective of her career as a social worker and activist include: work journals, correspondence re: social policy. The fonds is divided into 4 series: 1) Published and Unpublished Materials; 2) Career Related Materials; 3) Personal Papers and Correspondence; and 4) Honours and Awards.

Research Significance: The records document social and political events of significance to Northern British Columbia particularly related to Social Welfare issues and First Nations in BC in the latter half of the 20th century

Images (top to bottom):

  • 2008.3.1.22.62 - Moran Signing Copy of 'Judgement at Stoney Creek'
  • 2008.3.1.16.4 - Moran Receiving Lieutenant Governor's Medal for Historical Writing
  • 2008.3.1.16.5 - Moran Giving Speech as Best Author of 1988

Special Collections Further Reading