Canadian women have served their country's military from the time of the 1885 North-west Rebellion right up to the present day. In the process, they have changed the course of the nation's history, and their own.
Motivated by patriotism, loyalty, a sense of duty and in many cases, a sense of adventure, they first worked as nurses at home and abroad. The commitment of these individuals contributed to a new social perception of women's capabilities and potential.
Records show that the first women officially in the Royal Canadian Navy were six nursing sisters who served during August 1914 on His Majesty's Canadian Hospital Ship Prince George, the only Canadian hospital ship to ever sail with the RCN.
During World War II, Canadian women began to play a more direct part, taking on many noncombatant support roles, and thus allowing more men to take on combat roles.
The participation of Canadian women in the Armed Forces has been profoundly influenced by two distinct groups, the Canadian Women's Army Corps (CWAC) and the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS). Both groups are featured at CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum, along with stories of individual women who gave their best in difficult, demanding circumstances.