Download This Sample
This sample is exclusively for KidsKonnect members!
To download this worksheet, click the button below to signup for free (it only takes a minute) and you'll be brought right back to this page to start the download!
Sign Me Up
Mary Two-Axe Earley is a famous Aboriginal female activist. Throughout her life she fought for the gender equality of Aboriginal women and children in Canada.
See the fact file below for more information on Mary Two-Axe Earley or alternatively, you can download our 26-page Mary Two-Axe Earley worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Mary Two-Axe Earley is best known for her work in amending the “Indian Act” in Canada.
- Thanks to her work in promoting Aboriginal women’s rights and gender equality, thousands of women and children were able to have their Indian status reinstated.
Early Life and Marriage
- Mary Two-Axe Earley was born on October 4, 1911 on a Mohawk reserve called “Kahnawake.”
- The Kahnawake reserve is located South of the city of Montreal in the province of Quebec (Canada).
- Mary’s father, Dominic Onenhariio Two-Axe, was of Mohawk decent.
- Mary’s mother, Juliet Smith, was of Oneida decent.
- Mary lived with her mother in North Dakota. Her mother worked as a nurse.
- At ten years old Mary’s mother passed away from the Spanish Flu.
- After her mother passed away Mary went to live with her grandparents on the Kahnawake reserve.
- At age 18 Mary was having a hard time finding work on the reserve. She decided to migrate to the United States in hopes of finding more work opportunities.
- Mary moved to Brooklyn, New York where she met a group of Mohawk people called the “Little Caughnawaga.”
- In this group she met an Irish-American man named Edward Earley. At the time Edward was working as an electrical engineer.
- Mary and Edward were married in 1938 and had two children together. Their children were named Rosemary and Edward.
The Indian Act & Indian Status
- At the time Mary and Edward were married they were still legally regulated under a piece of Canadian legislation called “The Indian Act.”
- The Indian Act was originally created in 1876 and has since been amended multiple times.
- The Indian Act stated that because Edward was not an Indian, Mary and her children would lose their Indian status.
- Losing their Indian status meant that Mary and her children were no longer able to attend traditional ceremonies or vote at the Kahnawake reserve.
- Mary and her children were also restricted from owning land and being buried on the sacred ancestral burial grounds.
- At the time the Indian Act stipulated that only men were able to pass on Indian status.
- This meant that if a Mohawk man married a non-Mohawk woman their children would still be entitled to Indian status.
- Initially, Mary was preoccupied with her family life and not bothered by her and her children’s loss of Indian status.
- In 1966 a friend of Mary’s from the Kahnawake reserve died in her arms of a heart attack. Mary’s friend had been forced to move out of her home on the Kahnawake reserve as a result of the discriminatory Indian Act.
- Mary was convinced that the stress from moving had caused her friend’s heart attack and death.
- After her friend’s death Mary was inspired to change the laws of the Indian Act.
- In 1967 Mary created an organization called the “Equal Rights for Indian Women.”
- This organization went on to lead the Royal Commission on the Status of Women.
- In 1969 Mary’s husband Edward died. She decided to move back to the Kahnawake reserve however she was evicted from her grandmother’s home their because of her lost Indian status.
- Mary helped create an organization called the “Québec Native Women’s Association” in 1974. This group helps promote the rights of Aboriginal women and children in the province of Quebec.
- During her career as an activist Mary faced public opposition from male members of the Mohawk community.
- On June 28, 1985, the Parliament of Canada passed Bill-31 which amended the Indian Act. Bill C-31 ended the former gender discrimination and allowed for those women and children who had lost their Indian status to have it reinstated.
- Mary was the first woman to have her Indian status reinstated in Canada.
Later Life & Legacy
- The Bill C-31 amendment made it so that 16,000 women and 46,000 children were able to have their Indian status reinstated in Canada.
- After having her Indian status reinstated, Mary Two-Axe Earley was able to move back to her grandmother’s home on the Kahnawake reserve.
- In 1979 Mary was awarded the Governor General’s Persons Case Award for her work promoting gender equality and women’s rights.
- Mary was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Law from York University in 1981.
- Mary continued to live in her grandmother’s home on the Kahnawake reserve for the rest of her life.
- Mary passed away on from respiratory failure on August 21, 1996. She was 85 years old at the time of her death.
- At her request Mary was buried in the Kahnawake reserve.
Mary Two–Axe Earley Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about Mary Two–Axe Earley across 26 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use worksheets that are perfect for teaching about Mary Two-Axe Earley who is a famous Aboriginal female activist. Throughout her life she fought for the gender equality of Aboriginal women and children in Canada.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Mary Two–Axe Earley Facts
- Opinion Piece
- Word Scramble
- The Indian Act
- Equality Word search
- Activist Icon
- News Article
- Kahnawake Crossword
- Five Words
- Two-Axe Timeline
- Rights and Equality
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as Mary Two–Axe Earley Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 6, 2021
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.