Item BB10 - I am a woman for peace : Congress of Canadian Women

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I am a woman for peace : Congress of Canadian Women

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    1 button ; 6 cm in diam.

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    Biographical history

    Betty Peterson (née Farber) was born in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1917. She attended the fine arts program at Syracuse University before marrying Gunnar Peterson in 1939. The couple were conscientious objectors during World War II and were increasingly dedicated to peace movements following the war, later becoming Quakers. They had two children, Lisl and Eric. In 1950, they moved to Chicago where Peterson was involved in the Civil Rights movement, participating in sit-ins, protests, and other political activities.

    In 1975, Betty and Gunnar Peterson moved to Cape Breton out of frustration with the political climate in the United States. A few years after Gunnar’s sudden death in 1976, Peterson relocated to Halifax where she became an active member of the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace and the Halifax Society of Friends (Quakers). Through these organizations she participated in a number of social movements both locally and abroad, including in 1982 when she travelled to New York City to attend a nuclear disarmament rally and present the Women’s International Peace Petition to the UN’s Second Special Session on Disarmament. She also made six trips to Labrador in the late 1980s and early 1990s, where she joined Innu protests of low-flying NATO test flights over Nitassinan, and in 1988 she travelled to Little Buffalo, Alberta on behalf of the Society of Friends in order to join Lubicon Lake Band protests against oil drilling on their land.

    Peterson was involved in a number of protests and organizations related to women’s rights, environmental conservation, Indigenous activism, nuclear disarmament, and anti-war movements, including protests against the Gulf War (1991) and Iraq War (2003). She was an organizer of the P7 “People’s Summit” (1995) and a member of the Raging Grannies. She continued to attend protests until a few years before her passing in Halifax, in 2018.

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    Yellow button with blue lettering and a graphic of a woman’s profile with a dove.

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        See also BB285 for digital object.

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