Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

“They Didn’t Even Realize Canada Was a Different Country”: Canadian Left Nationalism at the 1971 Vancouver Indochinese Women's Conference

Document type Article
Author Klein, Candice
Journal Labour / Le Travail
Volume 84
Date 2019 11 04
ISSN 1911-4842
Pages 231-258


From 1 to 6 April 1971, over 600 women gathered to attend the Vancouver Indochinese Women’s Conference (viwc), an international women’s antiwar conference organized by women’s liberationists in Vancouver. The conference was intended to bring women together under the banner of an international sisterhood, but this desired goal did not happen. Instead, tensions between American and Canadian women divided conference organizers and attendees, culminating in verbal and physical conflict. The viwc is useful for examining how Canadian women experienced interactions with American feminists and radical activists in attendance at the conference. Several women viewed the actions of American delegates as imperialistic. The experiences of conference organizers and attendees show how the viwc represents a moment in women’s liberation where the limits to international feminism were particularly visible.