Trotchie, Dorothy (Askwith)

Métis Dorothy Askwith was born January 24, 1924 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Due to her family’s financial situation, she was forced to quit school before completing grade 12.

In 1942, at the age of 17, Askwith enlisted in Saskatoon with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Upon enlistment, she was immediately sent to Ottawa to train for 6 weeks. Askwith described her feelings upon starting out her military career as one of elation and excitement. She enjoyed the opportunities afforded her, including meeting new people, seeing new parts of Canada, learning to drive, and not least, a steady pay - $1.25 per day. While in service, Askwith worked in various sections of the RCAF (parachute section, post office, the mess hall, instructional schools) and travelled across the country (Moncton, N.B. ; St. Hubert, Que. ; Aylmer, Ont. and Portage la Prairie, Man., etc.). Her final placement was in Calgary. While there the war ended, and in October, 1945, Askwith was discharged. In her post-war life, she busied herself with being a wife and a mother. She also worked for several paid jobs, including being an addiction counsellor for 15 years.

Despite being a woman and an Aboriginal, Askwith felt that she experienced little discrimination during the war, stating that everyone was too busy and too concerned with the serious tasks at hand, to resort to such “pettiness”. She was a recipient of the Governor General Golden Jubilee medal in 2002 as well as of the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal in 2005.

Further reading

  • Askwith, Dorothy. Interview by Dave Hu
Biographical Record
Full Name Trotchie, Dorothy (Askwith)
Heritage Métis
Band Location SK
Conflict WWII
Service Number W/310805
CEF Unit RCAF WD
Other links http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/14128
Identifier 2772