Did You Know? Isabella Ross

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In 1855, Isabella Ross, a Métis woman, became the first female and first aboriginal land owner in the history of British Columbia. Part of her land became Victoria's Ross Bay Cemetery in 1872, one of Canada's oldest and largest surviving Victorian cemeteries.

Isabella Mainville Ross was the wife of fur trader Charles Ross. Her father was European and her mother was Ojibwan. After her husband died, she bought 99 acres of waterfront farmland, and thus became the first woman registered as a land owner in BC.

Isabella died in 1885 while being cared for by the Sisters of St. Ann. She was buried on land that had once belonged to her, within site of her old home, near the bay that bears her name in Ross Bay Cemetery.

Learn more at the Old Cemetaries Society of Victoria or The Times Colonist.