Ella Emma Dunn


Female entrepreneurs in Lethbridge in the 1930s were rare enough. Ella Emma Dunn was a black, female entrepreneur in Lethbridge in the 1930s – an amazing achievement. She arrived in Lethbridge in 1932 and soon operated a café called Emma’s Hot Tamale Parlour. In addition, her large house served as a boarding house until 1973 when a broken hip forced her to move into Southland Nursing Home. Though she faced racial discrimination herself, she opened her door to foster children of different races and epitomized what was best of southern Alberta. Living to well past 100 years of age, staff who worked in the nursing home remember Ella’s children – of every cultural and ethnic group – coming to visit her.

Anine VonkemanComment