As a result of personal tragedy, Mrs. Adelaide Hoodless of Saltfleet Township, Westworth County, Ontario organized the first Women’s Institute in the world, on February 19, 1897..

The purpose of the first Institute was to raise the standard of homemaking. In the early minutes the following words were recorded: “A nation cannot rise above the level of its homes; therefore, we women must work and study together to raise our homes to the highest possible level.”

In 1910 the Institute movement was adopted and developed in Manitoba. In the early days, fostering of the Women’s Institute movement in Manitoba was assigned by the Department of Agriculture and Immigration to the Manitoba Agricultural College. With the encouragement of agricultural extension staff, branches sprang up throughout the province.

The Manitoba Women’s Institute is governed by The Women’s Institute Act, and over time, has developed its own constitution, bylaws, structure and logo.