Alma Amelia Schmidt was born in 1915 in Zorra, Saskatchewan, an Austrian settlement. Her parents were both immigrants to Canada and worked a farm. At 14, the family moved to Manitoba. She didn’t start school until 8 1/2 and had no English. She worked hard to get an education, hoping to go to nursing school, but despite her efforts poverty, illness, and a lack of openings derailed her into housemaid work. During these years, and as a waitress at the posh Manitoba Club, she joined the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and honed her understanding of class, politics, and human rights. She married in 1940to a Scottish-born construction worker, Alexander Faulds (1908-1994). Three months later her husband was sent overseas. He returned with severe arthritis. they moved to Oliver, British Columbia, where the climate could offer him some relief. She worked for a time in the fruit canneries and was instrumental in unionizing the packing houses. She spent the next 20 years as part of the union executive and, from 1959 to 1973 business agent of the Fruit and Vegetable Workers Union, Local 1572, CLC. She is noted for her activism in other areas, including in opposition to residential schools.