Maureen Trotter was born in 1949. She grew up in Alonsa, Manitoba, an unincorporated community west of Lake Manitoba with a population of approximately 150 people. Trotter completed her undergraduate degree in sociology and psychology at the University of Manitoba in 1970. She obtained a Master’s Degree in counselling psychology at the University of British Columbia in 1976. Before moving to Quesnel, Trotter spent time living in Winnipeg, Toronto, south of Ottawa, and Vancouver where she worked for a youth camp, a young offender group home, an organization for people with physical disabilities, a minimum security detention centre, and a drug and alcohol treatment program.
Trotter and her partner moved to Quesnel in 1978. Inspired by the back to land movement, they spent their first few years in town building up their property, constructing a stack-wall house, and starting a family. Trotter began working for the School District #28 (Quesnel) and the College of New Caledonia in 1979 on grant-funded contracts for coordinating women’s daytime programs and job employment training programs. She was later hired by the College to develop and teach a non-traditional trades training program for women, a native social development worker program, and a career readiness program. In 1990, Trotter was hired as an instructor for the College’s social service worker program and the university transfer department, where she taught sociology. She held this position until her 2008 retirement.
Trotter is well known in the Quesnel community for her volunteer work for various feminist, social justice, peace, and environmental organizations. She was a founding member of the Quesnel Women’s Resources Centre and was also involved with work at the Amata Transition House and the B.C. Steering Committee of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women. Trotter’s community service has also extended to the Quesnel Peace Action Group; the Quesnel Environmental Society; the Quesnel Child, Youth, and Family Network; the Quesnel Social Justice Coalition; the Quesnel Affordable Housing Action Committee; and the Quesnel Climate Change Committee.