What is eugenics?
- Eugenics aims to use science for human improvement over generations by changing the composition of human populations through favouring the reproduction of certain sorts or kinds of people.
- A science that purports to improve the human race through the control of reproduction (www.inclusionbc.org/about-us/social-policy-positions/sterilization)
Alberta and British Columbia are the only provinces where, for a number of years, the government sterilized mentally ill men and women without their consent. Many of the sterilizations took place in institutions in Alberta and British Columbia.
More information can be found on Canada’s Human Rights History website
How is eugenics connected to the Eve Case?
In the Eve Case, the Supreme Court of Canada made a decision that guaranteed mentally disabled individuals freedom from involuntary sterilization.
History of Eugenics
The Eugenics Archives Project has worked directly with eugenics survivors in Alberta to tell their own personal stories, hosting a range of public outreach events and creating online resources. Below are a few links from the archives.
Leilani Muir won a landmark lawsuit against the province of Alberta in 1996 for wrongful confinement and sterilization; two documentaries, The Sterilization of Leilani Muir (1996) and Surviving Eugenics (2015) engage general audiences with issues that the case and its aftermath raise, and their significance for Canadians today.
Leilani Muir has also written a book A Whisper Past: Childless after Eugenic Sterilization in Alberta