Forty4

The most damaging sterilization program in Canadian history was the Alberta Sexual Sterilization Act of 1928. For forty-four years the act allowed sterilizations to be carried out, without consent, on “unfit” individuals.At the end of World War II, while other eugenic sterilization programs were being phased out, Alberta continued on with such practices. Why did Alberta continue? Was it because, as long as indigenous women continue to reproduce there will continue to be indigenous people? 

The most damaging sterilization program in Canadian history was the Alberta Sexual Sterilization Act of 1928. For forty-four years the act allowed sterilizations to be carried out, without consent, on “unfit” individuals. Those in socially vulnerable positions, including females, children, unemployed persons, domestics, rural citizens, unmarried, institutionalized persons, Roman and Greek Catholics, persons of Ukrainian, Native, and Métis ethnicity.

The lessons from the Albertan experience are replicated where intolerance has been systemically imposed, such as Nazi attempts to eliminate Jews, mentally disabled, and homosexuals. Hitler much admired the eugenics practices in North America and, after becoming the German chancellor in 1933, the Nazis emulated and applied these practices on anyone whom they deemed to be a degenerate. At the end of World War II, while other eugenic sterilization programs were being phased out, Alberta continued on with such practices.
Why did Alberta continue? Was it because, as long as indigenous women continue to reproduce there will continue to be indigenous people?

Was it to shame the culture? where once fluid sexuality was practiced and accepted, was now being subjected to Eurocentric perspectives.

What was the province trying to achieve? and how can we ensure this does not occur again?
Join us as we dig into Alberta’s history and share the stories from ALL the groups who were subjected to forced sterilization, and the intergenerational impacts of an act that reigned for a mere forty-four years.