Eugenics in Canada: A Checkered History, 1850s–1990s

Carolyn Strange and Jennifer A. Stephen

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780195373141
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Eugenics in Canada: A Checkered History, 1850s–1990s

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This article discusses eugenics in Canada and states that Canada's eugenic past was connected closely to that of the United States and to a lesser extent England. It presents numerous case studies and this body of research paints a checkered history of eugenics in Canada. It was a cluster of ideas and a disparate set of solutions that responded to local concerns, inflected by the unique Canadian demographic, and legal, political, and economic conditions. The race-based reproduction management efforts established a prior logic for eugenic policies concerned to shore up the fitness of Canada's Euro-Canadian majority. This article explains that the history of eugenics in Canada is inseparable from racist assimilationist policies and practices. The people most affected by Canada's eugenic policies were those whose sexual morality and reproductive futures appeared suspect.

Keywords: eugenics; Canada; history; race; policies

Article.  7219 words. 

Subjects: History ; History of the Americas

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