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

Carolyn Strange, Jennifer A. Stephen*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of The History of Eugenics
    PublisherOxford University Press
    ISBN (Electronic)9780199940417
    ISBN (Print)9780195373141
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2010


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