Provincial Training School on Wikipedia

An article on the Provincial Training School in Red Deer, Alberta, aka the Michener Centre, has just appeared on Wikipedia.  It is based on work that Mona Horvatic did as a student in Philosophy 217 (Biology, Society, and Values) in Winter 2011, with additional work to bring it to completion being undertaken by Andrew Ball as a summer RA for Living Archives.  This will be the first in a series of Wikipedia articles on Canadian eugenics to finally make their way onto Wikipedia, joining about 10 others already there.  So, if it keeps raining where ever you are for YOUR summer, you’ll have something to read …

Woodlands Provincial Lunatic Asylum

Matt Good has an interesting entry on his blog regarding the redevelopment of the Woodlands property in New Westminster, BC.


Philosophy, Eugenics & Disability in Alberta and Places North – Dick Sobsey Parts 3 & 4

On October 25, 2008, the What Sorts Network hosted a public symposium to examine, well, philosophy, eugenics, and disability in Alberta and places north.  Four speakers were featured on the panel, Dick Sobsey, Simo Vehmas, Martin Tweedale, and Rob Wilson.  This event was video recorded and over the next month we will highlight these videos on this blog.  Videos will be featured on average twice a week, roughly every Saturday and Wednesday.

To download the full description of the symposium please click here.

We began this series with the first two parts of the presentation by Dick Sobsey, titled “Varieties of Eugenics Experience in the 21st Century.”  This presentation amounts to a summary of various kinds of eugenic motivations, justifications, and practices from the 19th century to today with a good collection of anecdotes and trivia.  Parts 3 and 4 are highlighted in the videos below. Transcripts are also posted below.

Part 3

Highlights from part 3 include: criticism of Jukes as an assault upon the poor, best cement in the world, origin of the underground records for all the new york banks, continuing the Juke heritage, Dugdale’s findings, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. on Sterilization, measures of intelligence and the Flynn Effect, and stopping people from having children easiest through institutionalization.

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It’s My History Too: Your Chance to Vote

The Vocational and Rehabilitation Research Institute in Calgary is running a vote-driven competition that YOU can participate in. They are contributing to a museum exhibition called It’s My History Too that will focus on “mavericks” who have made a difference to the lives of people marginalized by, or in the name of, developmental disability (perceived or real). In a recent email communication, they say:

The nominations are in! Now is your chance to vote for 3 mavericks who you would like to see in the It’s My History, Too! exhibit. It’s a quick & easy way to participate in this exciting project. Click here to read about the candidates and then vote for your top maverick in each category. Remember: You have until July 18, 2008 to vote for your 3 mavericks. We look forward to your votes. Please encourage others to vote, too!

Well, I’m taking that last part to heart in blogging this here and encouraging you to vote. Although the form itself is not all that clearly organized and somewhat unwieldy–why organize it through pictures if you only have pictures of half of the nominees?–it’s worth clicking through the list to see the nominees’ accomplishments. What Sorts member Leilani O’Malley (Muir) is Maverick #6. You can read more about her at the Wikipedia article linked above, and how her own struggle led to significant changes in the lives of many others.

Here’s encouraging you to vote early (and often) in a democratic glow.