12 June 2021

Can we be even-handed?

 "Nellie L. McClung (1873-1951) is English Canada’s best-known first-wave feminist."

"Alongside the other Famous Five, including close friend Emily Murphy,  McClung was an advocate of eugenics and campaigned for the sterilization of the feebleminded."

Those statements are from her profile in https://eugenicsarchive.ca/discover/players

There are many others at the site who were advocates for eugenics, and some missed such as Tommy Douglas.

Will those tearing down statues, renaming buildings and rewriting the biographies of those whose record in the history of  Canada is problematic, to say the least, be even-handed when it comes to the eugenicists?


Anonymous said...

Not many people in Ottawa Know that Charlotte Witton, our former Mayor, was a supporter of the eugenics movement. I have known about this for some years from research on Home Children.

A quote from a web site I found by Googling "Eugenics Charlotte Witton."


Cheers, BT

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the latest statement from the Librarian and Archivist of Canada about biographical and other content on the LAC website, which seems to say that some material is being removed, presumably because it may be offensive? It is not clear to me whether actual archival material is being removed or just comments or biographical notes made some time ago. While we may disapprove of what was said by government officials, etc. a hundred years ago or even a few decades ago, we should be able to read what they said in order to have a better understanding of what was done.
In any case I think some clarification is needed. I would be appalled if history is being destroyed.