A brief history of eugenics and sexual sterilization in Canada

In 1921 the American Museum of Natural History, of which I am a member, hosted an International Eugenics Congress in Manhattan. Alexander Graham Bell, a Scottish-born American sometimes claimed by Canada, “served as honorary president.” The conference aimed to foster a “climate of international cooperation for eugenics goals.” There was indeed growing enthusiasm for eugenics on both … Continue reading A brief history of eugenics and sexual sterilization in Canada

Non-revolutionary Canada in the Revolutionary Era

From 1776 to 1825, wars of independence swept through the Americas. Canada, for the most part, was an exception. Why? The Americas in the Revolutionary Era, a Great Courses lecture by Marshall C. Eakin, surveys the countries of the Americas and how they gained their independence. It focuses on the period he calls the “revolutionary … Continue reading Non-revolutionary Canada in the Revolutionary Era

Standing for anthems

The country where I live has been talking a lot about anthems this week. What does it mean to stand for a national anthem, and what does the anthem itself stand for? Georges E. Sioui — an historian and Wendat who lives in Vancouver — remembers being taught the Canadian anthem at his Lorette reserve … Continue reading Standing for anthems

Are you better off than you were 400 years ago?

Here’s an impossible question: is life especially hard for you because you don’t have access to technologies you’ve never even conceived of? An early episode of CBC’s Canada: The Story of Us included some Canadian celebrities talking about how hard life was hundreds of years ago. The examples cited were that “we’re very lucky… because we … Continue reading Are you better off than you were 400 years ago?