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sign the petion to bc legistive assembley In 1933 British Columbia became one of two provinces to implement a clear eugenic sexual sterilization law. The province's Sexual Sterilization Act, legislated in 1933 and repealed in 1973, closely resembled Alberta's 1928 legislation, although the practices differed.[9] The Act created a Board of Eugenics, consisting of a judge, psychiatrist, and social worker.[9][12] The Board was granted the authority to order the sterilization, with consent, of any inmate recommended to them by a superintendent, who "if discharged ... without being subjected to an operation for sexual sterilization would be likely to produce or bear children who by reason of inheritance would have a tendency to serious mental disease or mental deficiency".[13] Many of the individuals presented for sterilization under the province's eugenics program came through Riverview Hospital (Essondale).[12] In comparison to the "2834 individuals sterilized under Alberta's eugenic policy, historian Angus McLaren has estimated that in British Columbia no more than a few hundred individuals were sterilized".[2][9] The disparity between the numbers sterilized in the two provinces can be attributed in part to the tighter provisions of British Columbia's Sexual Sterilization Act.[9] Whereas the Alberta legislation was amended twice to increase the program's scope and efficiency, British Columbia's sterilization program remained unchanged.[3][7] Although this appears to have settled the issue, in the early 1970s the public would learn that coercive sterilizations were in fact taking place in the North in spite of the lack of legislation.[11] Targeted peoples Concepts of race have long been connected to dealings with Aboriginal peoples in Canada.[8] Eugenic ideology served as a convenient justification for the terrible circumstances created by colonization and was instrumental in determining how to interfere in the lives of Aboriginal peoples.[10] Interventions were often guided by the view that the less progressed were a hazard to society and this justified drastic invasions in their lives. Initial measures advocated in the spirit of negative eugenics including marriage regulation, segregation and sterilization were all imposed on Aboriginal peoples.[7] Policy The Canadian sterilization laws created a Eugenics Board that could impose sterilizations on people without their consent. This developed into a familiar practice, especially in relation to indigenous men, women and children.[10] In 1926 Dr. Adolf Lorenz of Vancouver stated, "our sense of humanity is destroying humanity.[4] We are allowing more and more of the poorer human stock to survive and reproduce. '' Sterilization was the best method to decrease the number of feeble-minded being produced.[4] Once the feeble-minded were sterilized and the "problem cured."[4] In order to conclude who was a potential candidate for sterilization or institutionalization, intelligence tests were being overseen in schools, hospitals, and boys and girls schools. Intelligence tests were initiated in California, which also had the most active eugenic policy in the United States.[14] Members of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, such as the "Honourable William Sloan", stated California was the leader in developing and carrying out a eugenics act.[14] In accordance with the Act, only people who were a "patient or in custody" of an institution as defined by the "Mental Hospitals Act" or the "Industrial Home for Girls" or the "industrial School Act" would be affected by the Act.[15] ''These individuals, termed by the Act as "inmates", would be involved or living in Essondale (now known as Riverview Psychiatric Institution), or the Boys' or Girls' Industrial Schools (for children deemed delinquent).[15] Decisions as to which inmates would be sterilized were to be made by the Board of Eugenics.[12] The Board of Eugenics consisted of a judge, a psychiatrist, and a social worker who were appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. The Board of Eugenics would receive recommendations from one of the above institutions if the superintendent of the institution believed that the release of an inmate would result "by reason of inheritance" in having children who would have "serious mental disease or mental deficiency.''[16] The recommendations were to be in writing and were to include a history of the inmate to support the institution's recommendation for sexual sterilization.[15] The inmate may, there after, be examined or seen by the Board of Eugenics.[15] If after the examination of the inmate the Board of Eugenics unanimously agreed that this person would be likely to produce children who would have a serious mental disease or mental deficiency due to inheritance, the Board of Eugenics could order, in writing, that the sterilization take place.[15] The Board of Eugenics would or could appoint the doctor who would perform the procedure.[15] If the Board of Eugenics believed that the inmate was not capable of consent, a spouse, guardian, or family member would be requested give their for consent. If the inmate had no family, the Provincial Secretary, the predecessor of the Superintendent of the Ministry of Social Services, was to consent on the inmate's behalf.[15] United Nations Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide Article II of the United Nations Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines genocide as any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy in whole or in part a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group as such:[17] a) Killing members of the group; b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; d) Imposing measures to prevent births within the group; e) Forcibly transferring children from one group to another. [17] An international conference of The United Nations Human Rights Commission, held in Montreal, stated in March, 1999 that Canada "is in violation of international law in its treatment of its aboriginal people" and that the condition of natives in Canada is "the most pressing human rights issue facing Canadians." (The Vancouver Sun, April 10, 1999).[18]

Eugenics timeline in British Columbia 1867- Canadian Constitution Act gives federal parliament legislative authority over "Indians, and Lands reserved for Indians[19]
1870- Canadian Residential Schools in operation[20]
1872- Victoria Lunatic Asylum, British Columbia's first asylum for the insane opens.[21]

1873- British Columbia passes the "Insane Asylums Act."[22]

1876- Canada passes the "Indian Act"[23]

1878- British Columbia's Victoria Asylum closed, and the Provincial Asylum for the Insane is opened in New Westminster.[24]

1883- Work therapy introduced in British Columbia's asylums[25]

1883- "Eugenics" coined by Galton[3]

1897- British Columbia passes the "Hospitals for the Insane Act"[26]

1897- New Westminster asylum is renamed the Provincial Hospital for the Insane (PHI)[26]

1904- New mental hospital opened in Coquitlam, British Columbia[24]
1925- British Columbia Royal Commission on Mental Hygiene report.[27]

1927-Canadian Medical Association Journal publishes the editorial "Eugenics and the Medical Profession"[28]

1928- George Godwin's Columbia, or the Future of Canada is published in the To-day and To-morrow Series[29]
1933- British Columbia passes "An Act respecting Sexual Sterilization"[30]
1945- Essondale Report released[13]
1948- Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide[31] 1950- British Columbia's Provincial Hospital for the Insane is renamed Woodlands School[12] 1951- Canada amends the "Indian Act"[32] 1964- British Columbia's Colquitz forensic psychiatric hospital closes[26] 1973- British Columbia repeals the Sexual Sterilization Act[15] 1982- Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms signed into law[33] 1985- Following a nationwide trend in de-institutionalization, British Columbia closes Tranquille[26] 1986- Valleyview Hospital in British Columbia closes[34] 1988- British Columbia Mental Health Society is founded[35] 1998- The Mental Health Initiative in British Columbia introduces a new plan for the development of mental health services[26] 2002- British Columbia releases "The Need to Know: Administrative Review on Woodlands School"[36] 2003- British Columbia Minister of Children and Family Development issues apology to former residents of Woodlands

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