Health Minister Sarah Hoffman made this statement on the passing of human rights activist Leilani O’Malley.
“Our province has lost a tireless advocate for people with disabilities, and a champion for those who are unable to fight for themselves.”
“The passing of Leilani is a sad day for those she was close to, as well as for those who knew her tragic story of abuse and sexual sterilization by the province. It was a dark era in Alberta’s history, but Leilani’s strength and perseverance will ensure we will never forget it, or forget her.
“One of nearly 3,000 Albertans who were medically sterilized between 1928 and 1972, Leilani was the first to successfully sue the province and obtain justice for those who were treated so wrongly. Leilani went on to make it her life’s work to give a voice to those unable to speak up, and to bring awareness to survivors of these appalling practises and the unthinkable treatment they endured.
“Alberta will mourn her loss, but we will also celebrate her efforts and accomplishments in keeping Alberta’s history of eugenics in the public eye, so we will never again return to those dark days.
“On behalf of the Government of Alberta, I offer my condolences to friends and family of Leilani, and our deepest thanks for her lifetime of advocacy.”
(Leilani O’Malley may be better known to Albertans as Leilani Muir; however she legally changed her name.)