Museum Moment: Unprecedented?

During the Covid 19 pandemic “unprecedented” has become a favourite word. Disease is constant for humans, we just forget that history repeats itself. How have the many different epidemics and pandemics impacted us here in Canada? 

Scarlet Fever and Measles, 1864: Roughly 1200 indigenous people in the Saskatchewan district (including Alberta) were killed by these two diseases. 

Smallpox, 1869-70: 3,544 people died in the region. 320 out of the total population of 800 people in St. Albert lost their lives, many of them Métis. Over 2600 people from First Nations also perished.

Influenza, 1918-19: 30,000-50,000 died across Canada. 3,694 deaths of those were Indigenous people. Alberta’s reported deaths were 3,259, although many deaths were likely unreported.

Tuberculosis – Now: 2 billion people infected worldwide. There are roughly 10.4 million new cases per year.

HIV/AIDS, since 1983: more that 20,000 Canadians have died. 

SARS, 2003: 250 confirmed cases and 38 deaths in Canada.

H1N1 (Swine Flu), 2009: 1,276 Albertans were hospitalized and 71 died from H1N1.

This week our activities highlight everyday heroes and the meaning of integrity, please click on the following links to find them:

Stay tuned later this week for our blog on the impact of pandemics on children.

Please also visit our online exhibition, Pandemic!, to learn more. This exhibition was housed in our museum in early 2019, which we just republished online in April 2020.

And don’t forget to share your stories, photos or short videos about how you and your families are getting through the current pandemic at share your experience.

For more information visit museum website.