Fonds MG 653 - Doug Wilson fonds

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Doug Wilson fonds

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Fonds

Reference code

MG 653

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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Date(s)

  • 1974-1985 (inclusive) (Creation)

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Physical description

0.15 m textual records

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Name of creator

(1950-1992)

Biographical history

Douglas Wilson was born in 1950 in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. He received his Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Saskatchewan, with majors in Art and History. He taught public school in Makwa, Saskatchewan, in 1969-1970 and 1973-1974. He did post-graduate work in Educational Foundations at the University of Saskatchewan between 1974 and 1976. During this period, he worked as a sessional lecturer and supervisor of practice teaching for the College of Education.

While living in Saskatoon during the early 1970s, Wilson was actively and visibly involved in the gay liberation movement. He was instrumental in the organization and administration of groups such as the Zodiac Friendship Society (later the Gay Community Centre of Saskatoon) and the Saskatchewan Gay Coalition. The latter organization fought for the human rights of homosexuals in the province, and in the late 1970s, Wilson was the group's leading activist.

On September 22, 1975, Dean J. Kirkpatrick of the College of Education suspended Wilson's work as a supervisor of practice teaching in public schools, on the grounds of Wilson's open admission of his homosexuality and his public involvement in the gay liberation movement. A Committee to Defend Doug Wilson was formed to fight the university's action, and Wilson placed a formal complaint with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. The inquiry was never held, as the Court of Queen's Bench ruled that sexuality was not covered by The Fair Employment Practices Act.

In 1978, Wilson became the Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Association on Human Rights, a position which he held until 1983. In 1983, he and his partner Peter McGehee moved to Toronto, Ontario where he worked for the Toronto Board of Education's Race Relations office. Wilson became the first openly gay candidate to run in a federal election, when he ran unsuccessfully as the NDP candidate for Rosedale in the 1988 election.

Wilson died in Toronto in 1992.

Custodial history

The executor of the Estate of Doug Wilson, Mary Louise Adams, donated the Doug Wilson fonds to the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan, in one accession in 1993 (S93-38). The Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan transferred these records to the University of Saskatchewan, University Archives & Special Collections in March 2019 in one accession (2019-018).

Scope and content

This fonds consists of records created, accumulated and used by Doug Wilson while he lived in Saskatchewan. The records relate to his involvement and interest in matters of relevance to the Saskatchewan homosexual community, to the gay rights movement, and to Wilson's dismissal from the University of Saskatchewan and his subsequent human rights claim put before the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. The fonds includes correspondence, clippings, and publications about his work in the gay rights movement, as well as his involvement in the creation and administration of homosexual organizations in the province, such as the Zodiac Friendship Society / Gay Community Centre of Saskatoon, and the Saskatchewan Gay Coalition. The fonds also includes correspondence, briefs and reports pertaining to Wilson's work with the Saskatchewan Association on Human Rights, and original and reproduced cartoons drawn by Wilson.

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Arrangement reflects original order.

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Restrictions on access

Files marked restricted require vetting by an archivist prior to release. These records are subject to access restrictions according to the terms of an agreement with the donor as well as privacy legislation.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Use, publication and/or reproduction of records are subject to terms and conditions of the Copyright Act.

Finding aids

A finding aid is available.

Uploaded finding aid

Associated materials

Related material: Related records are available in the Neil Richards fonds (MG 355). This fonds includes official records of the Zodiac Friendship Society/Gay Community Centre of Saskatoon, and of the Saskatchewan Gay Coalition, associations in which Doug Wilson played a key organizational role. File VI.6 (2019-015, Box 71) of the Richards fonds includes a videotape entitled "Gay Liberation," which includes an interview with Wilson conducted in 1978.

Records related to Doug Wilson's personal life, political career, and involvement with the Quinlan Sisters may be found in the Peter McGehee fonds (MG 652).

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.

General note

Former Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan reference codes: S-A 810, F 414

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