100 Years of Chiropractic in Alberta

In 1917, twelve chiropractors founded the Alberta Chiropractic Association (ACA). For six years, they fought to achieve legislation of chiropractic within the province. During this time, as chiropractic was unregulated, those practicing could be fined or even arrested.

Finally, in 1923, after many years in court, the passage of the Chiropractic Act took place (the first of its kind in Canada). At that time, 32 chiropractors received a license to practice. Now, there are over 1,000 licensed chiropractors in Alberta.

“The few Chiropractors who were located in Alberta got together in 1917 and started regular meetings, sometimes they met every ten days…The Association then hired an Attorney and proceeded to draw up a Chiropractic Act, which they attempted to pass at the following meeting of the Legislature…After five years of hard slugging, and the expenditure of several thousands of dollars this Association finally were successful in having our present Act passed.” – H.J. Messenger, Secretary-Treasurer for the ACAC (1941), excerpt from the “Dear Dr. Ramsay” letter

Articles, Documents & Photos

March 1920 – Edmonton Journal
“Legislature Defeats Bill Admitting Chiropractics to Practice in Alberta”
Courtesy, Alberta’s Provincial Archives

April 1920 – Edmonton Journal
“Chiropractors Cannot Be Examined By The University of Alberta, Because They Do Not Know Chiropractic”
Courtesy, Alberta’s Provincial Archives

April 1923 – Edmonton Journal
“Bill to License Chiropractors Makes Progress”
Courtesy, Alberta’s Provincial Archives

1928 – Dr. L.C. Watson’s advertisement in a Ukrainian newspaper
Courtesy, Mrs. Roberta Watson

March 1936 – Edmonton Bulletin
“Chiropractic Act Changes are Approved”
Courtesy, Alberta’s Provincial Archives

August 1941 – Letter from the ACAC
“Dear Dr. Ramsay”

April 1953 – Calgary Albertan
“Wants Chiropractors Given Recognition”
Courtesy, Alberta’s Provincial Archives

Street sign outside Dr. Lou Heard’s offices in Edmonton
Courtesy, Alberta’s Provincial Archives