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Memorable Manitobans: Velma Jessie “Val” Orlikow (1917-1990)


Born at Winnipeg in 1917, she was one of nine Canadians who sued the United States Central Intelligence Agency in 1984 for subjecting them unknowingly to experimental mind-control techniques in Montreal between 1957 and 1962. The CIA settled out of court in 1988 but maintained that the settlement was not an admission of guilt. She and husband David Orlikow had a daughter. She received a Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977). She died at the St. Boniface Hospital on 24 May 1990.


“Cancer claims unwitting CIA victim Orlikow,” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 May 1990, page 4.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 17 October 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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