In this episode, we examine governments’ continued lack of action and accountability, Bryce’s The Story of a National Crime, medical experimentation, and another type of experiment: the preventorium.
The Right to Know – The Story of a National Crime
In this series, we look at the practices, policies, and official correspondence to reveal the intentional actions and acts of indifference that contributed to poor health and lethal outcomes. There will be examples of people who pushed back – the whistleblowers – the parents, the Indigenous communities, the bureaucrats, and members of the clergy. The experts interviewed highlight how archival documents only reveal part of the history and that numerous questions remain.
Content Warning: This series talks about Indian Residential Schools, medical racism, segregated health care, and missing patients.
If you are a Residential School Survivor or Intergenerational Survivor, you can access support through the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419. Mental health and crisis support is also available through Hope 4 Wellness at 1-855-242-3310.
Written/Produced by Maia-Foster Sanchez
Co-Producer: Ryan Barnett
Additional Voices: Gabriel Maracle
Our series advisors are Teresa Edwards, Kaila Johnston, and Erin Millions.
Artwork by Caleb Ellison-Dysart
A Knockabout Media Production | Funded by the Government of Canada
Bryce, Peter H. Report on the Examination for Tuberculosis of Two Hundred and Forty-Three Indian School Children in Alberta. November 5, 1909.
Bryce, Peter H. The Story of a National Crime: Being an Appeal for Justice to the Indians of Canada. Ottawa: James Hope & Sons, 1922. https://archive.org/details/storyofnationalc00brycuoft/page/n6/mode/1up
Canadian Press. “Indian Estimates Passed by Commons.” The Winnipeg Free Press (Winnipeg, MB), April 28, 1922.
Cochin to LaRoque, 24 January 1916, RG 29 v 2915, file 851-1-A671 part 1 (a), Library Archives Canada.
Conroy to the Department of Indian Affairs and the Saskatchewan Department of Public Health, 20 September 1937, RG 29 v 2915, file 851-1-A671 part 1 (a), Library Archives Canada.
Fraser, T. M. “Standing Firm for Cut in Militia.” The Province (Vancouver, BC), April 28, 1922.
Fraser, T. M. “Revolt Among Liberals of Quebec Grows in Importance.” The Calgary Herald (Calgary, AB), April 28, 1922.
Green, Adam. “Telling 1922s Story of a National Crime: Canada’s First Chief Medical Officer and the Aborted Fight for Aboriginal Health Care.” Canadian Journal of Native Studies 26, no. 2 (2006): 211-28.
Hackett, Paul. “‘That Will Not Be Done Again’: The Fort Alexander Preventorium and the Fight against Tuberculosis in Indian Residential Schools, 1937–39.” Native Studies Review 21, no. 1 (2012): 1 – 41.
House of Commons Debates, 14th Parliament, 1st Session : Vol. 2. https://parl.canadiana.ca/view/oop.debates_HOC1401_02/206
Lux, Maureen. “Perfect Subjects: Race, Tuberculosis, and the Qu’Appelle BCG Vaccine Trial.” Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 15, no. 2 (1998): 277-95.
Lux, Maureen. Separate Beds: A History of Indian Hospitals in Canada, 1920s-1980s. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016.
Milloy, John. A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System, 1879 – 1986. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
Mosby, Ian. “Administering Colonial Science: Nutrition Research and Human Biomedical Experimentation in Aboriginal Communities and Residential Schools, 1942-1952.” Social History 46, no. 91 (May 2013): 615-642.
Shaheen-Hussain, Samir. Fighting for A Hand to Hold Confronting Medical Colonialism against Indigenous Children in Canada. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020.
Staff Correspondent. “The Dreary Daily Round.” The Daily Star (Toronto, ON). April 28, 2022.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Canada’s Residential Schools: The History, Part 1: Origins to 1939. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2015.
Wuttunnee to Stone, 4 August 1937, RG 29 v 2915, file 851-1-A671 part 1 (a), Library Archives Canada.