In this episode, we focus on patients’ lived experiences in Manitoba and Alberta in provincial sanatoria and what were called “Indian hospitals.” There were almost 30 Indian hospitals across Canada – 15 in the Prairie Provinces alone.
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
Dyck, Erika and Maureen K. Lux. Challenging Choices: Canada’s Population Control in the 1970s. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020.
Grygier, Pat Sandiford. Long Way from Home: The Tuberculosis Epidemic among the Inuit. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1997.
Komarnisky, Sarah. “From the Sanatorium to the Museum and Beyond: The Circulation of Art and Craft Made by Indigenous Patients at Tuberculosis Hospitals.” In Object Lives and Global Histories in Northern North America: Material Culture in Motion, c. 1780-1980, eds. Beverly Lemire, Laura Peers, Anne Whitelaw. Montreal: Montreal-Queen’s University Press, 2021.
Lost Songs. DVD. Directed by Clint Alberta. National Film Board of Canada, 1999.
Lux, Maureen. Separate Beds: A History of Indian Hospitals in Canada, 1920s-1980s. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016.
Meijer Drees, Laurie. Healing Histories: Stories from Canada’s Indian Hospitals. Edmonton: The University of Alberta Press, 2013.
Moore, P. E. (1941). “Tuberculosis Control in the Indian Population of Canada.” Canadian Public Health Journal 32, no. 1 (1941): 13-17.
Phelan to Sinclair, 19 May 1952, RG 85 volume 1129: 252-3(3).
Qikiqtani Inuit Association. Qikiqtani Truth Commission, Thematic Reports and Special Studies 1950–1975, Aaniajurliriniq: Health Care in Qikiqtaaluk. Iqaluit: Inhabit Media Inc., 2013. https://www.qtcommission.ca/sites/default/files/public/thematic_reports/thematic_reports_english_aaniajurlirniq.pdf
Stote, Karen. An Act of Genocide: Colonialism and the Sterilization of Aboriginal Women. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 2015.
The Camsell Arrow. December 1947. Quoted in The Camsell Mosaic. Edmonton: Charles Camsell History Committee, 1985.
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