LETTER: Non-Indigenous need to educate themselves about residential schools

With little research there is so much information out there…

Letter to the editor

To the Editor,

I just read to my absolute horror of another atrocity suffered by our Indigenous children while in residential schools. This one, just another, under the guidance of our government.

From 1942 until 1952 the Department of Indian Affairs used those children as guinea pigs for nutritional studies.

Even while in 1946 in Nuremberg, 20 Nazi doctors were tried for violating their medical oaths by performing atrocities against prisoners (seven were acquitted, seven sentenced to death and the rest incarcerated), Canada was performing it’s own medical atrocities against these helpless children in six residential schools.

In Alberni for two years they deprived some children of the necessary amount of milk needed for normal growth, simply to see how it would affect them. In other schools they denied them nutritional foods to see how their bodies reacted.

With little research there is so much information out there telling of the atrocities these children suffered, not only from the churches, but from our own federal government.

For several years a Dr. Peter Bryce from the Dept. of Indian Affairs kept reporting of the diseases in these schools. Not just tuberculosis, but others due to malnutrition as well as undernourishment.

Finally former Prime Minister Mackenzie King (Liberal) told him to stop submitting reports. He just didn’t care. Again it was under the leadership of King, and another former Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent (Liberal) that conducted the nutritional studies for 10 years.

Canadians need to know of these and other atrocities that Indigenous children suffered, so we can more fully understand the pain that the survivors are suffering.

Only when we know the truth, and can feel their pain, can we really reconcile with our Indigenous neighbours.

Present Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Liberal) keeps asking the Catholic Church to apologize. He has apologized on behalf of the government, but perhaps it’s time for him to tell just what they are apologizing for.

Ted Taylor,

Surrey, B.C.

residential schools