Starved residential school children deserve disclosure and apology

If ever there was a case for government apologizing for a historical wrong, deliberately experimenting on residential school children is it.

It is ironic that in the same week South Africa mourns the loss of the “Father of Freedom”, Nelson Mandela—the man responsible for abolishing apartheid—the Alberni Valley was the scene of an emotional Forum on Experiments on Students at the Alberni Indian Residential School.

As Africa—a country long divided by lines of colour—reconciles its past and crafts a future that includes equality, Canada is only now discovering that some of its aboriginal children were starved in the name of science.

So-called nutritional experiments were uncovered by Canadian food historian Ian Mosby and published in a scholarly article in July.

The fact that this information was buried in historical records and not made public until now is reprehensible.

Some may say this forum is so much hype — that people have always known that kids were being starved in residential schools, and that some arrived at the schools in a malnourished state. The line in the sand is drawn for us, however, in that withholding food was deliberate.

Turn this around: if such experimentation had occurred in private boarding schools, would we be so lackadaisical about the results? There would be no question people would be in an uproar.

While we are adamant that financial compensation should not be viewed as affixing dollar figures to human beings, we can’t help but be shocked that the federal government has said it has already paid compensation for wrongs for students attending residential schools; this is a new revelation.

Besides, it’s not about the money. It’s about acknowledging children whose lives were entrusted to staff at these schools were wronged.  At some point, people whose entire lives have been affected by residential schools must be able to move on. In order to do that, they must be given full disclosure on what really happened in those schools.

If ever there was a case for any level of government to make an apology for an historical wrong, the deliberate experimentation on children at residential schools is it.

— Alberni Valley News

Just Posted

Tsunami warning prompts evacuations in Port Alberni

Alaska earthquake prompted warning for coastal BC

Tsunami warning prompts Alberni’s Best Western Barclay hotel to evacuate 55 rooms

Guests were evacuated to the Alberni Valley Multiplex early Tuesday morning

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

COUNCIL WATCH: Here are some of the stories we’ll be following

Traffic counts, a Nuisance Property Working Group and more at Alberni council meeting

Stakeholders tackle poverty in Port Alberni

Residents invited to share ideas for solution at Tuesday (Jan. 23) meeting

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

Vancouver Islanders ponder need for tsunami siren song

Alarm sounds in Port Alberni but not at the DND base in Esquimalt

Babcock, Goyette and Smyth honoured at Order of Hockey in Canada

Mike Babcock, from Saskatoon, guided the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup in 2008

Bell Canada alerts customers who may be affected by latest data breach

Federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner said it had been notified

‘The tsunami alarm failed my household’: North Coast residents concerned over sirens, alerts

People living in northern communities share how they learned about Tuesday’s tsunami warning

Snowboarder dies at Vancouver Island ski resort

Death at Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Most Read