|Fort Albany Sisters of Charity of Ottawa National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
Native Children Starved, Victims of Medical Experiments, in Boarding and Residential Schools
By Brenda Norrell
Dr. Michelle Cook, Dine', said, "It is critical that Navajo people and boarding school survivors, including but not limited to Tuba City, are aware of the medical experimentations that were carried out on Indigenous children during these years."
Trachoma research was carried out on Native American children in three boarding schools: Stewart Indian School in Carson City, Nevada; Intermountain Indian School in Brigham City, Utah; and Tuba City Boarding School in Arizona, on the Navajo Nation, 1967 -- 68 and 1972 --73.
"The central question of the report focused on whether the Proctor Foundation obtained informed consent from these children’s parents before conducting its research," writes Samantha Williams. "Because Proctor viewed the IHS as the acting legal guardian of boarding school students, its researchers reasoned there was no need for parental consent."
Children starved at residential schools in Canada during experiments
During the search for unmarked graves at Blue Quills, Acimowin Opaspiw Society Executive Director Leah Redcrow said, "These children died in the hundreds from drinking unpasteurized, raw cow’s milk."
"In residential schools, Indigenous children were fed just enough to dim the sharp pangs of hunger, sometimes receiving only 30 per cent of the daily calories they required. Schools received half of the funds needed to support a balanced diet. Fruits, vegetables, cheese, eggs and iodized salt were rarely found on the menu."
In 1944, survivors reported significant changes made to their usual foods when investigators were present – butter instead of lard, and meat and vegetable stew instead of broth.
Beginning in the fall of 1948, with support from the Department of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Services, researcher Lionel Pett conducted a series of five-year experiments on roughly 1,000 Indigenous children in six residential schools across Canada.
For a decade, he traveled across the country to run trials without consent, testing homegrown nutritional supplements, such as “blood sausage” and “meat spread,” with unapproved ingredients.
|Alberni Residential School Alberni Indian Residential School, Vancouver Island a few miles outside of Port Alberni, adjoining the Tseshaht Indian Reserve, operated 1900 - 1973 (73 years). National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
"At Port Alberni in British Columbia, Pett tested the effects of tripling the students’ daily milk intake, from eight ounces – less than half the recommendation at the time – to 24 ounces. But for the first two years, he made no changes to the children’s diets so that he could create a baseline to compare to future results," Health Debate reports.
"At the Shubenacadie school in Nova Scotia, many children suffered from vitamin C deficiency and gingivitis. He treated half of the children with a supplement and gave the other half a placebo. These children were denied dental interventions fearing they would interfere with the experiments."
"At St. Mary’s in Ontario, Pett tested the effects of a flour fortified with vitamins and minerals – banned at the time for sale outside of Newfoundland.
"At the school in Port Alberni, he was beaten daily because he couldn’t speak English. He also wet his bed repeatedly and was forced by the staff to wash his own sheets in the tub. At the same time, staff would punish him by holding his head under the water. Leonard thought he might die, Coast Mountain News reports.
The punishments were daily. He recounts a sensation of always having a mouth full of blood because he was struck in the face so often for being slower than the other children. “I think that’s why I lost all my teeth at a young age,” he says.
After about a year in Port Alberni, Leonard was moved to St. Michael’s Residential School in Alert Bay.
“They basically gave us enough food to keep us alive,” he says. “There were worms in the porridge. At first, we would pick them out, but after a while, we didn’t care anymore, we were so hungry, and it was food.” Every afternoon a staff member would dole out biscuits around 3pm and the children would swarm him, running after him like dogs.
“It was a hell hole,” he recalls. “No one showed us any compassion, no love."
|17 children were brought by canoes from Rupert's House to Moose Factory residential school, 1938. National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website. For the families. https://archives.nctr.ca/13a-
Trachoma research was carried out on Native American children in three boarding schools: Stewart Indian School in Nevada; Intermountain Indian School in Utah; and Tuba City Boarding School in Arizona, on the Navajo Nation, 1967 -- 68 and 1972 --73.
The Indian Health Service said it was the legal guardian for the children while they attended the boarding schools, according to the researchers' reports, and parental permission to use students in medical experiments was not obtained.
The Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology, University of California, stated that tetracycline is the best treatment option. However, the side effects were itching, diarrhea, loss of appetite and rash.
Because of the lack of parental consent, Proctor halted its medical experiments on Native children in boarding schools under pressure from the Children's Defense Fund.
Informed consent is required when an individual is considered at risk, as stated in HEW guidelines, the report states. HEW is the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare.
Informed consent requires that experimental procedures be explained, as well as the discomforts and risks. There must be a description of expected benefits, along with the disclosure of alternative procedures. Further, there must be an offer to answer questions, and instructions that the participant can withdraw at any time.
Native Women Sterilized Without Consent by the Indian Health Service
Native women were sterilized by the Indian Health Service without their consent.
In a U.S. government document dated Nov. 4, 1976, the United States, under pressure, revealed some of these medical experiments underway in IHS hospitals. Although it is not a complete list, it documents the sterilization of Native women, the role of drug companies attempting to profit, and the disregard for parental consent of Native children in boarding schools and IHS hospitals.
A report by the U.S. Comptroller was issued under pressure from South Dakota Sen. James Abourezk and the Children's Defense Fund.
The report came during a time when many Native people spoke their first language, Dine', O'odham and Apache, and little attempt was made to gain informed consent in medical procedures. It came during a century of U.S. boarding school brainwashing, which included the kidnapping of Native children.
In the abuse that followed, Native children were forced to speak English and were "re-educated." During this time of re-education and brainwashing, children were militarized and brainwashed to serve in the U.S. military, the same military responsible for the massacres and genocide of their people.
The U.S. Comprtoller's alarming report shows there were 3,406 sterilizations of Native women carried out in the Indian Health Service hospitals in Aberdeen, Phoenix, Albuquerque and Oklahoma City in three years, 1973 --1976.
Of these, 1,024 were performed at IHS contract facilities.
The report found there was no informed consent. Native women were never told that they had the right to refuse sterilization by IHS doctors in Aberdeen, Phoenix, Albuquerque and Oklahoma City.
The sterilizations included Native women under the age of 21.
Jean Whitehorse, Dine', described what happened to her during a video interview with Censored News.
In Arizona and New Mexico, medical experiments targeted O'odham in experiments at Phoenix Indian Medical Center. A cardiovascular study used a radioactive element injected intravenously into O'odham in a study in 1975. O'odham were also used in a high-risk diabetes study at Phoenix Indian Medical Center in 1974.
Medical experiments were shut down at Gallup, N.M., Indian Health Service after Native patients became ill between the years of 1972 and 1975. The Gallup IHS service area includes Navajos, Zuni Pueblo, and other Natives in the area.
White Mountain and Navajo children with the victims of vaccine experiments by Johns Hopkins University for 40 years.
Read more in our original coverage:
(Photo: Panguitch Indian School in Utah, near the Arizona border.) The bodies of 12 children were confirmed to have been buried at the site. The Paiute Tribe in Utah and its five sovereign bands released a statement in July. The children at the school were Kaibab Paiute and from other Native tribes. Paiute Statement
Klee Benally: The Genocide of Diseases
In his book published shortly before he passed in December, Klee Benally, Dine', described the trail of disease in boarding schools.
Klee points out that on March 7, 2020, in Chilchinbeto, a Christian group held a rally, which became the epicenter of COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation.
"As schools were closed in response to the crisis, the Rocky Ridge Boarding School -- located on Black Mesa just near land partitioned in the so-called Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute -- stayed open. Staff at the school had participated in the Chilchinbeto Christian rally and roughly a hundred students were exposed to the virus."
"This is not the first time that Christians and boarding schools have exposed our lands and Indigenous Peoples to the pandemic. COVID-19 is not the first virus our people have faced."
"From measles, smallpox-infected blankets, to the influenza epidemic of 1918 (when an estimated 2,000 Dine' perished) Indigenous Peoples have long been familiar with the colonial strategies of biological warfare," Klee writes in 'No Spiritual Surrender: Indigenous Anarchy in Defense of the Sacred."
Johns Hopkins Medical Experiments on Apache and Navajo Children
‘As a matter of policy, kids were hungry in residential schools’: The dark history of Canada’s food guide
By Meghan McGee, Healthy Debate
" I would sneak out of my room at the Allan at night, and walk down the front steps and I would hide. I found people standing over by the cement wall, with shovels. Two were on one side of the wall and one was on the other side. I remember that vividly because they had red handles on the shovels and a flashlight. What were they doing with shovels over by the concrete fence? There is only one thing that comes into my mind, were they burying something in the ground. What else could it be? There were rumors that there are bodies buried in the Allan property, and I believe that some of them would be Indigenous people."
|Fort Providence residential school, date unknown (detail) National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. https://archives.nctr.ca/10a-c000972-d0033-001