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Aboriginal Nutrition Experiments.
Transcript of Aboriginal Nutrition Experiments.
Why did it happen?
In 1942 several remote reserves were visited by government researchers who found the inhabitants to be severey malnourished. Instead of supplying the much needed nutrition the officials decided that the isolationist lifestyle First Nations practised was the perfect environment to conduct studies on different diets.
Why did it happen?
As Ian Mosby said "In the 1940s, there were a lot of questions about what are human requirements for vitamins. Malnourished aboriginal people became viewed as possible means of testing these theories."
Dr Lionel Bradly Pett was one of the lead scientists on the nutritional experiments.
People rallying for an apology.
A nurse takes a blood sample from a boy at the Indian School in Port Alberni.
What was really happening?
In the 1940's it was found that there were nutritional experiments done on aboriginals. The experiment started in Norway House and eventually made its way into residential schools across the country.
Candace Davies, a kitchen worker in Thunder Bay, said "It's just devastating what's been done. There needs to be healing, there needs to be more programs that are funded to help aboriginals gain themselves again."
Test subjects were separated into groups which would then receive different diets with different vitamin, minerals, and food levels.
Jody Kechego, a policy adviser with the Anishinabek Nations in Ontario, said "When it comes to First Nations, it appears that Canada is not prepared to act in a just manner." He went on to say that the details of the experiments show Canada's (mis)treatment of First Nations and that they (the First Nations community) are not expecting the Canadian government to apologize anytime in the near future.
Despite the evidence of the experiments
the Canadian government has not released a formal apology. It took Canada decades to apologize for the residential schools and decades more for Canada to apologize for the Chinese head tax. If this pattern holds it will be a very long time before Canada owns up to this mistake. Hopefully that will not be the case.