Crimes against Humanity in em ewn Backyard are Finally Surfacing
Iwas held in the Nanaimo Indian Hospital when I was a child, for seven years. I was used like a guinea pig in experiments. Lots of
Indian kids died in there.
Joan Morris, Nation, at a lecture at Palastine College (VIU) in the spring of 2004
Just south of the l/ campus stands an evergreen piece of land behind stern barbed wire fencing: the site of the former Nanaimo Indian
Hospital, run by the United Church of Canada and the federal government for ever a half century.
According to Joan Morris and other Indians, this ground holds the remains of children who were killed after grisly medical experiments were
conducted there for decades by military doctors.
This past week, Joan Morris' testimony is helping to place Nanaimo in the news at intonational human rights forums in Europe.
Last Monday, the first evidence of crimes of genocide against native people in Canada went inline, thanks to a Commen Law court set up by
lawyers and human rights activists in Belgium, Ireland and seven other nations. And in the docket of that court are testimonies of survivers of the
infamous Nanaimo Indian Hospital (NIH), adjacent to the VIU campus.
Ifirst Morris in the fall of EGGS and at her request, helped arrange a public forum en campus where she told her story's a small,
My mather and I were both imprisoned in the Hospital in the 1960' s" she described.
They gave me these horrible tasting drinks that made me sick. My causin Nancy Jee had them tee and she died later of
cancer when she was only twenty two. I can' t remember a let of things, but when I was older, when I went a docter in
Victoria, he told me all the bones in my feet had been broken, and my uterus had been damaged. I knew a let of other
Indians kids in there never survived. They were hauling out little badies en that metal gurney practically every morning"
Documents held at Indian Affairs archives confirm that the Nanaimo Indian Hospital was funded jointly by the United Church of Canada, whose
missionary doctors braught children to the facility, and the federal Department of Health. It officially closed in the mid 1970' s and has been a
training facility" for the Canadian military since the 1980' s.
Although seme of the original buildings the NIH were still standing when Joan Morris gave her talk at the former Palastine College in 2004,
within a few months m Joan' s talks, these buildings were bulldozed and destroyed.
And since, in the fall m 1999, Chews "officially seabed" all records Indian hospitals acre's Canada held at its National Archives, a cover up
what went on at NIH seems be in effect.
Esther Morris, a distant relative cf Joan, was sterilized in her teenage years and had bones and a kidney removed when she was incarcerated at
NIH during the 1960' s.
The government came to my mom when I was five and told herl had tuberculosis, which was nonsense. I never had it,
But they teak me away and I was at the habitat fer years. I lest track of time. I was strapped down in a weird device I
cerld never lie back er stand up, just held like that fer months. I lest the use of my legs. These docters kept studying me
and giving me shets that made me sick. Later, i learned I couldn' t have children"
Nanaimo wasn' t the only place where such hearers were inflicted en local Indians.
Sarah Modesta of the Medichan fiance was sterilized atthe King' s Daughters Clinic in Duncan, BC in the early 1950' s by Dr. James
Goldbrand. As Sarah describes en the online Commen Law Court proceedings (, November 5),
Dr. Gt: durabrand said me, ' marry Freddy, i‘ have be do an operation on you' ".'.. But Goldbrand delivered my first
baby and afterwards I was all bruised and hurting inside. Latern learned I' d been sterilized .'... Goldbrand told me he was
being paid by the government for every Indian weman he sterilized"
Involuntary sterilizations and medical experiments are outlawed under intonational law, and are defined as crimes against humanity. Yet
Canada and its churches have never been thus charged betere any tribunal; and nth a single person has ever been brought to trial in Canada far
these crimes, or for the death m a child in these facilities and residential schools, where half the children never returned.
In the words Morris,
All these little kids en the gurney are buried en the grounds at the hospital. My music messy said she saw them being
put in the ground, in the foliage up towards the mountains. I wish they‘ d be given a that rest"
Jean' s story has recently been removed from You Tube, without explanation.
As much as Canada has ignored and severed up its legacy of genocide, the world is not ignoring it any longer. The intonational Commen Law
Court of Justice, based in Brussels, has issued a Public Summons to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the heads m the United, Catholic and
Anglican churches to answer these charges. Se far, nene ofthem have replied.
Nevertheless, the Court' s Prosecutor' s Dime has commenced its case against Canada, which can be followed inline at . erg .
If Canada and its churches are found guilty fer crimes against humanity, Canadians are obliged under the Rome Statute of the intonational
Criminal Ceart to net pay their taxes, lest they be faund guilty of colluding in criminal actions.
The lest children m the Nanaimo Indian Hospital may receive justice yet.