TORONTO – A search prompted by ground-penetrating radar is again starting again on the ground in Edmonton, a former so-called ‘Indian hospital’ where indigenous patients suffered abuse – and sometimes never home Came.
Developers are working with indigenous elders and chiefs to excavate the area in case there are any unmarked graves on the land.
“I can figure it out there,” Fernie Marty, a Papashe’s elder, told Granthshala National News. “Something’s not right here, is it?”
In the 1930s, 31 hospitals were built in Canada with the goal of treating tuberculosis in indigenous peoples – but according to the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Center at the University of British Columbia, the hospitals were short of staff and “experimental treatments”. was used. their patients.
A class-action lawsuit brought in 2018 alleged that patients at these hospitals faced sexual and physical abuse, including forced sterilization.
Charles Camsell Hospital in Edmonton was the largest of these types of hospitals, serving as a tuberculosis treatment center for Indigenous children in the 40s and 50s. Patients were brought to the hospital from across Alberta and northern Canada.
Former patients like Victor Bruno describe the abuse and abuse that took place within the hospital.
“I just get emotional,” said Bruno, attempting to speak about the experience.
“Did it have a powerful negative effect on my life? Definitely.”
The darkest stories were of young patients who reportedly went missing after being admitted.
Like a girl Marty befriended while on his way to the hospital as a child.
“They told me she went home, but I later met with her parents and they said their daughter never came home,” Marty said.
It is only one story among many that has given rise to the widespread belief that bodies were buried here without record, ceremony, or even a grave marker.
“If we find these graves here, it proves how they were buried,” Calvin Bruno, chief of the Papasse First Nation, told Granthshala News.
Kamloops, BC, last spring after finding evidence of 215 unmarked graves outside a former residential school, Jean Dub, the owner and developer of the land where the former hospital stands, paid for ground-penetrating radar here.
When surveys found evidence of underground anomalies, they excavated 13 sites last summer, finding nothing but debris. Now 21 more interesting sites are under investigation.
“I think we are indebted to those families for discovering these grounds,” Dub said. “To find out, really whether they are here.”
Dub, who is an architect, had bought the land to be redeveloped into a multi-unit housing development. But no construction will be completed unless the grounds are properly searched.
The crew is excavating the sites an inch at a time, carefully peeling back the layers of the Earth until they reach the depths indicated by ground-penetrating radar surveys as an anomaly. has been done.
Nothing note was found today, as the search is on, but it will start again tomorrow.
If remains are found, regional chiefs and elders will be consulted to decide what to do next.