dc Campus Administrators Seize Student Newspaper after it publishes article by Kevin Annett on medical atrocities against Indians performed next door
Nanaimo, British Columbia
January 12, 2018
Kevin Annett reports:
I can’t say I was that surprised when this latest boot of censorship descended. After all, Canadian universities don’t like their students thinking too much about “forbidden” subjects, like homegrown genocide. For once again, college administrators in this country have displayed their moral and intellectual turpitude by censoring a story that exposed dirty laundry too close to home: specifically, concerning the half-century of medical atrocities that went on right next door to their campus, at the hands of the Canadian military and the United Church of Canada.
The scene of this latest fiasco, and crime, is Vancouver Island University (VIU) in Nanaimo, B.C. The banned article in question, written by yours truly, concerns the infamous Nanaimo Indian Hospital, where generations of Indian children were sterilized, tortured, starved, drugged, and used as involuntary test subjects by army and church doctors, according to eyewitnesses and hard evidence quoted in the article.
Early in December of 2017, my submission about the hospital was published by the VIU student newspaper The Navigator with the full blessings of its editors. But barely a day later, all of the copies of the “offending” issue of that paper were seized by VIU campus security acting for the administration. No reason was ever given for the seizure. But the standard Canadian fog of intimidation and secrecy has kept mouths closed and the censorship of the article hidden until just this past week, when people began to talk. (The banned article is reprinted below)
Some of my Nanaimo associates are sweating outrage in the wake of this news. In truth, I love it when we can provoke the system like this, and watch as its veneer of civility and pseudo-academic freedom gets blown away by the hysterical, knee-jerk repression from the powers that pretend to be. For the VIU administrators have by their extreme reaction proven the truth of what’s in the censored report. If the article’s claims were not true, the offended parties would have countered with the real facts and I’d have received a legal writ demanding a public recanting and apology. But as usual, nothing like that has happened. Instead, there’s been no denial of the crimes and no counter-evidence presented – just a quick silencing of the whole issue.
In short, we’re witnessing once again the same familiar scenario of institutionalized cover up and censorship of crimes against humanity in Canada. The game plan never changes, for the parties that did the crime are still threatened by it, and must erase the evidence and those who speak of it. But fortunately, what also doesn’t change is the fallout created by such stupid repression. Some formerly-obtuse VIU folks have received a wake up call and can be expected to be radicalized by this latest boot. For as the veteran hell raiser Saul Alinsky observed,
“An oppressive system, properly goaded, can be your best ally. Its tyrannical over reaction, not your efforts alone, is what will politicize a new generation.”
Sure enough, a group of VIU students are already protesting this attack on freedom of speech to the campus bosses, including by staging rallies and distributing copies of the banned article to their fellow students. Ah, youth. Carry it on!
To follow the progress of this battle listen to these upcoming radio programs featuring yours truly and others:
Here We Stand, Sunday January 21 at 3 pm pacific, 6 pm eastern at www.bbsradio.com/herewestan
CHLY 101.7 FM (VIU campus radio) on Saturday January 27 at 11 am , live streamed at https://www.chly.ca/listen/
And follow the fun at www.itccs.org and upcoming youtube postings there. Now for the dangerous truth they don’t want you to read!
Who and What is buried next door to VIU? Genocide in our own Backyard
November 15, 2017
I was used like a guinea pig in the Nanaimo Indian Hospital for over seven years. Lots of children died in there and they’re still lying out in that field somewhere. - Joan Morris, speaking at Malaspina College (VIU) in March of 2004
Look to the south of the VIU campus across Fifth street and you’ll see a tangle of foliage behind stern barbed wire fencing. For over half a century it was the site of the Nanaimo Indian Hospital (NIH), a prison-like experimental center run by the United Church and the Canadian military. Survivors claim and records confirm that hundreds of children died there from grisly medical experiments and other barbarities.
“They were all aboriginal kids, scooped off reserves or out of the residential schools” describes Joan Morris, a Songhees native woman from Victoria who was incarcerated at the NIH when she was barely five years old.
“The Indian Affairs doctor lied to my mother and said I had TB when I didn’t. They had me in that hospital until I was a teenager. They were always giving me shots and things to drink that made me sick. They’d do surgeries on me. They broke all the bones in my feet so I couldn’t run away. Later, I found out I couldn’t have children. They were sterilizing a lot of the girls in there.”
Joan first surfaced her story more than a dozen years ago at a series of public forums at VIU, known then as Malaspina College. At these forums Joan named the men who experimented on her, like the local Doctors Weinrib and Schmidt who were employed by the Canadian military during the 1960′s and ’70′s. Shortly after Joan gave her talks to handful-sized audiences at the college, the remaining buildings on the NIH grounds were bulldozed down by the City of Nanaimo and the area was padlocked.
“They were always warning us never to talk about what happened to us” describes Joan. “When the hospital closed some army officers came to our home and said we’d go to jail if we talked about it because it was all national security.”
The official censorship went further. In the spring of 1999, shortly after the media first reported the NIH allegations, the federal government “officially sealed” its archives on the NIH and other Indian hospitals across Canada. But separate records held at the UBC Koerner Library confirm that the NIH received major funding from both the Defense Research Board and the United Church of Canada to conduct “classified experimental research” on generations of aboriginal women and children.
“After they grabbed me my mother made a fuss so they put her in there with me too” Joan describes. “They did that to lots of Indian families all over the island. Lots of people were dying in there. Every morning they were taking little dead bodies out of the wards on those metal gurneys. My cousin Nancy Joe saw them bury those kids in the field behind us, up near the highway.”
Esther Morris, a distant relative of Joan, was also incarcerated at the NIH during the 1960′s. In 2007 she too went public.
“They kept me strapped into this weird device so I could never lie down or stand up, just held like that for months on end” says Esther. “I lost the use of my legs. An orderly said it was for space research. It was funny because some of the doctors couldn’t speak English and they needed a translator.”
The NIH was just the tip of a huge iceberg of state and church-sponsored crimes against humanity in Canada that span over a century and have never been prosecuted. Many of these atrocities are documented in the book Murder by Decree: The Crime of Genocide in Canada, Past and Present (2016), a compilation of over twenty years of independent research. Murder by Decree documents how the NIH experiments, including involuntary sterilizations, were performed routinely among west coast Indians by missionary and local doctors. (See it at www.createspace.com/6085632
Sarah Modeste of the Cowichan Nation was sterilized at the King’s Daughters clinic in Duncan, BC in the early 1950′s by Dr. James Goodbrand. As Sarah describes in Murder by Decree,
“Dr. Goodbrand said to me, ‘If you marry Freddy, I’ll have to do an operation on you because he’s not a Christian’. So later when Goodbrand delivered my first baby after that I was all bruised and hurting. Then I learned I’d been sterilized … Goodbrand told me he was being paid $300 by the government for every Indian woman he sterilized”.
Involuntary sterilizations and medical experiments have been illegal under international law since 1948, and are defined as crimes against humanity. Yet Canada and its churches not only did those crimes but have whitewashed them and absolved themselves of any liability. And not one person has ever been brought to trial in Canada for these wrongs, or for the death of children in these hospitals and residential schools, from where half of the little prisoners never returned.
While Joan Morris and the children who died at the NIH have never had their day in a Canadian court, they have it at an historic trial in Brussels during 2012 and 2013. Based in part on Joan’s testimony and those of dozens of others of survivors of the Canadian genocide, the International Common Law Court of Justice found Canada, its churches and the Crown of England and the Vatican guilty of crimes against humanity.
As a result of this verdict and under international law, Canadians are obligated not to pay their taxes to a convicted criminal regime like their own government – or to fund similarly sentenced bodies like the United Church – lest they be found guilty of colluding in their crimes.
Whatever happens, the atrocity remains. The lost children of the NIH are waiting to be found and brought home for a proper burial. And the VIU community has to ask itself how it can dwell alongside and remain oblivious to genocide in its own backyard: a crime that if not confronted can only continue.
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