Forum on Experiments on Students at the Alberni Indian Residential School: Dec. 11

Tseshaht First Nation and Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council will be hosting a forum on the experiments on students at the Alberni Indian Residential School.
When: December 11, 2013
Time: 8:30 am – 5 pm
Where: Maht Mahs Gym, Port Alberni, BC

This past spring it was revealed that in the 1940s and ’50s the aboriginal students at AIRS were subjected to human biomedical experimentation and deprived of food and medical treatment in the name of scientific research.  These children, now grown, and their extended families want to understand what happened at the school and why, and they want to know what lasting damage, if any, those experiences may have caused.  The experiments were done without the parents’ or students’ knowledge or consent and were sanctioned by the Federal Government.

In an effort to get to the bottom of this appalling and disturbing treatment, and because Canada had yet to respond to demands of the Chiefs of Canada, Tseshaht First nation, in partnership with NTC, is hosting a day-long forum to get answers to the former students’ many questions.

Dr. Ian Mosby, the University of Guelph researcher who ripped the lid off the government’s illegal experiments in his paper “Administering Colonial Science”, has accepted an invitation from Tseshaht to speak about his findings at the forum. He will provide the forum’s Keynote Address and answer questions about his research.

Tseshaht has also invited representatives of the Canadian Red Cross, who will explain that organization’s involvement at the residential school at the time.

Both a medical doctor, to provide information about the lasting impacts of nutrition and medical treatment deprivation, and a lawyer, to discuss potential litigation, have been invited.

The Quu-asa team of counselors will be on hand to provide support to residential school survivors if emotions become too much to bear during the forum.  Traditional brushings will be held in the Longhouse adjacent to Maht Mahs Gym.

The forum will begin at 8:30 am with a traditional welcome and will run until 5 pm.  Coffee, tea and lunch will be provided courtesy  of the Tseshat First Nation.  Morning and afternoon light refreshments provided courtesy of the NTC.

Pre-registration is a must as seating is limited.  Priority, in the following order, will be given to:

  • those students who attended Alberni Indian Residential School
  • those students who attended other residential schools where experimentation occurred
  • counselors and care providers of students of residential schools and
  • the general public


Register online  or call Christine Hintz at the Tseshaht First Nation 250-724-1225 to get your name added to the list.  (Please note that there are no travel monies for this event, so individuals are responsible for their own arrangements.)

The forum will be streamed live on the Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper Web site for those who cannot attend.

More information about Dr Mosby’s article available HERE