A woman whose parents attended residential school in Kenora says she's disgusted by revelations of government nutritional experiments there in the 1940s and 50s.


Vivian Ketchum's parents attended residential school in Kenora, Ont. (Supplied)

A University of Guelph historian discovered evidence that — instead of feeding malnourished children — scientists used them for research. This was a shocking revelation for Vivian Ketchum, whose mother went to St. Mary's school in Kenora.

"My mom had a lot of health issues when she was older," Ketchum said.

"And I think that probably related to the poor diet that she had as a child."

Ketchum says her mother, who is now deceased, didn't share a lot of detail about what happened to her in residential school.

Government documents show that researchers tested the effects of different diets — from using experimental flour to withholding vitamins — on at least 1,300 children attending residential schools in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia.

"If they were on the reserve they would have probably had the natural diet of deer, rice and everything else," Ketchum said.

"But when they're taken out of that environment they would have to be eating what the schools gave them."