AFN condemns nutritional experiments on aboriginal children
Resolution says experiments reflect a pattern of genocide
The Assembly of First Nations has unanimously passed an emergency resolution condemning nutritional experiments done on aboriginal people including children in residential schools in the 1940s and 1950s.
Delegates stood and wiped away tears as they passed the resolution Thursday afternoon at the AFN’s annual meeting in Whitehorse.
The resolution states the experiments "reveal Crown conduct reflecting a pattern of genocide against aboriginal peoples."
It condemns the action of the federal government for allowing and being involved in the experiments and calls on the government to provide access to all records on experiments conducted on aboriginal communities and aboriginal children in residential schools.
It also calls for the government to develop a system of compensation for people affected by the experiments.
Recent research by Canadian food historian Ian Mosby revealed that at least 1,300 aboriginal people — most of them children — were used as test subjects in the 1940s and '50s by researchers looking at the effectiveness of vitamin supplements.
"If this is story is true, this is abhorrent and completely unacceptable," a statement from Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt's office said earlier this week.
In an interview with CBC News, former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin called for a complete disclosure of any records related to the research conducted decades ago.
"Canadians are entitled to know the whole story, and they're entitled not to have it leak out to them in dribs and drabs this way, but they're entitled to have the story out, and the people who are good analysts who understand this kind of thing put it into context," he said.