McGill will cooperate in the search for anonymous graves at the Royal Victoria Hospital site

Mohawk mothers claim experiments with First Nations children were carried out in a psychiatric hospital

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McGill University said Monday that it is willing to cooperate with governments and indigenous leaders to explore whether there are unmarked graves of indigenous children on the property of the former Royal Victoria Hospital.


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“Recently, some members of the indigenous community expressed concern about the possible presence of unmarked graves in parts of the old hospital,” said university spokeswoman Frédérique Mazerolle by email.

“We are committed to collaborating with governments and the leadership of indigenous communities to do the necessary work to investigate this concern,” he added.

A week ago, the university wrote to the Montreal public consultation office, which is currently conducting virtual hearings on the future of the disused hospital site, to say that reconciliation with indigenous peoples would be at the heart of its project. of $ 700 million for the site.

He plans to restore the heritage buildings as research and teaching facilities and build modern laboratories and research facilities behind them.


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“The New Vic will become a model for the creation of a heritage site that will witness a sincere and enduring commitment to reconciliation and partnership with indigenous communities,” wrote Christopher Manfredi, McGill Chancellor and Academic Deputy Director, to the Montreal Public Consultation Office (OCPM).

Regarding the possibility of unidentified graves, “we are willing to collaborate with representatives of governments and aboriginal communities so that the necessary investigations can be carried out,” he added.

Last week, some 50 protesters took part in a rally by a group called the Mohawk Mothers to push for an investigation of the unidentified graves on the grounds of the former hospital.


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Kahentinetha, 81, one of the group’s organizers, said she was pleased that McGill is ready to cooperate in the search. But he said his group should oversee the investigation.

“If we find anything, then all of McGill has to be declared a crime scene,” he said.

Kahentinetha said McGill was built with money stolen from a trust fund for First Nations people, was “run by the army” and produced weapons used against Palestinians.

He claimed healthy children were taken from Kahnawake and lobotomies performed at Allan Memorial Hospital, but said their identities must remain secret.

“No, I don’t want to name them. You know we’ve been scared all this time because if they could take our children and murder them, what would they do to us? What kind of pressure could they exert on us? ” she said.

During the 1950s and 1960s, psychiatrist Donald Ewen Cameron subjected Allan Memorial patients to massive doses of mind-altering drugs and electroconvulsive shock therapy to “disorganize” their minds. His experiments were partly funded by the CIA, and he later developed mind control methods for use on enemy agents in the Cold War.

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