“It is readily acknowledged that Indian children lose their natural resistance to illness by habitating so closely in these schools, and that they die at a much higher rate than in their villages. But this alone does not justify a change in the policy of this Department, which is geared towards the FINAL SOLUTION OF OUR INDIAN PROBLEM.” (Department of Indian Affairs Superintendent D.C. Scott to B.C. Indian Agent-General Major D. McKay, DIA Archives, RG 10 series). April 12, 1910 (emphasis added))
According to James Pool in his “Hitler and His Secret Partners”:
Hitler drew another example of mass murder from American history. Since his youth he had been obsessed with the Wild West stories of Karl May. He viewed the fighting between cowboys and Indians in racial terms. In many of his speeches he referred with admiration to the victory of the white race in settling the American continent and driving out the inferior peoples, the Indians. With great fascination he listened to stories, which some of his associates who had been in America told him about the massacres of the Indians by the U.S. Calvary.
He was very interested in the way the Indian population had rapidly declined due to epidemics and starvation when the United States government forced them to live on the reservations. He thought the American government’s forced migrations of the Indians over great distances to barren reservation land was a deliberate policy of extermination. Just how much Hitler took from the American example of the destruction of the Indian nations his hard to say; however, frightening parallels can be drawn. For some time Hitler considered deporting the Jews to a large ‘reservation’ in the Lubin area where their numbers would be reduced through starvation and disease. (p. 273-274).
The next morning Hitler’s ‘plan’ was put in writing and sent out to the German occupation authorities as ‘The Fuehrer’s Guidelines for the Government of the Eastern Territories: ‘ the Slavs are to work for us. Insofar as we don’t need them, they may die. Therefore compulsory vaccination and German health services are superfluous. The fertility of the Slavs is undesirable. They may use contraceptives And practice abortion, the more the better. Education is dangerous. It is sufficient… if they can count up to a hundred. At best an education is admissible which produces useful servants for us. Every educated person is a future enemy. Religion we leave to them as a means of diversion. As to food, they are not to get more than necessary. We are the masters, we come first.’
Always contemptuous of the Russians, Hitler said: ‘For them the word ‘liberty’ means the right to wash only on feast-days. If we arrive bringing soft soap, we’ll obtain no sympathy…There’s only one duty: to Germanize this country by the immigration of Germans, and to look upon the natives as Redskins.’ Having been a devoted reader of Karl May’s books on the American West as a youth, Hitler frequently referred to the Russians as ‘Redskins’. He saw a parallel between his effort to conquer and colonize land in Russia with the conquest of the American West by the white man and the subjugation of the Indians or ‘Redskins’. ‘I don’t see why’, he said, ‘a German who eats a piece of bread should torment himself with the idea that the soil that produces this bread has been won by the sword. When we eat from Canada, we don’t think about the despoiled Indians.” (James Pool, Ibid, pp. 254-255)
And from a speech by Heinrich Himmler (date not given):
I consider that in dealing with members of a foreign country, especially some Slav nationality…in such a mixture of peoples there will always be some racially good types. Therefore I think that it is our duty to take their children with us, to remove them from their environment, if necessary, by robbing or stealing them… (Telford Taylor “Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials”, Alfred A Knopf, N.Y. 1992, p. 203)
And from John Toland, preeminent biographer of Adolf Hitler:
Hitler’s concept of concentration camps as well as the practicality of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to his studies of English and United States history. He admired the camps for Boer prisoners in South Africa And for the Indians in the Wild West; and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America’s extermination-by starvation and uneven combat-of the ‘Red Savages’ who could not be tamed by captivity. (John Toland, “Adolf Hitler” Vol II, p 802, Doubleday & Co, 1976)
“Set the blood-quantum at one-quarter, hold to it as a rigid definition of Indians, let intermarriage proceed…and eventually Indians will be defined out of existence. When that happens,the federal government will finally be freed from its persistent Indian problem.” (Patricia Nelson Limerick, “The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West” p338)
Government paper warns of risks of apologizing for residential schools WENDY COX July 27, 1998 from Ottawa Citizen
OTTAWA (CP) – Government officials were urged two years ago to provide a compensation package to aboriginal people who suffered in residential schools as an attempt to control the potentially explosive costs of lawsuits, an internal document shows. The report, stamped Secret and obtained by The Canadian Press, compares the pros and cons of forcing claimants to go to court with offering financial redress to victims. It concludes that in the long run, compensation would be cheaper.
“The number of individual claims as well as any negative implications for the federal government in defending such actions (lawsuits) would likely be minimized if a government policy, including some form of redress package, were adapted,” says the 20-page report. The document also warns against using the word “apology,” preferring instead “an acknowledgment or expression of regret.” “It could be worded in such a fashion so as to not lay blame on anyone.”
Government officials confirmed the report, which is titled simply Residential Schools Discussion Paper, was written in late 1995 or early 1996 for Ron Irwin, then the minister of Indian Affairs. It may also have been prepared for the Justice Department. The report never reached current Indian Affairs Minister Jane Stewart and the advice in it never formed the basis for actions she later took, officials say. Earlier this year, Stewart issued a Statement of Reconciliation, saying the government was “deeply sorry” for those who suffered the “tragedy” of physical and sexual abuse at the schools.
The statement also included a $350-million healing fund. “It was critical that the apology meant something to us,” said Shawn Tupper, spokesman for the minister on the residential schools file. “We can point to (the $350-million healing fund) and say we’re actually doing something substantive to back it up.” The statement has been accepted by national Chief Phil Fontaine, however other native leaders said at the time that it wasn’t good enough. But critics who have read the 1996 document say the federal government has followed the advice to the letter. They say it’s evidence the statement is not an apology at all but merely an attempt to control costs. Ovide Mercredi, a former national chief, said the document shows “the minister didn’t follow her heart or her sense of justice.” “She followed legal advice and the advice was to reduce legal liability at all costs and the government measure is designed to do that.” Fontaine was unavailable for comment.
The document advises that forcing former students to take the government to court would ensure they would have to prove their claims. As an added advantage, it would also limit lawsuits, the report states.
“There is a general disinclination by persons who have suffered abuse to testify on such a personal and painful matter in a public and adversarial forum,” the report says.
“A litigation approach may well keep the number of claimants down to a minimum.”
However, going to court would cost the government dearly in money and in bad press, the report concludes. The author, who is unnamed, recommends a compensation package instead. Since the report was written, thousands of former students have joined class action suits or have filed individual lawsuits against the federal government. A landmark B.C. court ruling last month declared for the first time that both the federal government and the United Church are legally liable for widespread sexual and physical abuse at a Port Alberni, B.C., school and ordered them to compensate about 30 former students. A figure for the compensation has not yet been decided. The mounting lawsuits are anticipated in the 1996 report, but the document also cautions that apologizing is dangerous territory.
“Whatever it is called, the department will want to ensure that the statement cannot subsequently be used to establish a cause of action against the Crown in any particular individual cause,” it states. “It would appear that this government is committed to looking ahead and in these tough economic times, it would not want to be involved in anything that is too expensive or linked to the past.” Tupper said the department’s thinking has evolved since the report. When asked at a news conference last January if the statement of reconciliation was an apology, Stewart responded yes. “In our view, the statement of reconciliation is not an acknowledgment of guilt in a court of law,” Tupper said. It is an acknowledgment of a historic policy and the negative impacts of that policy and it is a commitment to do something about it.”
However, John McKiggan, a lawyer for about 800 former students at the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School in Nova Scotia, said the internal document reveals the federal government’s strategy. “There is an amazing similarity between the present and suggestions made in the paper,” he said. “The statement of reconciliation does not apologize for government actions. It recognizes the pain. It doesn’t admit responsibility for that pain.”
© The Canadian Press, 1998
Alberta sterilization victims also used as guinea pigs Revelation comes as 40 victims win $4M settlement Marina Jimenez National Post 10/28/98
As many as 100 of the children at the centre of the Alberta sterilization scandal of the late 1960s and early 1970s were also used as guinea pigs in drug trials, the National Post has learned. The children lived at the Provincial Training School in Red Deer. Some were wards of the province and others were placed in the school by their parents, who did not consent to the sterilization or medical experimentation, which included the administration of powerful steroids and anti-psychotic drugs. Experts say one of the drugs used, the anabolic steroid norbolethone, is illegal today. The anti-psychotic tranquilizer haloperidol was also used. Its effect on children is said to be akin to hitting them over the head with a sledge hammer.
Yesterday, 40 people who were sterilized against their will reached a settlement totalling $4-million with the government of Alberta. This brings to 540 the number of people who have settled with the province for being sterilized under the now-defunct Alberta Sterilization Act, which was in effect from 1928 to 1972. The operations were ordered by Alberta’s eugenics board to prevent the mentally disabled from passing on their defects to offspring. Lawyers say they want more money from the government for victims who had to endure being tested with powerful drugs in addition to being sterilized. “Invading people’s rights in the form of unauthorized research and taking advantage of people who couldn’t look after themselves is the kind of thing that courts award punitive damages for,” said Jon Faulds, an Edmonton lawyer representing 109 sterilization victims still negotiating settlements.
Allan Garber, another Edmonton lawyer acting for the former training school residents, said they were treated like cattle. “The experimental drug treatment only compounds the evil that was done to our clients.” Dr. Leonard J. LeVann, medical superintendent from 1949 to 1974 at the Red Deer school, published the results of his drug experiments in scholarly journals, which were recently turned over to lawyers for the victims. The articles show that Dr. LeVann, who is dead, gave 100 undersized children the anabolic steroid norbolethone over a 12-month period in 1971. The drug — now illegal in Canada — made the children gain weight. But it also produced some side effects: the genitals of two boys increased in size and one girl’s voice deepened.”The treatment of retarded growth in children with anabolic agents is controversial,” he wrote in the September 1971 edition of the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Therapy and Toxicology. Nonetheless, he called the drug study “entirely satisfactory.”
Norbolethone is illegal today because of its powerful side effects – damage to the liver and negative psychological symptoms. Anabolic steroids can also increase aggressive sexual behaviour in men and cause secondary sexual characteristics, for example, facial hair in girls. Dr. LeVann also gave 100 children haloperidol, an anti-psychotic tranquilizer, over a period of 40 days in the late 1960s to counter hyperactivity and excitability. Dr. Louis Pagliaro, a professor of educational psychology and the associate director of the substance abusology research unit at the University of Alberta, says haloperidol “would essentially knock (children) out. (It) generally decreases people’s ability to learn and adversely affects memory and behaviour.” Dr. LeVann’s studies are “full of half-truths, assumptions and by today’s standards, lack proper research methodology,” says Dr. Pagliaro.
About 2,800 people were sterilized in Alberta before the Sexual Sterilization Act was finally repealed. Documents now show that many of the people sterilized were not mentally disabled. In 1996, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench ordered the provincial government to pay Leilani Muirer $740,000 for being wrongfully confined in the Red Deer school and sterilized. Her landmark victory opened a floodgate of litigation. In June, 1998, the government agreed to pay 500 more sterilization claimants up to $100,000. Many continue to live in the Red Deer facility, known today as the Michener Centre. The province has spent $54 million on settlements to date. The compensation deal for the sterilizaiton victims announced yesterday, much the same as those announced last June, gives claimants $75,000 now and another $25,000 after three years, if they are then living outside institutions.