Survivors of Indian hospitals seeking $1.1B in damages - APTN NewsAPTN News

Survivors of Indian hospitals seeking $1.1B in damages

Survivors of Canada’s former Indian hospital system have filed a class-action lawsuit seeking $1.1 billion for physical and sexual abuse.

The suit, which has to be certified by a judge, was filed Jan. 25 in Toronto by class-action giant Koskie Minsky with Cooper Regel in Sherwood Park, Alta.

“It is shocking that in the modern era, Canada would operate a segregated health care system,” Jonathan Ptak, of Koskie Minksy, said in a release Tuesday.

“It is necessary to shine a light on this dark chapter in recent history.”

“Indian hospitals” is the term used to refer to 29 facilities that operated between 1945 and 1981 for Indigenous peoples.

The law firm says there are thousands of potential claimants to the suit, who were sent to these hospitals across the country to be treated for tuberculosis and other ailments.

This suit includes patients and family members such as primary plaintiff Ann Hardy, who was a former patient in the Charles Camsell Indian Hospital in Edmonton. She was admitted to Camsell when she was 10, and says she suffered repeated sexual abuse by hospital staff.

The statement of claim alleges the hospitals were overcrowded and improperly staffed.

APTN Investigates explored this segregated healthcare system and also learned the hospitals were run much cheaper than others.

Full episode of APTN Investigates: ‘The Cure was Worse’

As well, sometimes patients were subjected to treatments that had been abandoned for non-Indigenous patients.

The lawsuit alleges many of the patients were children, and says they suffered from horrific conditions such as being tied or shackled to their beds for weeks or months.

It says patients were left with severe physical, psychological and emotional injuries.

Lawyers say in the release they are seeking $1 billion in damages for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, and $100 million in punitive damages.

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43 Responses to “Survivors of Indian hospitals seeking $1.1B in damages”

    Raven Redbird February 10, 2018 at 12:56 am #

    Although money can never make up for your pain and suffering, it is good to know that these horrific experiences are being exposed .
    This inter-generational trauma has caused so much damage.
    It is impossible to know how to nurture your children if you have never been nurtured. And we do follow our role-models (parents). Most of us are just “guessing” whether we are being too strict or too lenient.
    The young ones need to be educated about the impact of the Cultural Genocide that was inflicted on us.. Parenting should be introduced in school curriculums
    May Creator guide and protect all who were affected by this cruel systemic abuse..

    Ambrose Wolfe February 8, 2018 at 1:30 am #

    i went to the fort san indian hospital in fort QuAppelle in the late 50s and early 60s brutal . I was treated for TB a place I wish never existed along with the residential schools.

    Laura Makokis February 7, 2018 at 9:45 pm #

    I was a patient in the Aberhart TB Sanitorium from 1957-1959, at that time my Father was enfranchised by the Indian Agent, so I was non-status and sent there instead of the Charles Camsell Hospital, there were more than a few of us Aboriginal children in that hospital. I was hospitalized there for 2 years. So, who do I contact about seeking restitution or compensation because I know I faced a lot of different situations as the ones who were in the Charles Camsell hospital.

    Doris Hume February 6, 2018 at 7:28 pm #

    My mom was at Charles Camsell hospital who is now decease from an operation on her lung how do i get more information I also have a cousin that is living right now but had the same thing done to her and is suffering from what they put in her

    arnold Dyson February 2, 2018 at 6:01 pm #

    as a young child i remember being in tuberculosis hospital in twin cities in northern Ontario i was not very old i was also in children aid society at the age of three and then transferred to coldbourge training school for boys 15 to 19 at age of seven and called incurable that was their reasoning

    Grace Martin February 2, 2018 at 7:25 am #

    Where do we get more information

    Charlene January 31, 2018 at 7:32 pm #

    My mother was there for 2 years, where can we find out information?

    Lillian Favel Daniels January 31, 2018 at 6:01 pm #

    Lillian. I was in the Fort Qu’ Appelle Sask. (Indian Hospital) as it was refrerred to in the sixties. Who do I contact? It was not a good experience.

    Peter Strangling Wolf January 31, 2018 at 3:16 pm #

    My late father, Chris was a long time patient at Charles Camsell in Edmonton. Many of the patients have passed on, will they be included in on this Lawsuit?

    Jessica January 31, 2018 at 7:11 am #

    I was tested on & kept there as a child for month’s now what?

    Ekti January 31, 2018 at 5:08 am #

    I’ve had three surgeries between 1959 to spring 1967. I was there when we were moved into new hospital.
    Anyway I always wondered why I had these surgeries on my foot. I now live with my disabilities. Have I got stories to tell, need some one to confirm they really happened. I was less then twelve years old then.

    Val January 31, 2018 at 4:47 am #

    What about Vancouver sunny hill hospital was there for just about three years I know I wasn’t the only native there it was for tb also

    Roger January 31, 2018 at 4:17 am #

    I was in Charles camsell hosp in 1963-64 & no one there even tried to keep mom updated to my sickness after 2 yrs there

    Wendy January 31, 2018 at 3:54 am #

    I stayed in the Charles Camsell a couple of times, a lot of white people did

    Beulah Horseman-Campbell January 31, 2018 at 3:20 am #

    Who do I contact? I was in Charles Camcell hospital when I was a child.

    Albertine Finney January 31, 2018 at 1:56 am #

    I was in the Charles Campsell hospital for seven months just before my tenth birthday 09 November 1958 to end June 1959, my niece Linda Matchatis was only a year old who was taken there at the same time but they didn’t keep us together for very long. They took her to the baby/toddler section and I was taken upstairs to the older children area. Being taken away from my parents was devastating especially for my niece, who was just a baby. I believe she was kept there for over a year and I remember when she was discharged, she was so frightened of her family. My dad was admitted in when I was discharged more n or less swapping places but of course he was in the men’s section. To be honest I do not recall any nurses but I remember the doctor who was my doctor I guess, he was an Egyptian man with a heavy accent, wore round dark framed glasses. I think there were about ten to twelve girls in the ward I was in. The only experiment they did on me was putting a black tube/scope down my throat to check whatever when I was suppose to be there for TB, that was quite unpleasant as I was not sedated or anything. I know of many people from my community who were there for years in addition who were definitely experimented on but all these people have since passed away.

    Dellmar lapratt January 31, 2018 at 1:45 am #

    I was in bonnyville hospital as a baby in the seventies and I remember the nurses were mean and beat me and my baby brother who I tried to protect and pull out of his crib at night to stop his crying sometimes we would get caught and beat split apart in different rooms in the old nun hospital

    Sheila willier January 30, 2018 at 11:28 pm #

    My nephew was at the Charles Campbell wen he was 2 yrs old(34years ago). I went to visit him everyday after school just so I could be there with him so he wouldn’t be tied down to his crib.

    linda January 30, 2018 at 11:02 pm #

    i was a patient in this hospital for quite a long time…although i was born and raised in the city i had to stay and go to school in that hospital in the early seventies…i had a lot of negative experiences as an in-patient and out-patient…that till this day affects me….

    Esther Mason January 30, 2018 at 10:38 pm #

    I was a baby when I was hospitalized…never knew who my mother was untilni was four. My first language was English, I have lots to tell.

    tammy awasis January 30, 2018 at 9:51 pm #

    What years did this occur?

    Shawna Moberly January 30, 2018 at 9:35 pm #

    Hello, who do we contact if we were a patient? Thanks.

    Simon January 30, 2018 at 9:04 pm #

    Back in 1950s I was once patient at North Battleford Saskatchewan Indian Hospital. I am now in my 70s.

    Leona January 30, 2018 at 8:39 pm #

    My mother was told she would have to go to residential school the worst one in BC in Port Alberny or she could work in the TB hospital on Miller Bay outside of Prince Rupert , BC.
    I visited there with her and an aunt. Both worked there and Im sure more family worked there. .
    What about them.
    They were intentionally hired to be exposed .
    This society and its history are shameful.
    Add a few more billion.
    At the age of 16 my mother had money to create quite the drunken lifestyle.
    She celenbrated her 19 birthday in tne bar to only be banned for months because they realized she had been drinking for years.
    I wish they had found her money to dirty to take.
    But nope they took every dime ahe slipped them.

    Belinda Vandenbroeck January 30, 2018 at 8:24 pm #

    I sure do remember being tied down in a straight jacket many times. Claustrophobia big time.

    Brenda January 30, 2018 at 8:16 pm #

    I was in Charles Camsell hospital in Edmonton where they experimented on us

      Marie January 31, 2018 at 5:55 am #

      I was there too as a child and I remember that only too well

    Gary Geddes January 30, 2018 at 8:11 pm #

    Finally. This is what I call the missing chapter in our book of failed promises to our Indigenous brothers and sisters. Time spent in the Indian hospitals should have been part of the original residential school settlement, as most of the kids who ended up there had been infected deliberately, or out of neglect, at those schools. If you want more information about the segregated Indian hospitals and the damage they’ve done, check out the following books:

    Healing Histories by Laurie Meijer Dress
    Moving Aboriginal Health Forward, Yvonne Boyer
    Separate Beds by Maureen Lux
    Medicine Unbundled by Gary Geddes

    There are many more important related studies to consider, which you’ll find listed in the bibliographies in the titles above.

    Garrett Kuptana January 30, 2018 at 7:55 pm #

    Who do we contact if I was a patient?

      Brian a gladue January 31, 2018 at 3:26 am #

      I was a patient from 1963 till 1968 as an enfant suffering from T;B

    Darryel R Sowan January 30, 2018 at 7:30 pm #

    To throw another aspect into this. There is supposed to be an unidentified graveyard of First Nations people (including children ) who died at that hospital location (Charles Camsell) in its early days. I am an Indigenous Archaeologist, one of the only ones in Alberta. When I previously worked at the organization Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta I tried to investigate this with the Government of Alberta. My sources were not that great at the time either….but I believe there is something to this.

    Rene Stanley January 30, 2018 at 6:53 pm #

    Hi i was at Charles Camsel as a kid for TB treatment and stayed there for maybe 3months and my dear late mother insisted in getting me out after I told her they verbally and mentally abused me by neglect.

    Leisa January 30, 2018 at 6:43 pm #

    Who do we contact for info if we were a patient?

    Peter Bunnie January 30, 2018 at 6:37 pm #

    I was in the hospital in Fort Qu’Appelle Sasktchewan in the sixties.

      Roger January 31, 2018 at 4:12 am #

      I was in Charles camsell hosp for 2 yrs

      Jrd February 1, 2018 at 11:38 pm #

      I know of someone who was too. I tried to find records but there was none, due to a fire! If you find any I’d be interested.

    Margo January 30, 2018 at 6:30 pm #

    Makes me wonder…my mom has since passed but she used to tie me to a chair or bed post all day…is this what happened to m6 mother

      Maggie January 31, 2018 at 3:36 am #

      I’m so sorry

      Tammy Anderson January 31, 2018 at 5:22 am #

      How do you file a claim?

      • HOLLY MOORE January 31, 2018 at 5:59 pm #

        HI Margo, this is what the press release said.

          arnold Dyson February 2, 2018 at 5:33 pm #

          yes was hospital located in twin cities northren ontario for tuberculosis

      Shannon January 31, 2018 at 5:36 pm #

      God bless u we live the ripple effect of the residential schools and hospitals homes… Did to our parents…. nobody will ever understand what we have gone through unless they walk in our shoes. I’ve done my best as a parent to stop it for my kids and grandkids sake . So sad I use to hit my kids, now I just love them.

      Raven February 10, 2018 at 1:02 am #

      Sorry to say this, but yes it was where she learned “how to parent”.
      Sadly, we usually follow our role models and this is all she knew.
      Many of us have suffered so much by parents that were so full of pain and shame they didn’t know how to love.
      We have to forgive them….it was not their fault.