Canadian Govt. Watched Kids Starve Like Lab Rats for ‘Science’

Even as brave soldiers, some of them aboriginal, fought to defeat the Nazis  and their notion of a master race during WW2, Canadian health authorities back  on the home front were busy using aboriginal kids as nutritional guinea  pigs.

“It was experiments being conducted on malnourished aboriginal people,” food  historian Ian Mosby revealed in an interview with CBC’s As  It Happens radio show on Tuesday July 16. “It started with research trips  in northern Manitoba where they found, you know, widespread hunger, if not  starvation, among certain members of the community. And one of their immediate  responses was to design a controlled experiment on the effectiveness of vitamin  supplementation on this population.”

As the U.S. absorbs revelations of forced sterilization among female inmates  in California, the news from up north is resonating across Canada.

Mosby, who is earning his PhD in history at the University of Guelph, said  the research—which occurred without the subjects’ knowledge—was undertaken in  residential schools and remote aboriginal communities in Manitoba during and  just after World War II. He also uncovered plans for similar research in  residential schools in British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Alberta. About  1,300 aboriginal children were used in the experiments, the Canadian  Press reported.

The experiments were conducted beginning in 1942, when authorities visiting  remote northern communities in Manitoba found widespread malnutrition. Rather  than assist them, the authorities decided to conduct vitamin research, Mosby  said.

Mosby told the Canadian Press that he was not looking for anything like this.  He was merely researching health policy. But something struck him as strange, he  said.

“I started to find vague references to studies conducted on ‘Indians’ that  piqued my interest and seemed potentially problematic, to say the least,” he  said to the Canadian Press. “I went on a search to find out what was going  on.”

What he found disturbed him greatly. “It’s an emotionally difficult topic to  study,” he said.

According to the Canadian Press account, 300 children in Norway House Cree  were the first subjects, with 125 receiving vitamin supplements and the rest  left to their bodies’ own devices. Even those receiving the supplements were not  getting all they needed, Mosby wrote, because people were not getting enough  food—they were living on fewer than 1,500 calories daily rather than the adult  need of 2,000.

“The research team was well aware that these vitamin supplements only  addressed a small part of the problem,” Mosby wrote, according to the Canadian  Press. “The experiment seems to have been driven, at least in part, by the  nutrition experts’ desire to test their theories on a ready-made ‘laboratory’  populated with already malnourished human experimental subjects.”

This did not stop the research from spreading, with plans developed in 1947  to conduct similar experiments on 1,000 children in six residential schools in  Port Alberni, British Columbia, Kenora, Ontario, Schubenacadie, Nova Scotia and  Lethbridge, Alberta, the Canadian Press reported.

The Canadian government seemed caught off-guard by the revelations.

“If this is story is true, this is abhorrent and completely unacceptable,”  said a spokesperson for Bernard Valcourt, the minister of Aboriginal Affairs and  Northern Development, via e-mail late Tuesday to the Canadian Press. “When Prime  Minister [Stephen] Harper made a historic apology to former students of Indian  Residential Schools in 2008 on behalf of all Canadians, he recognized that this  period had caused great harm and had no place in Canada. Our Government remains  committed to a fair and lasting resolution to the legacy of the Indian  Residential Schools.”

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the June 8, 2008 official apology  delivered to residential school survivors by Harper on behalf of the Canadian  government. During the 150-year-long residential schools era, 150,000 aboriginal  students were ripped from their families, virtually interred in mostly  church-run boarding schools far from home, and forbidden to use their language  and culture.

First Nations advocates are already calling for government action. Wab Kinew,  who is the director of indigenous inclusion at the University of Winnipeg, said  the federal government should turn all that research over to the Truth and  Reconciliation Commission, which is compiling a history of the residential  school era, which ended in the 1990s.

“This is a reminder of a disgusting period in both Canadian and scientific  history when indigenous people and other non-whites were regarded as inferior,”  he told the Winnipeg  Free Press. “The end goal of course is to make sure things like this  never happen again.”


Willamette University Fraternity Sigma Chi Booted Off Campus Following Facebook Controversy



A fraternity at Willamette University in Salem, Ore., has lost its house as a result of controversial and sexist comments, made on a private Facebook page, that were leaked in May.

David Douglass, dean of campus life at Willamette, announced Thursday a series of sanctions imposed on the Sigma Chi fraternity, including booting everyone from the chapter house. The fraternity also cannot hold social events over the next year and is not allowed to recruit or initiate new members. All current members must participate in programming endorsed by Willamette and “related to healthy masculinity.”

The controversy surfaced in May when a WordPress site called  “willamettetruth” posted screenshots from a private Facebook group, showing Sigma Chi members mocking administrators, making sexist comments and discussing hazing. Sigma Chi brothers complained about members being “unsocial,” requesting brothers “invite any girl who has a pulse” to their house parties, and stated “woman’s [sic] rights are the biggest joke in the US. Bitches ain’t shit.” (The screenshots have since been removed from the website.)

The fraternity voted last week to expel 12 of its members as a result of the Facebook posts, the Statesman Journal reports.

The university, along with the fraternity’s national organization, promptly began investigating Sigma Chi chapter following the leak. Douglass said the university’s “review began with, but was not limited to, behavior described” in the Facebook posts.

“We completely support what the school has done,” Sigma Chi national executive director Mike Dunn told the Statesman Journal.

Conduct reviews for individual students will begin in the fall, which could result in additional punishments.

Douglass said, “The issues raised last spring went well beyond the specific actions of one fraternity,” and he will unveil recommendations in August from the President’s Working Group on Sexual Assault and Harassment. The group was tasked with reviewing sexual assault prevention efforts and response policies and procedures.

The Sigma Chi Facebook controversy, and the sexist remarks made by frat brothers, sparked a debate on campus about the response to sexual violence at the school.

KTVU producers fired over Asiana pilots’ fake names



KTVU-TV has dismissed at least three veteran producers over the on-air gaffe involving the fake names of those Asiana airline pilots that became an instant YouTube hit – and a major embarrassment to the station.

Station sources confirmed late Wednesday that investigative producer Roland DeWolk, special projects producer Cristina Gastelu and producer Brad Belstock were all sent packing following an in-house investigation into the July 12 broadcast of four fake names of the pilots involved in the Asiana Flight 214 crash at San Francisco International Airport on July 6.

A fourth – noon news producer Elvin Sledge – told colleagues he was leaving for health reasons.

News of the firings was first reported on Rich Lieberman‘s 415 Media blog.

During its noon newscast on July 12, anchor Tori Campbell announced that “KTVU has just learned the names of the four pilots who were on board” the ill-fated plane – then proceeded to read from a teleprompter while the phony names were displayed on a graphic.

The names she gave were Capt. Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow.

Only after the station returned from a break did Campbell – who had clearly been unaware of the mistake – read an on-air correction, telling viewers that the station had confirmed the names with the National Transportation Safety Board.

By day’s end, the NTSB issued its own apology for “inaccurate and offensive names that were mistakenly confirmed” to KTVU. Soon after, the NTSB announced that it had fired a summer intern over the incident.

During the evening newscast, anchor Frank Somerville also apologized to viewers, and the station vowed to review its own policies. It has kept largely mum since.

Two days ago, blogs began posting that Cox Communications, KTVU’s parent company, had sent copyright infringement notices to YouTube – demanding that the offensive video of Campbell’s newscast be removed.

In a statement that appeared on, KTVU General Manager Tom Raponi said the move was made out of consideration for the Asian American community. “Consistent with our apology, we are carrying through with our responsibility to minimize the thoughtless repetition of the video by others,” he said in the statement.

Raponi added, “Most people have seen it,” and that “continuing to show the video is also insensitive and offensive, especially to the many in our Asian community.”

Sources tell us the fake names – which had been posted on the Internet at least two days before – came to the station via e-mail from an expert source who had provided information to the station in the past.

KTVU News Director Lee Rosenthal called newsroom staff into a conference room Wednesday and informed them of the dismissals.

Rosenthal did not return our calls late Wednesday seeking comment.

Colleagues said they were saddened, but not completely surprised by the dismissals given the international attention the gaffe got, including a threat – later dropped – by Asiana to sue to the station.

“People are definitely down about it,” one source said.

Randy Shandobil, former KTVU political editor who left the station 2 1/2 years ago, because “people were working harder and harder and feeling less secure about what was hitting the air,” said Wednesday the episode was emblematic of the pressure news reporters everywhere are under to get information out as quickly as possible.

At Channel 2 and elsewhere, “People are overtaxed and have more responsibility sometimes than they can handle. And sometimes, in situations like this, terrible mistakes happen that are bigger than one person. It’s systemic.”