Tuberculosis and not Smallpox Responsible for Most RS Deaths – Update

This blog article comes to you thanks to an intrepid young researcher, Kiki White Calf, who pointed out a photographic faux-pas with Kevin Annett’s document: “Hidden No Longer”… on the cover of the ‘report’ is a picture of what many have assumed to be an ‘Indian’ child infected with smallpox. UPDATE: People assume this because in a YouTube video shot in Manhattan, NY in February 2012, Kevin tells the world that the photo of child pictured on his report was taken in the United States around 1910.  Please see the video of Kevin’s lie HERE. Indeed this is a child infected with smallpox, but she is in no way Indian.  The photo, which Kiki discovered on the net and which is used repeatedly along with the mantra that Residential School officials DELIBERATELY infected children with smallpox, is actually from Wikipedia’s page on the subject.  The photo, which appears on the front page of the three part document implies that this is a native of North America who suffered from the biological warfare tactics of the Roman Catholic Church aimed at eliminating the First Nations peoples.

The so-called Indian child infected with smallpox. Actually is a girl from Bangledesh taken in 1973 – courtesy of Wikipedia.

Wikipedia also describes several kinds of smallpox which explains the above photo further:

Malignant-type smallpox

In malignant-type smallpox (also called flat smallpox) the lesions remain almost flush with the skin at the time when raised vesicles form in the ordinary type. It is unknown why some people develop this type. Historically, it accounted for 5%–10% of cases, and the majority (72%) were children.[22] Malignant smallpox is accompanied by a severe prodromal phase that lasts 3–4 days, prolonged high fever, and severe symptoms of toxemia. The rash on the tongue and palate is extensive. Skin lesions mature slowly and by the seventh or eighth day they are flat and appear to be buried in the skin. Unlike ordinary-type smallpox, the vesicles contain little fluid, are soft and velvety to the touch, and may contain hemorrhages. Malignant smallpox is nearly always fatal.[18]

Kevin’s report, which provides ample evidence and eyewitness testimonies (like that of Willie Sport) of the negligence and alleged deliberate infection of children with Tuberculosis, he sneaks in (as an example of germ warfare tactics) the infection of Natives with smallpox back in the mid 1700’s when settlers first came to Turtle Island.  This accusation assumes that settlers during this time were experts in microbiology and epidemiology and who deliberately inoculated their friendship blankets with smallpox virus (after of course administering to themselves a vaccine to provide immunity).  This is sarcasm, of course, but the reader IS expected to believe that there was intent to kill a huge population of Natives and that this was somehow sanctioned by the Church and State.  The reality is that diseases such as smallpox, chicken pox, mumps and measles were part of outbreaks reported by  officials during the entire operation of the schools as was reported by Chief Medical Examiner for the Department of Indian Affairs, Dr. Peter Bryce (1904-1921).

I take issue with the smallpox claim made by Kevin Annett in an interview with Sarah J. Miller (pseudonym…because no one uses their real names in Kevin’s causes unless they’re Native), to which Kevin states:

“There’s lots of ways to kill off Indians. The preferred method in the rez schools was deliberate exposure to TB and smallpox.”

This is a HUGE accusation, to which there is only evidence of the utter ignorance/ and callous neglect of school officials to safeguard the health of the children in their care.  Evidence which Annett provides in his report, but which is peppered with inconsistencies and testimonies hyper-analysed to fit the facts as only Kevin sees them.

A case in point is the following excerpt:
It is significant that the father of the Dr. Pitts who described the two standards of care system in the residential schools was Reverend F.W. Pitts of the UnitedChurch of Canada, who, as Principal of the Alberni residential school during the1930’s, allegedly exposed children to tuberculosis and caused their deaths.
According to an eyewitness and survivor, Willie Sport,
“That Principal Pitts was trying to kill us. I was the only kid who survived. Pitts tookeight of us and he fed us this canned meat. He didn’t give it to anybody else. Then we all got sick with the TB. Every other boy died, but my Dad broke into the infirmary and gotme out, and took me to my grandfather who was a medicine man. He sucked the black poison out of each of my lungs three times, then spit it out, I seen it. But all the other kids died, thanks to Pitts.”

(March 28, 1998, Port Alberni, B.C.)

Tuberculosis cannot make you sick if you eat it… it is a bacteria that is spread by aerosol (droplets formed by coughing or sneezing) which must be inhaled into the lungs to cause infection there.  The correlation between eating the meat and getting tuberculosis as recounted by Willie Sport is purely co-incidental.  I don’t expect Willie to know the epidemiology of tuberculosis, but I expected that Kevin should know a little about it if he was going to allow an accusation of murder stand against Pitts.   But, this is a habit of Kevin’s to mix fact and fiction in order to make the fact part bigger and badder than it really is.

The facts are that 24% of children attending the Residential Schools died from Tuberculosis, according to Dr. Peter Bryce (whom Annett quotes vigorously in his Hidden No Longer report).  Dr. Bryce penned the controversial Report on the Indian Schools of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories.  According to Meghan Sproule-Jones’ article, Crusading for the Forgotten: Dr. Peter Bryce, Public Health, and Prairie
Native Residential Schools, she states:

“Believing firmly that the state was responsible for promoting the health and welfare of its people, Bryce insisted that the federal government address this high death rate. His tireless crusade on behalf of the native population demonstrated the extent to which native affairs were influenced by the broader social, political, and economic agendas of the day, and anticipated the federal government’s changing role in social services following World War I.

Championing the cause of Canada’s native people, Peter Bryce
helped spark the first significant reform of native education in Cana-
dian history.” (Canadian Society for the History of Medicine, 1996, Vol. 13 200-201)

Apparently, Kevin is not the pioneering savior he makes himself out to be.  It was the work of Dr. Bryce in the early 1900’s who first brought to light the plight of Residential School children.  And, he brought to the governments attention that it was Tuberculosis, and not smallpox or beatings and other mistreatments that was responsible for the deaths of one-quarter of those children.  A fact that is backed up by actual evidence, not a poorly referenced ‘report’.

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3 thoughts on “Tuberculosis and not Smallpox Responsible for Most RS Deaths – Update

  1. Also from Sproule’s thesis is this interesting note: “At its founding meeting, the Canadian Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis passed a resolution declaring: “it is the duty of every Government, Municipality, and individual citizen to adopt organized methods for lessening the spread of a disease which is causing directly or indirectly probably one-fifth of the total deaths in the Dominion.”13 Statistics compiled by the association revealed that tuberculosis accounted for 1.8 deaths per 1,000 population in Canada in 1901.” Tuberculosis, was an epidemic in Canada according to these numbers and so by Kevin’s standards all of the citizenry was under biological warfare attack….

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