Indian Hospitals were operational throughout Canada between 1936 and 1981. They were operational specifically in British Columbia between approximately 1936 and 1971. They were purportedly established to treat and care Indigenous Persons with certain diseases such as tuberculosis.
In reality, these institutions advanced Canada’s policy of assimilation. Indigenous Persons were forcibly removed from their families and communities and then confined and isolated in Indian Hospitals for extended periods of time, often far away from their homes.
These Institutions were also poorly maintained, managed and staffed. Staff members at Indian Hospitals were often predators who inflicted physical, sexual, verbal, and even psychological abuse on patients.
This proposed Class Action concerns the creation, funding, operation, and maintenance of Indian Hospitals by the Government of Canada and Canada’s placement of Indigenous people. Most often it was children, in these institutions, that suffered egregious abuse and harm.
Canada’s actions in creating, operating, and maintain these institutions created an environment where abuse and other harms were tolerated and even encouraged. Canada’s conduct, and that of its servants, was negligent and in breach of the fiduciary duties that Canada owes to its Indigenous Persons. This resulted in serious and lasting harm to the Class Members.
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