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FTR#‘s 1314 & 1315 “Injun’ Country”: The Mohawk Mothers’ Trail of Tears Parts 1 and 2

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FTR#1314 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

FTR#1315 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Intro­duc­tion: Detail­ing a case unfold­ing in Cana­da, these pro­grams ana­lyze the hero­ic efforts of “The Mohawk Moth­ers” to archive the remains of Native Amer­i­cans who were the vic­tims of behav­ior mod­i­fi­ca­tion pro­grams.

Fur­ther­more, the behav­ior mod­i­fi­ca­tion pro­grams over­lap the MKULTRA oper­a­tions in the Unit­ed States.

A fun­da­men­tal the­mat­ic ele­ment in this dis­cus­sion is the Rock­e­feller fam­i­ly, Nel­son Rock­e­feller in par­tic­u­lar.

Key Points of Dis­cus­sion and Analy­sis Include: The Unit­ed States’ claim of legal immu­ni­ty from the process under­way in Cana­da; Harass­ment of the Mohawk Moth­ers by secu­ri­ty per­son­nel appoint­ed to secure the grounds being exam­ined; Cadav­er dogs’ dis­cov­ery of appar­ent human remains in the soil being exhumed; Appar­ent mis­han­dling of some of the soil sam­ples and oth­er pieces of evi­dence that could fun­da­men­tal­ly com­pro­mise the integri­ty of the inves­ti­ga­tion; The gen­e­sis of the behav­ior mod­i­fi­ca­tion pro­grams in 1943; Oper­a­tional over­lap between the Cana­di­an pro­grams direct­ed toward indige­nous peo­ple and pro­grams at Atti­ca and Dan­nemo­ra pris­ons in upper New York State direct­ed at African Amer­i­can pris­on­ers; Dis­cus­sion of Nel­son Rockefeller’s tor­tu­ous his­to­ry with Native Amer­i­cans, from fail­ing to acknowl­edge life-sav­ing activ­i­ty from Native Amer­i­can guides in Alas­ka to bru­tal­ly exploit­ing indige­nous peo­ple in Latin Amer­i­ca for prof­it; Review of the role of the Rock­e­feller fund­ing of the Allan Memo­r­i­al Insti­tute in Cana­da.

1.“New Docs Link CIA to Med­ical Tor­ture of Indige­nous Chil­dren and Black Pris­on­ers” By Orisan­mi Bur­ton; Truthout; 06/22/2023

The doc­u­men­tary record of “mind con­trol” exper­i­ments con­duct­ed by the Unit­ed States and oth­er gov­ern­ments dur­ing the Cold War is just the tip of the ice­berg, and our col­lec­tive igno­rance is by design. In ear­ly 1973, as the fall­out from the Water­gate scan­dal exposed the need for greater con­gres­sion­al over­sight of U.S. intel­li­gence agen­cies, the head of the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency (CIA) ordered the destruc­tion of all doc­u­ments relat­ed to MK Ultra.

Launched in the wake of the Nurem­berg Tri­als, which exposed the extent of Nazi atroc­i­ties car­ried out in the name of sci­ence, MK Ultra involved a range of grotesque exper­i­ments on unwit­ting test sub­jects with­in and beyond U.S. bor­ders. New­ly revealed evi­dence expos­es pre­vi­ous­ly hid­den links between MK Ultra exper­i­ments on Indige­nous chil­dren in Cana­da and impris­oned Black peo­ple in the U.S.

On April 20, 2023, a group of Indige­nous women known as the Kanien’kehà:ka Kah­nis­tensera (Mohawk Moth­ers) achieved a mile­stone in their ongo­ing law­suit against sev­er­al enti­ties, includ­ing McGill Uni­ver­si­ty, the Cana­di­an gov­ern­ment and the Roy­al Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal in Que­bec. The par­ties reached an agree­ment where­by arche­ol­o­gists and cul­tur­al mon­i­tors would begin the process of search­ing for unmarked graves, which the Mohawk Moth­ers believe are buried on the grounds of the hos­pi­tal.

Over the pre­ced­ing two years, approx­i­mate­ly 1,300 unmarked graves, most of them con­tain­ing the remains of Indige­nous chil­dren, have been dis­cov­ered on the grounds of five of Canada’s for­mer res­i­den­tial schools. Through­out the 20th cen­tu­ry, the res­i­den­tial school sys­tem — like the Indi­an Board­ing School sys­tem, its U.S. coun­ter­part — sep­a­rat­ed thou­sands of Indige­nous chil­dren from their fam­i­lies, stripped them of their lan­guage and sub­ject­ed them to var­i­ous forms of abuse amount­ing to what a truth and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion com­mis­sion called “cul­tur­al geno­cide.” But as these hor­rif­ic rev­e­la­tions demon­strate, the harm wasn’t only cul­tur­al — a 1907 inves­ti­ga­tion found that near­ly one-fourth of school atten­dees did not sur­vive grad­u­a­tion.

In Octo­ber of 2021, new evi­dence sur­faced link­ing dis­ap­peared Indige­nous chil­dren to MK Ultra exper­i­ments con­duct­ed by CIA-spon­sored researchers. A white Win­nipeg res­i­dent named Lana Ponting tes­ti­fied in Quebec’s Supe­ri­or Court that in 1958, when she was 16 years old, doc­tors from the Allan Memo­r­i­al Insti­tute, a for­mer psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal affil­i­at­ed with McGill and the Roy­al Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal, held her against her will, drugged her with LSD and oth­er sub­stances, sub­ject­ed her to elec­troshock treat­ments, and exposed her to audi­to­ry indoc­tri­na­tion: play­ing a record­ing telling Ponting over and over again, that she was either “a bad girl” or “a good girl.”

Ponting also tes­ti­fied that “some of the chil­dren I saw there were Indige­nous,” and that she befriend­ed an Indige­nous girl named Morn­ingstar, who endured many of the same abus­es, with the added indig­ni­ty of being harassed because of her race. Dur­ing a reprieve from her drug-induced haze, Ponting recalls sneak­ing out at night and hap­pen­ing upon “peo­ple stand­ing over by the cement wall” with shov­els and flash­lights. She and oth­er chil­dren had heard rumors that bod­ies were buried on the prop­er­ty. “I believe that some of them would be Indige­nous peo­ple,” Ponting told the court.

Not only does her tes­ti­mo­ny cor­rob­o­rate what anoth­er Allan Memo­r­i­al Insti­tute sur­vivor told his­to­ri­an Dono­van King a decade ear­li­er, but in 2008, the Squamish Nation includ­ed the psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal in a list of poten­tial sites con­tain­ing unmarked graves.

The CIA, along with the U.S. and Cana­di­an mil­i­tary and pow­er­ful U.S. char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tions, are direct­ly impli­cat­ed in this ordeal. Accord­ing to John Mark’s 1991 book The Search for the Manchuri­an Can­di­date and Steven Kinzer’s 2019 book Poi­son­er in Chief, in 1977, in response to a Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act (FOIA) request, CIA archivists uncov­ered a pre­vi­ous­ly hid­den box of MK Ultra finan­cial records reveal­ing, among oth­er things, that the Memo­r­i­al Insti­tute was home to MK Ultra “Sub­pro­ject 68.” Under the lead­er­ship of psy­chi­a­trist Ewen Cameron, whom Ponting accused of rap­ing ­her, exper­i­ments in this sub­pro­ject sought to “depat­tern” people’s minds using vio­lent meth­ods Cameron termed “psy­chic dri­ving.”

Although Cameron is among the most infa­mous MK Ultra doc­tors, he was not alone at McGill. As his­to­ri­an Alfred McCoy has shown in his 2006 book A Ques­tion of Tor­ture, the sen­so­ry depri­va­tion research of Don­ald Hebb, a McGill psy­chol­o­gist, was also covert­ly spon­sored by the CIA.

But what the Mohawk Moth­ers and their allies have found is com­pelling, par­tic­u­lar­ly for me: I have spent the last sev­er­al years research­ing the his­to­ry of “behav­ior mod­i­fi­ca­tion” pro­grams in U.S. pris­ons. My forth­com­ing book Tip of the Spear: Black Rad­i­cal­ism, Prison Repres­sion, and the Long Atti­ca Revolt (avail­able in Octo­ber 2023), uncov­ers the roots of the mod­ern prison abo­li­tion­ist move­ment and state efforts to destroy it dur­ing the 1960s and 1970s. It details a lit­tle-known pro­gram of prison-based sci­en­tif­ic exper­i­men­ta­tion that inter­sects with the Mohawk Moth­ers strug­gle.

In 1966, New York Gov. Nel­son Rock­e­feller, whose fam­i­ly foun­da­tion helped estab­lish the Allan Memo­r­i­al Insti­tute, launched a part­ner­ship where­by a team of McGill con­sul­tants were brought to New York to estab­lish pro­grams and con­duct research at the Dan­nemo­ra State Hos­pi­tal for the Crim­i­nal­ly Insane, accord­ing to Cana­di­an psy­chi­a­trist Bruno Cormier’s 1975 book The Watch­er and the Watched. Locat­ed in a remote ham­let 25 miles south of New York’s north­ern­most bor­der with Que­bec, the insti­tu­tion con­fined pris­on­ers who were trans­ferred from oth­er state facil­i­ties after being deemed “insane” by prison doc­tors.

The offi­cial pur­pose of the col­lab­o­ra­tion was to devel­op new meth­ods for pre­vent­ing recidi­vism. How­ev­er, the pro­gram host­ed “exper­i­men­tal stud­ies of var­i­ous aspects of crim­i­nal behav­ior,” not­ed a report from 1968. The fol­low­ing year an attendee of a con­fer­ence about the pro­gram not­ed that a large num­ber of its par­tic­i­pants were Black.

An affi­davit authored by anthro­pol­o­gist Phillippe Blouin in sup­port of the Mohawk Moth­ers iden­ti­fied the late psy­chi­a­trist Cormi­er as a per­son of inter­est. Blouin locat­ed cor­re­spon­dence between lead “Sub­pro­ject 68” psy­chol­o­gist Cameron and Cormi­er, who worked as a clin­i­cian at the Allan Memo­r­i­al Insti­tute dur­ing the 1950s and 1960s. Authored between 1957 and 1963, the exchanges per­tain to a pro­pos­al for a Pilot Cen­tre for Juve­nile Delin­quen­cy, which would include lab­o­ra­to­ries “for psy­cho­log­i­cal stud­ies, for work in genet­ics, for endocrino­log­i­cal inves­ti­ga­tions, for soci­o­log­i­cal stud­ies, both with­in the unit and also for field work.”

Com­ment­ing on the pro­pos­al, Cormi­er sug­gests that the center’s purview should not be lim­it­ed to reha­bil­i­ta­tion. He stress­es that “research of this kind should bring light on all behav­ioral prob­lems” and that it had the poten­tial to “bridge the research gap between juve­nile delin­quen­cy and adult crim­i­nal­i­ty.”

Not long after this exchange, New York offi­cials select­ed him to lead the Memo­r­i­al Institute’s part­ner­ship with the New York prison sys­tem. The man who helped make this hap­pen was a Ger­man physi­cian named Lud­wig Finkwho became assis­tant direc­tor and sub­se­quent­ly direc­tor of the Dan­nemo­ra hos­pi­tal after prac­tic­ing psy­chi­a­try in Iran and India dur­ing the 1940s. By 1969, Fink and some of the McGill con­sul­tants had trained prison guards in hyp­no­sis and aver­sion ther­a­py tech­niques, result­ing in scenes that an observ­er called “quite revolt­ing both for those who watched and those who took part.”

The direc­tor of a think tank called the Nar­cot­ic and Drug Research Insti­tute described Fink’s “Ther­a­peu­tic Com­mu­ni­ty” pro­gram in ways that are eeri­ly sim­i­lar to Cameron’s efforts to oblit­er­ate human con­scious­ness in order to rebuild it anew. It “takes you back to a kind of kinder­garten lev­el and then brings you back up,” he told Con­gress. Else­where, Fink cites the auto­bi­og­ra­phy of Mal­colm X and laments the “grow­ing num­ber of aggres­sive, assertive black males” behind prison walls.

The Mohawk Moth­ers affi­davit men­tions Ernest G. Pos­er, a psy­chol­o­gist, whose research at McGill inves­ti­gat­ed “cross-cul­tur­al dif­fer­ences in tol­er­ance to phys­i­cal pain using decep­tive means and what seemed like tor­ture instru­ments.” It indi­cates that Pos­er “stud­ied patients’ reac­tions to hyp­not­ic sug­ges­tion dur­ing metho­hexi­tone-induced sleep,” a prac­tice that brings Ponting’s expe­ri­ence of being “brain­washed” to mind. Pos­er, a col­league of McGill psy­chol­o­gist and sen­so­ry depri­va­tion researcher Hebb, was also exper­i­ment­ing on incar­cer­at­ed peo­ple in New York. In 1968, he he inves­ti­gat­ed whether pris­on­ers deemed “sociopaths” suf­fer from an adren­a­line defi­cien­cy that pre­vents them from learn­ing from “fear-pro­duc­ing expe­ri­ences.”

To find out, he and a grad­u­ate stu­dent named Deb­o­rah G. Sittman inject­ed them with adren­a­line and sub­ject­ed them to elec­tric shocks. Wil­frid Der­by, a stu­dent of Pos­er and Hebb, pro­posed an exper­i­ment in which mul­ti­ple pris­on­ers would be strapped to an elec­tro­con­vul­sive ther­a­py device and told they were in a com­pet­i­tive sit­u­a­tion where the “los­er” would receive the shock lev­el set for him by his oppo­nent.

Between Sep­tem­ber 9 and 13, 1971, near­ly 1,300 incar­cer­at­ed peo­ple rebelled in New York’s Atti­ca prison. Most of them were Black, but a few, such as John Bon­core “Daca­jew­eiah” Hill were Mohawk.. New York’s part­ner­ship with McGill appears to have end­ed short­ly after the upris­ing and the bru­tal state-orches­trat­ed mas­sacre that fol­lowed it. At rough­ly the same time, the Dan­nemo­ra State Hos­pi­tal was rebrand­ed the Adiron­dack Cor­rec­tion­al Treat­ment Edu­ca­tion Cen­ter, and became home to a “new” behav­ior mod­i­fi­ca­tion ini­tia­tive called the Pre­scrip­tion (Rx) Pro­gram.

Mul­ti­ple let­ters pub­lished by pris­on­ers’ rights orga­ni­za­tions accused prison author­i­ties of sur­rep­ti­tious­ly drug­ging their food and water and of attempt­ing to turn them into “zom­bies.” A gov­ern­ment pan­el not­ed that the pro­gram evoked “the spec­tre of the reso­cial­iza­tion, rethink­ing, and brain­wash­ing camps of total­i­tar­i­an soci­eties.”

Accord­ing to Wal­ter Dun­bar, who had recent­ly left the Cal­i­for­nia prison sys­tem to become New York’s deputy cor­rec­tions com­mis­sion­er, the Rx Pro­gram focused on pris­on­ers guilty of “overt acts that incite, agi­tate, and pro­voke oth­er inmates to mil­i­tant, rad­i­cal, and anti­so­cial activ­i­ties.” Such state­ments link the pro­gram to plan­ta­tion dis­cours­es that pathol­o­gize Black resis­tance, while impli­cat­ing prison author­i­ties in the use of behav­ior mod­i­fi­ca­tion tech­niques for polit­i­cal ends: coun­terin­sur­gency.

Notably, Dunbar’s name appears mul­ti­ple times in a cache of doc­u­ments released via FOIA by the CIA. The doc­u­ments dis­cuss agency-spon­sored nar­cotics research on incar­cer­at­ed peo­ple in Vacav­ille Med­ical Facil­i­ty, a Cal­i­for­nia prison that helped inspire the New York prison system’s part­ner­ship with McGill.

The state-spon­sored exper­i­ments of the Cold War era employed a range of scan­dalous meth­ods to test whether human thoughts and behav­ior could be pre­dictably con­trolled. The out­come of this research and the fate of its vic­tims remain obscure, but a com­mon thread runs across dif­fer­ent exper­i­men­tal con­texts. Researchers tar­get­ed and assault­ed vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions who were inca­pable of grant­i­ng con­sent and who were viewed as dis­pos­able. Their alle­ga­tions were unlike­ly to be tak­en seri­ous­ly and their avenues for redress were lim­it­ed because they were insti­tu­tion­al­ized and from mar­gin­al­ized groups: Indige­nous peo­ple, Black peo­ple, poor peo­ple, dis­abled peo­ple, chil­dren, pris­on­ers, women and girls. This sci­en­tif­ic vio­lence was shaped by liv­ing lega­cies of colo­nial­ism and slav­ery, vio­lence that con­tin­ues to find expres­sion in the ongo­ing “war on ter­ror.”

————

2.“U.S. argues for immu­ni­ty in MK-ULTRA mind con­trol case before Que­bec Court of Appeal” by Sid­hartha Baner­jee; The Cana­di­an Press; 03/30/2023

A pro­posed class-action law­suit over infa­mous brain­wash­ing exper­i­ments at a Mon­tre­al psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal was before Quebec’s high­est court Thurs­day, as vic­tims attempt­ed to remove immu­ni­ty grant­ed to the Unit­ed States gov­ern­ment.

The U.S. gov­ern­ment suc­cess­ful­ly argued in Que­bec Supe­ri­or Court last August that the coun­try couldn’t be sued for the project known as MK-ULTRA, alleged­ly fund­ed by the Cana­di­an gov­ern­ment and the CIA.

U.S. lawyers argued that for­eign states had absolute immu­ni­ty from law­suits in Cana­da between the 1940s and 1960s, when the pro­gram took place.

But sur­vivors (and their fam­i­lies) of the exper­i­ments at Montreal’s Allan Memo­r­i­al Insti­tute — which includ­ed exper­i­men­tal drugs, rounds of elec­troshocks and sleep depri­va­tion — appealed that deci­sion.

On Thurs­day, a lawyer rep­re­sent­ing the Unit­ed States gov­ern­ment told the Que­bec Court of Appeal that the coun­try should be immune from pros­e­cu­tion and that any law­suit against the U.S. gov­ern­ment should be filed in that coun­try.

The court case stems from a class-action law­suit filed against McGill Uni­ver­si­ty — which was affil­i­at­ed to the psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal — Montreal’s Roy­al Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal and the Cana­di­an and U.S. gov­ern­ments after Mon­treal­ers alleged­ly had their mem­o­ries erased and were reduced to child­like states.

Class-action lawyer Jeff Oren­stein said Thurs­day he believes Canada’s 1982 State Immu­ni­ty Act, which out­lines how for­eign states can be sued in the coun­try, is retroac­tive and can apply in this case.

He said the 1982 act allows for­eign states to be sued in cas­es of bod­i­ly injury.

“But this took place in the 1950s and ’60s,” Oren­stein told reporters, regard­ing the psy­cho­log­i­cal exper­i­ments. “And so the excep­tion had not been in effect dur­ing that peri­od so (the U.S.) argued that the old law would pre­vail and the old law was absolute immu­ni­ty.”

“What we’re claim­ing is the law is ret­ro­spec­tive, that you can look back even before the act was passed and apply it today,” Oren­stein said.

He not­ed there were also exemp­tions dur­ing the 1950s and 1960s for com­mer­cial-activ­i­ty law­suits, adding that the Mon­tre­al exper­i­ments involved a fund­ing arrange­ment between pri­vate par­ties.

“Even under the old law, you would be able to pur­sue in Cana­di­an courts,” Oren­stein said.

He also said the case could be heard in Que­bec. “We don’t think that Cana­di­an cit­i­zens who are injured on Cana­di­an soil are required to go to the Unit­ed States to sue.”

Last­ing impact of MK-ULTRA

The class-action request, filed in Jan­u­ary 2019, alleges that the gov­ern­ment of Cana­da fund­ed psy­chi­atric treat­ments by Dr. Ewen Cameron at the Allan Memo­r­i­al Insti­tute between 1948 and 1964 that were alleged­ly part of the CIA’s MK-ULTRA pro­gram of covert mind-con­trol. It has not been autho­rized yet by a judge.

———-

3.“McGill hit with class action law­suit for alleged mind con­trol, brain­wash­ing exper­i­ments from 1943 to 1964” by Ghaz­al Azizi; The Tri­bune; 04/12/2023

Con­tent Warn­ing: Descrip­tions of med­ical abuse, phys­i­cal abuse, and psy­cho­log­i­cal tor­ture

Charles Tan­ny vis­it­ed the Allan Memo­r­i­al Insti­tute, a research and psy­chi­atric cen­tre oper­at­ed by McGill’s Roy­al Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal, in August 1957. He was referred to the Allan after expe­ri­enc­ing pain in his face, a con­di­tion his fam­i­ly doc­tor believed was psychosomatic—Charles suf­fered from trigem­i­nal neu­ral­gia, a neu­ro­path­ic condition—rather than a psy­cho­log­i­cal one.

Near­ly sev­en decades lat­er, Charles’s daugh­ter, Julie Tan­ny, is now the lead plain­tiff in a class action law­suit against McGill, the Roy­al Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal, the Cana­di­an gov­ern­ment, and the U.S. Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency (CIA). Tan­ny, along with hun­dreds of oth­er plain­tiffs, alleges that the Allan con­duct­ed psy­cho­log­i­cal exper­i­men­ta­tion on uncon­sent­ing patients between 1943 and 1964.

From 1957 to 1964, the CIA fund­ed 89 insti­tu­tions that researched mind con­trol and brain­wash­ing tech­niques in a project known as MK ULTRASub­pro­ject 68, one of 144, took place at the Allan under the super­vi­sion of psy­chi­a­try pro­fes­sor Don­ald Ewen Cameron. Tanny’s law­suit alleges that the exper­i­ments start­ed in 1943 when McGill hired Cameron as the found­ing direc­tor of the Allan, years before the CIA’s involve­ment.

Cameron, whose research focused on the caus­es of men­tal ill­ness­es such as schiz­o­phre­nia, believed that men­tal­ly ill patients could be “depat­terned” through pro­longed comas, large dos­es of psy­che­del­ic drugs such as LSD, and extreme elec­tro­con­vul­sive ther­a­py (ECT). After “depatterning”—which result­ed in mem­o­ry era­sure, acute con­fu­sion, and/or los­ing blad­der and bow­el control—Cameron believed patients could be re-taught healthy behav­iour through “psy­chic dri­ving,” a process dur­ing which patients were sedat­ed and sub­ject­ed to tape record­ings of a sin­gle sen­tence on repeat. Tan­ny, who obtained her father’s med­ical records in 1977, says her dad was put into an insulin coma and kept asleep for 23 out of 24 hours every day, while a back­ground audio record­ing played end­less­ly. The con­tent of the record­ing was not dis­closed in his med­ical records.

“After the first months, he asked to see my moth­er, so they wrote in his file that he still had con­nec­tions to his for­mer life […] so they put him back into treat­ment for anoth­er month,” Tan­ny told The Tri­bune. “After the sec­ond month, they said that it looked like this was as far as they could take him.”

Charles, Tanny’s father, was also sub­ject to extreme ECT shocks, alleged­ly admin­is­tered two to three times per day at 20 to 40 times the nor­mal volt­age at the Allan. Tan­ny says that when Charles returned from the Allan after two and half months of exper­i­ments, he had no rec­ol­lec­tion of his three chil­dren.

“My father was a very devot­ed father [….] Every week­end, he took us to Bel­mont Park we went fish­ing, he built us a skat­ing rink, very attached. And after the exper­i­ments, there was zero rela­tion­ship. He was extreme­ly detached, and that nev­er changed,” Tan­ny said. “There’s one com­mon thread with a lot of peo­ple who were depat­terned: They came home quite phys­i­cal­ly vio­lent and angry. And in my father’s case, he went from a very lov­ing and gen­tle man to some­one who used to hit me reg­u­lar­ly.”

Lana Jean Ponting spent a month at the Allan in April 1958. She was admit­ted because of a court order her par­ents received after run­ning away from her house at 15 years old. Now 81, she remem­bers her time at the Allan vivid­ly.

“When I got to the Allan, it was a scary-look­ing build­ing,” Ponting said in an inter­view with The Tri­bune. “When I went in there, I noticed a strange chem­i­cal smell. Dr. Cameron assured my par­ents that he would take care of me. I remem­ber going to sit in Dr. Cameron’s office, he took me to a room where I had one pil­low, a mat­tress, and a blan­ket. He told me to stay in the room. The nurse came in with a pole and a bag with some­thing in it. She told me to lie down and she put a nee­dle in my arm. I felt fun­ny. And so it began.”

Ponting, who has been on med­ica­tion since the exper­i­ments to off­set the side effects, suf­fers from flash­backs and nev­er spoke of her time at the Allan with any­one, not even her hus­band. She only recent­ly uncov­ered that she was a vic­tim of the exper­i­ments after her broth­er noticed an ad about the class action law­suit in The Mon­tre­al Gazette.

Since piec­ing togeth­er her mem­o­ries of the Allan with her new­found knowl­edge of the exper­i­ments, Ponting has tes­ti­fied in the Kanien’kehà:ka Kah­nis­tensera (Mohawk Moth­ers)’s ongo­ing law­suit against McGill. The Moth­ers sus­pect the university’s New Vic site, for­mer­ly the Roy­al Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal, holds unmarked Indige­nous graves. In an affi­davit that was enclosed with a note from her doc­tor attest­ing that she is of sound mind and body, Ponting says she saw dig­ging at night as a patient.

“I would sneak out of the Allan at night when I could. I actu­al­ly saw peo­ple with shov­els. I could see them because their lights were so bright. And I noticed that [the shov­els] had red han­dles, I will nev­er for­get the red han­dles,” Ponting said.

While most of the plain­tiffs are the rel­a­tives of vic­tims, Ponting is one of the few liv­ing child sur­vivors.

While the class action was filed in 2019, it has yet to be cer­ti­fied—the process through which a law­suit is approved by a court before pro­ceed­ing to tri­al. In March 2021, the Unit­ed States Attor­ney Gen­er­al filed a motion to be dis­missed as a defen­dant, claim­ing it had immu­ni­ty from law­suits in Cana­da at the time of the alleged exper­i­ments. The motion was heard and lat­er won in 2022. The plain­tiffs have since filed an appeal, which was heard at the Que­bec Court of Appeals on March 30, 2023.

Jeff Oren­stein, the plain­tiffs’ lawyer, says the State Immu­ni­ty Act, which deter­mines how for­eign states can be sued in Cana­da, is ret­ro­spec­tive and can apply to cas­es before the Act was passed. Oren­stein argues that when Cana­da draft­ed the Act, it took direc­tion from sim­i­lar doc­u­ments in Europe, the U.K., and the U.S. While the British and Euro­pean doc­u­ments clear­ly indi­cate that their immu­ni­ty acts are not retroac­tive, both the Amer­i­can and Cana­di­an immu­ni­ty acts do not estab­lish whether they apply to instances pri­or to the poli­cies’ adop­tions. Oren­stein sees the lack of a spe­cif­ic ret­ro­spec­tiv­i­ty clause in the Act as an inten­tion­al choice.

“Any­one who was a Cana­di­an who was injured on Cana­di­an soil for per­son­al injury has juris­dic­tion in Cana­da, with­out a doubt. And so, if the Act applies, there’s not much else to decide. Clear­ly, we have juris­dic­tion in Que­bec,” Oren­stein told the Tri­bune. “If Cana­da didn’t recopy [the ret­ro­spec­tiv­i­ty clause], they obvi­ous­ly intend­ed it to apply to things that hap­pened in the past.”

As Tan­ny and Oren­stein await an appeals deci­sion from the judges, they are opti­mistic that they will win based on the ques­tions the judges asked dur­ing the March 30 hear­ing.

“The judges seemed to be quite inter­est­ed in the ret­ro­spec­tiv­i­ty debate,” Oren­stein said. “It is a seri­ous ques­tion that I think will take them some time to work through [….] They’re going to want to take their time to real­ly write a very seri­ous, rea­soned judge­ment, know­ing that it might end up in front of nine judges in Ottawa [at the Supreme Court].”

After the U.S.’s sta­tus as a defen­dant is decid­ed, the remain­ing defen­dants, includ­ing McGill, will have to present their defences for the class action to be cer­ti­fied, a process that Oren­stein esti­mates could take years.

In a state­ment to Glob­al News in 2019, the McGill Uni­ver­si­ty Health Cen­tre (MUHC), which was born from the merg­er of the Roy­al Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal with four oth­er hos­pi­tals in the city, rec­og­nized Cameron’s exper­i­ments but denied respon­si­bil­i­ty, claim­ing that Cameron act­ed inde­pen­dent­ly and was not an offi­cial MUHC employ­ee. The plain­tiffs amend­ed their appli­ca­tion to list McGill as a defen­dant instead of the MUHC. The Tri­bune con­tact­ed McGill in light of its involve­ment in the law­suit, but was referred to the MUHC, who declined to com­ment, cit­ing the ongo­ing nature of the suit.

———-

4.“Cadav­er dogs sniff out poten­tial human remains near old Roy­al Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal site” By Emelia Fournier; APTN News; 06/29/2023

Cadav­er dogs have detect­ed poten­tial human remains on McGill Uni­ver­si­ty grounds where a group called the Mohawk Moth­ers believe unmarked graves exist.

On June 9, 2023, three cadav­er dog teams from the Ottawa Val­ley Search and Res­cue Dog Asso­ci­a­tion scoured the grounds under the super­vi­sion of arche­ol­o­gists, dog han­dlers and two Kanieke’haka cul­tur­al mon­i­tors.

All dogs sig­naled that they detect­ed human remains in front of the Hersey Pavil­lion, which was the site of the old Roy­al Vic­to­ria Hospital’s nurs­es’ sleep­ing quar­ters.

“Giv­en that three sep­a­rate dog teams indi­cat­ed the same loca­tion inde­pen­dent­ly with a TFR, we are con­fi­dent that the odour of human remains is in this area,” said the report.

This was part of the arche­o­log­i­cal pro­ce­dures man­dat­ed in a set­tle­ment agree­ment reached in ear­ly April between McGill Uni­ver­si­ty, Quebec’s infra­struc­ture soci­ety, the McGill Uni­ver­si­ty Health Cen­tre (MUHC) and the Mohawk Moth­ers, or Kanistansera, six women from Kah­nawake.

The Kanis­tensera allege that unmarked graves of vic­tims of the MK-ULTRA mind con­trol exper­i­ments from the 1950s and 1960s may be found on the grounds of the Roy­al Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal and the old Allan Memo­r­i­al insti­tute, where McGill plans to build the New Vic project, a ren­o­vat­ed facil­i­ty.

Since the site was detect­ed, arche­o­log­i­cal pro­ce­dures have been halt­ed and the par­ties involved in the agree­ment have returned to the nego­ti­at­ing table to deter­mine how to han­dle these new devel­op­ments.

McGill has been attempt­ing to go for­ward with the New Vic project, which would revamp the old Roy­al Vic­to­ria site – which neigh­bours the AMI where CIA- and Cana­di­an-fund­ed psy­chi­atric exper­i­ments took place from 1957 to 1964.

The Kah­nistansera allege that there is a strong pos­si­bil­i­ty that bod­ies of Indige­nous chil­dren who they say were vic­tims of botched psy­chi­atric exper­i­ments are buried on the grounds of the Allan Memo­r­i­al Insti­tute (AMI), a for­mer psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal which is owned by McGill.

After a set­tle­ment agree­ment was reached in April, arche­o­log­i­cal works began to deter­mine whether human remains were present on-site.

Kanis­tensera alleges insuf­fi­cient onsite secu­ri­ty

At the case man­age­ment hear­ing June 29, the Kanis­tensera and the spe­cial inter­locu­tor on unmarked graves’ legal rep­re­sen­ta­tion, Julian Fal­con­er, stat­ed that the set­tle­ment agree­ment was not suf­fi­cient to address these new devel­op­ments.

Sec­tion 17 of the agree­ment states that if a dis­cov­ery is made, “McGill, SQI and the Kanien’keha:ka Kah­nis­tensera will seek the advice of the Pan­el [of arche­ol­o­gists] as to how to move for­ward.”

“As required the work has been stopped, secu­ri­ty is patrolling, and fences have been put up,” said Doug Mitchell, McGill’s legal rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

Mitchell also stat­ed they had filed a per­mit to begin arche­o­log­i­cal works to ver­i­fy if human remains were present on the site of con­cern.

While McGill and SQI said they were fol­low­ing the pro­ce­dures out­lined in the agree­ment by fol­low­ing the advice of the pan­el of arche­ol­o­gists, Fal­con­er said “the [arche­ol­o­gy] pan­el express­ly stat­ed they don’t have exper­tise on secu­ri­ty rec­om­men­da­tions” to pre­vent the site from being dis­turbed.

Addi­tion­al­ly, the Kanis­tensera said their cul­tur­al mon­i­tors have not seen the promised 24-hour sur­veil­lance of the site in ques­tion at McGill. One cul­tur­al mon­i­tor, Karonhia’nó:ron Dal­las Binette of Kane­sa­take, said that dur­ing the arche­o­log­i­cal foot sur­vey of the site of the old Roy­al Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal in May, he and the arche­ol­o­gists noticed recent­ly dis­turbed ground behind the Ross Pavil­lion.

“There were arti­facts that were dis­turbed, main­ly relat­ed to a dump behind the Ross Pavil­ion, but grounds being dis­turbed,” said Karonhia’nó:ron.

“There was evi­dence of non-autho­rized per­sons being able to freely walk around the Roy­al Vic­to­ria and Allan Memo­r­i­al site,” he said.

Karonhia’nó:ron said that on June 9, “while the [cadav­er] dogs were work­ing, pedes­tri­ans were able to encroach on their space. This didn’t affect the work of the dogs, but just in terms of respect­ing the site arche­o­log­i­cal­ly. More needs to be done to pro­tect the integri­ty of the land and people’s spir­its.”

The Kanis­tensera con­test­ed McGill’s claims that there has been suf­fi­cient secu­ri­ty increased after the find­ings of the snif­fer dogs.

Coop­er­a­tion ‘not what it could be’ says archives firm

There are also con­cerns over the speed of hand­ing over archival records. In the set­tle­ment agree­ment, the MUHC, McGill, and the Library and Archives Cana­da are sup­posed to expe­dite access to rel­e­vant archival records on those who may have attend­ed the Allan Memo­r­i­al Insti­tute and been sub­ject to the MK-ULTRA exper­i­ments to Know His­to­ry, an inde­pen­dent his­to­ry firm.

How­ev­er, the pan­el has only been con­tract­ed for six months to advise on arche­o­log­i­cal works on the pro­posed New Vic site.

“If you don’t have access to the records in a time­ly way, then con­clu­sions are taint­ed by that. You’re oper­at­ing essen­tial­ly in the blind. And so this accel­er­at­ed time­line has meant the need for accel­er­at­ed access to records and that’s not hap­pen­ing,” said Fal­con­er in a post-hear­ing inter­view with APTN News.

While MUHC, McGill and Library and Archives Cana­da stat­ed they were in the process of hand­ing over records, Fal­con­er said he had received com­mu­ni­ca­tion from Know His­to­ry that coop­er­a­tion was “not what it could be.”

“What the defen­dants described in the case man­age­ment meet­ing was their inter­pre­ta­tion of how things are pro­gress­ing,” said Fal­con­er. “What I can tell you is we are get­ting reports direct­ly back from Know His­to­ry that sim­ply don’t sup­port that, as we indi­cat­ed in court.”

Judge Gre­go­ry Moore gave the Kanis­tensera three options: to expand the pan­el to include exper­tise in site secu­ri­ty; to revis­it the medi­a­tion process between the defen­dants and plain­tiffs and pos­si­bly mod­i­fy the set­tle­ment agree­ment; or to begin a lit­i­ga­tion process against the defen­dants.

The Kanis­tensera have until July 14 to decide how to pro­ceed.

—————

5.“Ground-pen­e­trat­ing radar search wraps up at McGill Uni­ver­si­ty” by Emelia Fournier; APTN News; 07/13/2023

Tech­ni­cians have com­plet­ed their ground pen­e­trat­ing radar search at McGill Uni­ver­si­ty in Mon­tre­al to help deter­mine if there are his­tor­i­cal unmarked graves of Indige­nous chil­dren.

The work took place in front of the Hersey Pavil­lion at McGill, where cadav­er dogs detect­ed the scent of decom­pos­ing bod­ies, accord­ing to a report by the Ottawa Val­ley Search and Res­cue Dog Asso­ci­a­tion.

These arche­o­log­i­cal pro­ce­dures were sparked by Kanien’keha:ka Kah­nis­tensera, also known as the Mohawk Moth­ers – a group of women from Kahnawá:ke, Que., who allege there are unmarked graves on the site from child vic­tims of botched psy­chi­atric exper­i­ments that were part of the CIA’s MK-ULTRA pro­gram.

“We’re doing what we said we’re going to do, and we’re look­ing for our chil­dren,” said Kahentintha, a Mohawk moth­er over­see­ing the work.

“And we’re using the lat­est high-tech gad­gets that exist.”

The analy­sis of the data won’t be avail­able for anoth­er month or so, said Peter Takacs of Geoscan, the com­pa­ny doing the GPR scans.

Takacs said the raw data is not very use­ful on its own.

“What that might be needs to be analysed by local experts, arche­ol­o­gists, you know, any­one who can give you more infor­ma­tion about what it could be,” he said.

“You can’t just look at the ground pen­e­trat­ing radar data and say there are unmarked graves. You need to know the local geol­o­gy, the his­to­ry of the site, so it’s a very com­plex sort of analy­sis.”

———-

6.“Mohawk Moth­ers harassed by secu­ri­ty at for­mer Roy­al Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal” by Patrick White; The Globe & Mail; 07/28/2023

A group of Mohawk women over­see­ing a search for human remains on the grounds of a for­mer hos­pi­tal in Mon­tre­al say secu­ri­ty staff ver­bal­ly abused and evict­ed them from the site despite a court order autho­riz­ing the work.

The women are mem­bers of Kanien’keha:ka Kah­nis­tensera, or Mohawk Moth­ers, a group that has been fight­ing in court since 2015 to halt a McGill Uni­ver­si­ty expan­sion project at the for­mer Roy­al Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal until it can be searched for buri­als.

In Octo­ber, 2022, a judge grant­ed an injunc­tion on con­struc­tion until arche­o­log­i­cal work could be com­plet­ed. Ear­li­er this year, the Moth­ers struck a court-autho­rized set­tle­ment with McGill and Société québé­coise des infra­struc­tures (SQI), the Que­bec gov­ern­ment agency that man­ages infra­struc­ture, to car­ry out an arche­o­log­i­cal search at the loca­tion.

But the Mohawk Moth­ers said any good­will cre­at­ed by the set­tle­ment has been undone by the actions of secu­ri­ty per­son­nel con­tract­ed by SQI. On the after­noon of July 25, three secu­ri­ty guards approached five of the women on the Roy­al Vic­to­ria grounds and told them to leave.

“The one secu­ri­ty guard was very hos­tile,” said one of the women, Kweti­io, who goes by a sin­gle name. “She told us we weren’t allowed to be there. I said actu­al­ly we are allowed by court order.”

When some­one tried to record the encounter on a phone, secu­ri­ty staff seized the device and erased the clip, Kweti­io said. That’s when anoth­er per­son on the scene start­ed a sec­ond video record­ing.

The video, viewed by The Globe and Mail, shows one of the Moth­ers object­ing to their treat­ment, say­ing to the secu­ri­ty per­son­nel, “I think your com­pa­ny needs to reassess its work­ers.”

“I think you guys need a life,” respond­ed a female secu­ri­ty guard to the assem­bly of elders, who range in age from 51 to 83. “Go get a life. Go get a hus­band. Go get some kids. Go have some kids.”

One of the elders, Kahen­tinetha, said that Indige­nous chil­dren had been mur­dered on the site, “and now you’re ben­e­fit­ing from these mur­ders.”

“Exact­ly, we’re ben­e­fit­ing from it, that’s cor­rect,” the guard respond­ed in the video.

The elders, along with two cul­tur­al mon­i­tors hired as part of the set­tle­ment to ensure that the arche­ol­o­gy work com­plies with tra­di­tion­al pro­to­cols, can then be seen leav­ing the grounds.

“I’m still in shock,” said Kweti­io in an inter­view with The Globe. “What hap­pened here? Nobody will tell us.”

In an e‑mailed state­ment, SQI said the encounter was an iso­lat­ed inci­dent and sin­gled out one of the guards. “[SQI] con­demns all forms of racism and aggres­sion and con­sid­ered the com­ments and behav­iour of this offi­cer in par­tic­u­lar dur­ing the inci­dent to be unac­cept­able.”

The guard who made dis­mis­sive com­ments to the women has now been sus­pend­ed pend­ing fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion, accord­ing to a state­ment from the Que­bec divi­sion of Com­mis­sion­aires, the secu­ri­ty com­pa­ny that employs the guards.

McGill Uni­ver­si­ty spokesman Michel Proulx called the inci­dent unfor­tu­nate and said the insti­tu­tion looks for­ward to con­tin­u­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Mohawk Moth­ers.

“We’re con­fi­dent the SQI, which is respon­si­ble for secu­ri­ty on the site, is tak­ing the appro­pri­ate steps to address the sit­u­a­tion,” he said in an e‑mailed state­ment. “We’ve been work­ing close­ly with the Mohawk Moth­ers and the SQI in a spir­it of mutu­al respect and col­lab­o­ra­tion, and we will con­tin­ue to do so.”

Kim­ber­ly Mur­ray, the fed­er­al­ly appoint­ed Spe­cial Inter­locu­tor for Miss­ing Chil­dren and Unmarked Graves, was one of the inter­venors in the case that led to the set­tle­ment agree­ment. She said the heat­ed encounter could have been avoid­ed if SQI and McGill had cho­sen a vet­ted secu­ri­ty com­pa­ny with cul­tur­al com­pe­ten­cy train­ing and a sol­id back­ground in the search effort tak­ing place on the site.

“What they have done is com­plete­ly con­trary to what is sup­posed to be a col­lab­o­ra­tive approach as per the set­tle­ment agree­ment,” she said.

Kweti­io said that the old­er Moth­ers won’t feel com­fort­able return­ing to the site unless secu­ri­ty per­son­nel changes.

“We are not sat­is­fied return­ing yet because we have asked ques­tions about peo­ple employed there, and about get­ting them cul­tur­al train­ing, and haven’t received answers,” she said. “They need to speak to us in a cul­tur­al­ly appro­pri­ate man­ner. We need to have this resolved as quick as pos­si­ble because we need to find our chil­dren.”

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7.“Mohawk Moth­ers say McGill Uni­ver­si­ty try­ing to ‘con­trol’ process of search for unmarked graves” by Emelia Fournier; APTN News; 08/04/2023

Arche­o­log­i­cal dig at old Mon­tre­al hos­pi­tal on hold after inci­dent with secu­ri­ty guard.

A spokesper­son for the Mohawk Moth­ers, or Kah­nis­tensera, says the group feels pushed aside in the search for unmarked graves on a site owned by Société Québé­coise des Infra­struc­tures, or SQI. McGill says it leas­es part of the prop­er­ty.

“The process can no longer by any means be con­sid­ered Indige­nous-led, as the SQI and McGill attempt to con­trol the whole process, reduc­ing the role of Indige­nous peo­ple to per­form­ing cer­e­monies on the site,” said Kahen­tinetha, one of the Moth­ers who added that they feel blind­sided by the com­mu­ni­ca­tions that hap­pened with­out con­sult­ing them.

Quebec’s infra­struc­ture soci­ety, or SQI, and McGill both put out state­ments on Aug. 3 say­ing nine poten­tial gravesites were iden­ti­fied through ground pen­e­trat­ing radar, or GPR, with­out con­sult­ing the Kah­nis­tensera.

They exclud­ed the infor­ma­tion that, accord­ing to Geoscan’s report, “It is pos­si­ble that some of the unknown fea­tures may be unmarked graves, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the case of old­er buri­als with­out coffins and also pos­si­bly child-size graves.”

“The only way we can find out is to be right there, because we are not told and I don’t know why the mate­r­i­al goes to them, and then they dis­trib­ute it in the way they want and even­tu­al­ly we get a copy of it,” she said. “It seems like this is vio­lat­ing the court order.”

They were present on-site when arche­ol­o­gists also dug up a woman’s dress and a pair of children’s shoes, the style dat­ing back to around the 1940s.

But the arche­ol­o­gist pan­el appoint­ed in the set­tle­ment agree­ment said that they need to appoint a foren­sic spe­cial­ist to han­dle these items, some­thing the SQI has refused, said researcher Philippe Blouin.

“That has been refused now, offi­cial­ly, even though it was a rec­om­men­da­tion from the pan­el, and their rec­om­men­da­tions are sup­posed to be bind­ing, as per the set­tle­ment agree­ment. It’s been refused by the SQI,” he said.

In an email state­ment to APTN News, the SQI stat­ed that a bioarche­ol­o­gist is present when arche­o­log­i­cal works are under­way – but did not say whether they were trained in han­dling poten­tial­ly crim­i­nal evi­dence.

“The dress was found just a few inch­es inside the ground and then put in a plas­tic bag but it has to be a tam­per-proof bag for it to stand in a crim­i­nal court. There are many chances that it is pos­si­ble that this comes to a crim­i­nal court and this chain of cus­tody has to be pre­served for this pros­e­cu­tion to be suc­cess­ful,” said Blouin.

Blouin said they also have left par­tial­ly cov­ered piles of dirt to sit in the rain since July 25 that was dug up where snif­fer dogs detect­ed the scent of human remains in ear­ly June.

“The piles have not been sift­ed through, and that was also a rec­om­men­da­tion from the pan­el that was not respect­ed by the SQI to sift through these piles that were extract­ed from the site where the search dogs sniffed a tar­get to sift through them imme­di­ate­ly because the human remains could be inside these piles.”

Kahen­tinetha said that in the midst of these rec­om­men­da­tions being ignored, “Despite pub­licly stat­ing their sup­port for the process and com­mit­ment to rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, McGill and SQI have uni­lat­er­al­ly deemed the panel’s man­date ter­mi­nat­ed.”

This would mean that arche­o­log­i­cal works would con­tin­ue with the firm Ethno­scope, but they would be guid­ed by McGill and SQI, rather than a pan­el of expert arche­ol­o­gists. The SQI stat­ed that the archeologist’s pan­el had the man­date to sub­mit two reports of rec­om­men­da­tions, one being sub­mit­ted on May 8 and the oth­er on July 17. The SQI said they were “very sat­is­fied by and grate­ful for the work accom­plished by the experts.”

The set­tle­ment agree­ment states, “SQI, McGill and the Kanien’keha:ka Kah­nis­tensera agree to be bound by the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Pan­el as to the Tech­niques and agree to be guid­ed by the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Pan­el as to the spe­cial­ists to car­ry out the tech­niques and analyse the rel­e­vant data, but McGill and SQI retain dis­cre­tion to retain oth­er providers with the appro­pri­ate qual­i­fi­ca­tions and exper­tise if the cir­cum­stances war­rant.”

The Kah­nis­tensera also don’t want to return to work until they have mohawk secu­ri­ty guards after a secu­ri­ty guard appoint­ed by a pri­vate com­pa­ny hired by SQI kicked them off the grounds on July 25.

“We need to have our own peo­ple to do the secu­ri­ty. and we do have a group in Kah­nawake ready to come and do it, and we’re work­ing on bring­ing them in.”

Arche­o­log­i­cal digs have been sus­pend­ed since that inci­dent.

The SQI and McGill both said that dia­logue is under­way with the Kah­nis­tensera. In an email state­ment to APTN, the SQI did not say whether they’d hire a Mohawk secu­ri­ty form, but said the agents assigned to the site would receive “aware­ness train­ing about Indige­nous real­i­ties includ­ing a por­tion on res­i­den­tial schools and miss­ing chil­dren” as well as “a spe­cif­ic train­ing on Mohawk cul­ture pro­vid­ed by the Moth­ers.”

———–

8a.Thy Will Be Done–The Con­quest of The Ama­zon: Nel­son Rock­e­feller and Evan­ge­lism in the Age of Oil by Ger­ard Col­by and Char­lotte Den­nett; Copy­right 1995 by Ger­ard Col­by and Char­lotte Den­nett; Harp­er Collins Pub­lish­ers [SC]; ISBN 0–06-016764–5; pp. 265–266.

9a.Thy Will Be Done–The Con­quest of The Ama­zon: Nel­son Rock­e­feller and Evan­ge­lism in the Age of Oil by Ger­ard Col­by and Char­lotte Den­nett; Copy­right 1995 by Ger­ard Col­by and Char­lotte Den­nett; Harp­er Collins Pub­lish­ers [SC]; ISBN 0–06-016764–5; pp. 107–108.

9b.Thy Will Be Done–The Con­quest of The Ama­zon: Nel­son Rock­e­feller and Evan­ge­lism in the Age of Oil by Ger­ard Col­by and Char­lotte Den­nett; Copy­right 1995 by Ger­ard Col­by and Char­lotte Den­nett; Harp­er Collins Pub­lish­ers [SC]; ISBN 0–06-016764–5; pp. xv-xvi; 1–5.

 

10. Sit­ting Bull at the Pow­der Riv­er Coun­cil

The fol­low­ing words were spo­ken by Sit­ting Bull at the pure­ly Indi­an “Pow­der Riv­er Coun­cil” of 1877, as recount­ed by men who were present to Charles A. East­man (author of Indi­an Heroes and Great Chief­tains):

“Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has glad­ly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love! Every seed is awak­ened, and all ani­mal life. It is through this mys­te­ri­ous pow­er that we too have our being, and we there­fore yield to our neigh­bors, even to our ani­mal neigh­bors, the same right as our­selves to inhab­it this vast land.”

“Yet hear me, friends! we have now to deal with anoth­er peo­ple, small and fee­ble when our   fore­fa­thers first met with them, but now great and over­bear­ing. Strange­ly enough, they have a mind to till the soil, and the love of pos­ses­sions is a dis­ease in them. These peo­ple have made many rules that the rich may break, but the poor may not! They have a reli­gion in which the poor wor­ship, but the rich will not! They even take tithes of the poor and weak to sup­port the rich and those who rule. They claim this moth­er of ours, the Earth, for their own use, and fence their neigh­bors away from her, and deface her with their build­ings and their refuse. They com­pel her to pro­duce out of sea­son, and when ster­ile she is made to take med­i­cine in order to pro­duce again. All this is sac­ri­lege.”

“This nation is like a spring freshet; it over­runs its banks and destroys all who are in its path.”

“We can­not dwell side by side. Only sev­en years ago we made a treaty by which we were assured that the buf­fa­lo coun­try should be left to us for­ev­er. Now they threat­en to take that from us also. My broth­ers, shall we sub­mit? or shall we say to them: ‘First kill me, before you can take pos­ses­sion of my father­land!’ ”

Discussion

One comment for “FTR#‘s 1314 & 1315 “Injun’ Country”: The Mohawk Mothers’ Trail of Tears Parts 1 and 2”

  1. Are they going to get away with it? A coverup in the face of court orders? Maybe. They’re at least on track to get away with it. That’s the trou­ble update we’ve received in the last month or so about the ongo­ing legal bat­tle tak­ing place in Cana­da between the Mohawk Moth­ers and McGill Uni­ver­si­ty over the sus­pect­ed unmarked graves cur­rent­ly at risk of being exca­vat­ed and destroyed. As we saw at the end of Octo­ber, the Mohawk Moth­ers were tak­ing McGill and the Société Québé­coise des infra­struc­tures (SQI) back to court after fil­ing an emer­gency motion to halt the exca­va­tion process fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of evi­dence of pos­si­ble human remains. As part of that emer­gency fil­ing, the Moth­ers also alleged that the three-per­son archae­o­log­i­cal advi­so­ry pan­el set up as part of the pri­or set­tle­ment was improp­er­ly dis­missed by McGill.

    As we’re going to see in the fol­low­ing arti­cle excerpts, the courts issued their rul­ing about a month lat­er, find­ing that yes the three-per­son advi­so­ry pan­el was improp­er­ly dis­missed and must be rein­stat­ed. But at the same time, the court rules that the rein­state­ment of the pan­el means there’s no imme­di­ate need to halt the exca­va­tion process. As such, the exca­va­tion process is ongo­ing. At the same time, McGill announced it was appeal­ing the rul­ing, a move that is pre­sum­ably only going to add fur­ther delays to the prop­er­ly shar­ing of infor­ma­tion worth the rein­stat­ed pan­el. And all the while, the exca­va­tion con­tin­ues. So while there was some good news in this rul­ing, the destruc­tion of evi­dence con­tin­ues.

    But human remains aren’t the only evi­dence at risk of being lost here. There’s anoth­er chap­ter to this sto­ry that has­n’t received as much atten­tion so far but could probe to be cru­cial for unrav­el­ing the fates of these indige­nous chil­dren: access the archival patient records. Yes, as we should expect, McGill is refus­ing to turn over those archives to the Moth­ers. Using as bad faith a legal argu­ment as we should also expect by now: they are argu­ing that patient pri­va­cy laws bar them from hand­ing over the archives. This is despite the fact that the court set­tle­ment already stat­ed that pri­va­cy con­cerns can be over­ruled in this case.

    So we have McGill appeal­ing a court rul­ing man­dat­ing the rein­state­ment of an advi­so­ry pan­el McGill improp­er­ly dis­missed, at the same time McGill is refus­ing to hand over patient archives cit­ing pri­va­cy con­cerns. This is, of course, pri­va­cy con­cerns for patients who are sus­pect­ed of hav­ing died while under­go­ing hor­rif­ic exper­i­ments and buried in unmarked graves now at risk of being destroyed. The whole sit­u­a­tion just reeks of bad faith. Bad faith and, if you’re a cadav­er dog, human remains. And, as of now, it appears that McGill is on track to get away with it. Again, despite the new­ly rein­state pan­el, the exca­va­tion con­tin­ues, along with all the bad faith foot­drag­ging and obstruc­tion:

    The East­ern Door

    Court grants Moth­ers’ demand for pan­el

    By Eve Cable -
    Novem­ber 30, 2023

    After near­ly a month of wait­ing, the Mohawk Moth­ers (Kanien’kehá:ka Kah­nis­tensera) have been grant­ed some of the con­di­tions of a safe­guard order that they had asked a Que­bec Supe­ri­or Court judge to approve.

    “I think it gives the oppor­tu­ni­ty for our oppo­nents to do the right thing,” said Kweti­io, who speaks for the group. “Every time we’ve been faced with some­thing, we’ve tried to rec­ti­fy it. And we have the ener­gy behind us of who we are to con­tin­ue to do that.”

    On Octo­ber 27, the group applied for a safe­guard order to ensure com­pli­ance with the set­tle­ment agree­ment that McGill Uni­ver­si­ty and the Société québé­coise des infra­struc­tures (SQI) had signed in April of this year. That agree­ment was intend­ed to ensure that con­struc­tion work at the site of the for­mer Roy­al Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal, which is cur­rent­ly being con­vert­ed into a teach­ing and train­ing facil­i­ty, would be con­duct­ed in a way that was mind­ful of the pos­si­bil­i­ty of unmarked graves at the site.

    Ini­tial­ly, the terms of the set­tle­ment agree­ment main­tained that a three-per­son pan­el of archae­ol­o­gists would be man­dat­ed to advise all par­ties on the tech­niques and spe­cial­ists required to iden­ti­fy any unmarked graves. How­ev­er, the pan­el was dis­band­ed in August, after con­tracts drawn up by McGill and the SQI – which the Moth­ers did not see – gave only three-month terms, mean­ing pan­el mem­bers were no longer able to work after the end of the sum­mer.

    The writ­ten judge­ment from jus­tice Gre­go­ry Moore, which was released on Mon­day, Novem­ber 20, rein­states the pan­el of archae­ol­o­gists, a deci­sion the judge describes as “an excep­tion­al rem­e­dy” that is only issued in cas­es where the court is con­vinced “that irrepara­ble harm will occur if the order is not issued.”

    “I think that the judge saw in a very clear way that the very basic notion of this agree­ment was to hire this pan­el to bal­ance the dif­fer­ent inter­ests in the name of their sci­en­tif­ic knowl­edge,” said Philippe Blouin, an anthro­pol­o­gist who works with the Moth­ers and trans­lates live any French argu­ments for them in court.

    ...

    Kweti­io said that a thor­ough inves­ti­ga­tion can only be pos­si­ble with the involve­ment of the expert pan­el and said she was relieved to hear that Moore had decid­ed to rein­state it.

    “We need the pan­el so we can fol­low best prac­tices and to dis­cov­er what hap­pened to our chil­dren, and who­ev­er was in those insti­tu­tions,” she said. “We’re real­ly hap­py that this came about, (Moore) saw all of what we put in there, and saw that it’s impor­tant.”

    The deci­sion took longer than some had ini­tial­ly expect­ed. Kweti­io said that though it’s been a nerve-wrack­ing few weeks, she has remained opti­mistic.

    “It’s been a real whirl­wind this last week. Some of us were think­ing, ‘Oh my god, what does this mean, that he’s not get­ting back to us?’ But I know what we put for­ward in that court, and I was very con­fi­dent about it,” she said. “It’s been hard to watch con­struc­tion hap­pen while we’ve been wait­ing, but in my mind, I thought that some­thing good was going to hap­pen.”

    One part of the Moth­ers’ request was not grant­ed – the request for work to be halt­ed at the site. In his deci­sion, Moore explained that with the pan­el rein­stat­ed, halt­ing work will not be nec­es­sary. How­ev­er, Blouin said this still leaves the door open for fur­ther mis­steps by the SQI and McGill with regards to the area.

    “We want to halt the con­struc­tion for the time nec­es­sary to put the pan­el in place. There’s no (dead­line) in place, so what would it mean if we have to wait weeks for McGill to respond to this, and dur­ing that time, all this work is being done?” he said.

    Blouin not­ed that though the Moth­ers have asked McGill and the SQI to pause work as a cour­tesy, they have not received any response or com­mu­ni­ca­tion from them.

    “Our main con­cern right now is real­ly the speed with which (the pan­el can be imple­ment­ed),” he said. “They’re able to plan things enough so they can con­tin­ue to exca­vate things, so we want them to put their pri­or­i­ties in the right place while we work to bring back the pan­el.”

    Kweti­io shared sim­i­lar con­cerns about con­struc­tion on-site. The pan­el, which is made up of peo­ple agreed upon by the SQI, McGill, and the Moth­ers, is meant to guide all par­ties through the con­struc­tion process, which Kweti­io hopes can facil­i­tate more trans­paren­cy going for­ward.

    ...

    Though Kweti­io pre­vi­ous­ly said in court that she had lost hope in the inves­ti­ga­tion thus far, she now said that the rein­stat­ing of the pan­el changes things.

    “We’re real­ly try­ing to keep that opti­mism and know that our chil­dren are guid­ing us, and that there might be peo­ple who are there and want to be found,” she said. “In the best world, noth­ing would be found. But we need to know, because there’s too much evi­dence to deny (the pos­si­bil­i­ty).”

    Michel Proulx, a spokesper­son for McGill Uni­ver­si­ty, said they plan to study the deci­sion in greater detail and will pro­vide an update on their stance in due course, adding that work at the site will con­tin­ue in the mean­time.

    A spokesper­son for the SQI, Anne-Marie Gagnon, also said they would be tak­ing time to ana­lyze the judge­ment and reit­er­at­ed that “work can con­tin­ue with­out inter­rup­tion, the request to sus­pend the work hav­ing not been accept­ed.”

    The Moth­ers will be back in court next Fri­day, Decem­ber 1, to dis­cuss mat­ters relat­ed to archives con­cern­ing patients at the for­mer hos­pi­tal.

    This arti­cle was orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in print on Fri­day, Novem­ber 24, in issue 32.47 of The East­ern Door.

    ———–

    “Court grants Moth­ers’ demand for pan­el” by Eve Cable; The East­ern Door; 11/30/2023

    “The writ­ten judge­ment from jus­tice Gre­go­ry Moore, which was released on Mon­day, Novem­ber 20, rein­states the pan­el of archae­ol­o­gists, a deci­sion the judge describes as “an excep­tion­al rem­e­dy” that is only issued in cas­es where the court is con­vinced “that irrepara­ble harm will occur if the order is not issued.””

    The uni­lat­er­al dis­missal of the advi­so­ry pan­el by McGill and the SQI risked “irrepara­ble harm” to the fam­i­lies, neces­si­tat­ing “an excep­tion­al rem­e­dy” by the judge of a court ordered rein­state­ment of the pan­el. That was the excel­lent news the Mohawk Moth­ers received from the courts back in Novem­ber after they were forced to apply for a safe­guard order fol­low­ing months of foot­drag­ging and refusals by McGill and the SQI to halt the exca­va­tion work. The pan­el will be back. Hope­ful­ly in time to make a dif­fer­ence:

    ...
    On Octo­ber 27, the group applied for a safe­guard order to ensure com­pli­ance with the set­tle­ment agree­ment that McGill Uni­ver­si­ty and the Société québé­coise des infra­struc­tures (SQI) had signed in April of this year. That agree­ment was intend­ed to ensure that con­struc­tion work at the site of the for­mer Roy­al Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal, which is cur­rent­ly being con­vert­ed into a teach­ing and train­ing facil­i­ty, would be con­duct­ed in a way that was mind­ful of the pos­si­bil­i­ty of unmarked graves at the site.

    Ini­tial­ly, the terms of the set­tle­ment agree­ment main­tained that a three-per­son pan­el of archae­ol­o­gists would be man­dat­ed to advise all par­ties on the tech­niques and spe­cial­ists required to iden­ti­fy any unmarked graves. How­ev­er, the pan­el was dis­band­ed in August, after con­tracts drawn up by McGill and the SQI – which the Moth­ers did not see – gave only three-month terms, mean­ing pan­el mem­bers were no longer able to work after the end of the sum­mer.

    ...

    The deci­sion took longer than some had ini­tial­ly expect­ed. Kweti­io said that though it’s been a nerve-wrack­ing few weeks, she has remained opti­mistic.
    ...

    Trou­bling­ly, though, the judge did­n’t actu­al­ly order a halt to the exca­va­tion work, rea­son­ing that the rein­sti­tu­tion of the pan­el made the halt­ing of the work no longer nec­es­sary. At the same time, both McGill and the SQI are issu­ing state­ments about how the exca­va­tion work will con­tin­ue, with SQI adding that, “work can con­tin­ue with­out inter­rup­tion, the request to sus­pend the work hav­ing not been accept­ed.” It’s the kind of state­ment that sug­gests McGill and SQI are still very intent on com­plet­ing the exca­va­tion process as soon as pos­si­ble as long as the courts allow them to get away with it:

    ...
    One part of the Moth­ers’ request was not grant­ed – the request for work to be halt­ed at the site. In his deci­sion, Moore explained that with the pan­el rein­stat­ed, halt­ing work will not be nec­es­sary. How­ev­er, Blouin said this still leaves the door open for fur­ther mis­steps by the SQI and McGill with regards to the area.

    “We want to halt the con­struc­tion for the time nec­es­sary to put the pan­el in place. There’s no (dead­line) in place, so what would it mean if we have to wait weeks for McGill to respond to this, and dur­ing that time, all this work is being done?” he said.

    Blouin not­ed that though the Moth­ers have asked McGill and the SQI to pause work as a cour­tesy, they have not received any response or com­mu­ni­ca­tion from them.

    “Our main con­cern right now is real­ly the speed with which (the pan­el can be imple­ment­ed),” he said. “They’re able to plan things enough so they can con­tin­ue to exca­vate things, so we want them to put their pri­or­i­ties in the right place while we work to bring back the pan­el.”

    ...

    Michel Proulx, a spokesper­son for McGill Uni­ver­si­ty, said they plan to study the deci­sion in greater detail and will pro­vide an update on their stance in due course, adding that work at the site will con­tin­ue in the mean­time.

    A spokesper­son for the SQI, Anne-Marie Gagnon, also said they would be tak­ing time to ana­lyze the judge­ment and reit­er­at­ed that “work can con­tin­ue with­out inter­rup­tion, the request to sus­pend the work hav­ing not been accept­ed.”
    ...

    But also note this oth­er legal issue loom­ing over this entire sto­ry that has noth­ing to do with the exca­va­tion process: access to the patient archives:

    ...
    The Moth­ers will be back in court next Fri­day, Decem­ber 1, to dis­cuss mat­ters relat­ed to archives con­cern­ing patients at the for­mer hos­pi­tal.
    ...

    And that brings us to the fol­low­ing report from ear­ly Decem­ber about the Mohawk Moth­ers’ legal bat­tle for those archives. A bat­tle that has already achieved a sur­re­al lev­el of bad faith on the part of McGill. As we’re going to see, McGill has thus far refused to turn over archives on the Mohawk Moth­ers’ fam­i­ly mem­bers due to “patient con­fi­den­tial­i­ty”. Yep, McGill is insist­ing that the patients’ pri­va­cy needs to be pro­tect­ed and that’s why they can’t turn over the archives. This is despite the fact that, as the Mohawk Moth­ers’ attor­neys point out, the legal set­tle­ment in this case already allows the defen­dants to over­ride “con­fi­den­tial­i­ty con­cerns” with­out con­sent from the patients. Patients who, of course, are now dead thanks to the hor­rif­ic exper­i­ments done on them and may now be buried in unmarked graves at risk of being exca­vat­ed:

    The Tri­bune

    Mohawk Moth­ers appear in court, dis­cuss archives and records relat­ed to New Vic site

    by Jasjot Gre­w­al on Decem­ber 5, 2023

    The Kanien’kehá:ka Kah­nis­tensera (Mohawk Moth­ers) appeared at the Mon­tre­al Cour­t­house for a five-hour case man­age­ment hear­ing on Dec. 1. The hear­ing came as part of the Mother’s ongo­ing inves­ti­ga­tion into McGill’s New Vic Project site, where they fear that there may be unmarked Indige­nous graves. The Moth­ers argued that the defendants—including McGill, the McGill Uni­ver­si­ty Health Cen­tre (MUHC), the Société québé­coise des infra­struc­tures (SQI), the Roy­al Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal (RVH), the Inte­grat­ed Uni­ver­si­ty Health and Social Ser­vices Cen­tres (CIUSSS), the City of Mon­tre­al, and the Attor­ney Gen­er­al of Cana­da—were refus­ing to abide by the set­tle­ment agreement’s man­date to pro­vide the Moth­ers with all archives and med­ical records relat­ed to the for­mer RVH.

    Mohawk Moth­er Kahen­tinetha was the first to speak before Jus­tice Gre­go­ry Moore. She remind­ed the court that under arti­cles two, three, and four of the set­tle­ment agree­ment, McGill, MUHC, and the Attor­ney Gen­er­al of Cana­da are bound to pro­vide expe­dit­ed access to their archives and records. She alleged that MUHC refused to share their archival records on med­ical exper­i­ments on Indige­nous chil­dren, which she believed to be direct evi­dence of denial­ism.

    ...

    The lawyer rep­re­sent­ing MUHC and RVH argued that MUHC has a right to patient con­fi­den­tial­i­ty and that while MUHC want­ed to assist in the inves­ti­ga­tion, they could not as con­fi­den­tial­i­ty laws pro­hib­it­ed them from pro­vid­ing all patients’ records. The lawyers also explained that the med­ical records are only search­able by patient num­ber, not by age or eth­nic­i­ty, mean­ing that researchers could not search for Indige­nous patients on the data­base.

    Julian Falconer—the lawyer for the Office of the Inde­pen­dent Spe­cial Inter­locu­tor, Kim­ber­ly Mur­ray—assert­ed that the set­tle­ment agree­ment allows the defen­dants to over­ride “con­fi­den­tial­i­ty con­cerns” with­out con­sent from the patients. He fur­ther expressed that he felt the notion of col­lab­o­ra­tion and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion between the two par­ties had “utter­ly dis­ap­peared,” with cred­i­ble his­to­ri­ans work­ing on the case being at a stand­still due to lim­it­ed or no access to archives.

    Fal­con­er end­ed by stat­ing that the refusal to pro­vide full access to archives is the sec­ond breach of the set­tle­ment agree­ment by the defen­dants, the first being the defendant’s dis­band­ment of the court-man­dat­ed expert archae­o­log­i­cal pan­el, which Jus­tice Moore ruled to rein­state on Nov. 20 after a case hear­ing on Oct. 27.

    In an inter­view with The Tri­bune after the hear­ing, Fal­con­er revealed that the Moth­ers were made aware that the defen­dants were con­sid­er­ing appeal­ing the court’s deci­sion to rein­state the archae­o­log­i­cal pan­el dur­ing the hear­ing.

    “[McGill] was told that they made an agree­ment to be guid­ed by a pan­el led by Indige­nous-led best prac­tices, and their response was to fire that pan­el,” Fal­con­er said. “When a judge brought to their atten­tion the error of their ways, their response is to appeal to that Judge. Does that sound like rec­on­cil­i­a­tion to you?”

    Philippe Blouin, anthro­pol­o­gist and asso­ciate of the Moth­ers, point­ed out that appeal­ing the court deci­sion will take more finan­cial resources from McGill and will lead the inves­ti­ga­tion away from pro­tect­ing Indige­nous graves.

    “The mon­ey that they are going to spend on the appeal is mon­ey from the Cana­di­an [and] Que­bec pub­lic and from McGill stu­dents, that they’re going to use against using the best prac­tices to find unmarked graves on those lands,” Blouin said in an inter­view with The Tri­bune. “It’s going to cost them way more than abid­ing by the rec­om­men­da­tion of said pan­el.”

    McGill explained in a writ­ten state­ment to The Tri­bune, that they have cho­sen to appeal to obtain fur­ther clar­i­ty on how to pro­ceed with the inves­ti­ga­tion, and that some of the legal fees will be drawn from stu­dents’ tuition.

    ...

    Kahen­tinetha revealed that to her knowl­edge, since Jus­tice Moore’s rul­ing to rein­state the pan­el, the defen­dants have not tak­en any action to con­tact the mem­bers of the pan­el to reassem­ble them, all while work con­tin­ues on the New Vic site. McGill con­firmed in a writ­ten state­ment to The Tri­bune that they have not reached out to the mem­bers of the pan­el since Nov. 20.

    Jus­tice Moore adjourned court with­out a deci­sion, stat­ing the date of the next hear­ing will be decid­ed via email between him and the par­ties involved.

    ———-

    “Mohawk Moth­ers appear in court, dis­cuss archives and records relat­ed to New Vic site” by Jasjot Gre­w­al; The Tri­bune; 12/05/2023

    “Mohawk Moth­er Kahen­tinetha was the first to speak before Jus­tice Gre­go­ry Moore. She remind­ed the court that under arti­cles two, three, and four of the set­tle­ment agree­ment, McGill, MUHC, and the Attor­ney Gen­er­al of Cana­da are bound to pro­vide expe­dit­ed access to their archives and records. She alleged that MUHC refused to share their archival records on med­ical exper­i­ments on Indige­nous chil­dren, which she believed to be direct evi­dence of denial­ism.

    Yes, despite the court set­tle­ment, the archives have remained under wraps, with lawyers for McGill argu­ing that patient con­fi­den­tial­i­ty pro­hib­it­ed them from shar­ing the records. That’s despite the court set­tle­ment telling them to over­ride con­fi­den­tial­i­ty con­cerns with­out con­sent from the patients. Now long dead patients who might be buried in unmarked graves McGill is try­ing as hard as pos­si­ble to exca­vate:

    ...
    The lawyer rep­re­sent­ing MUHC and RVH argued that MUHC has a right to patient con­fi­den­tial­i­ty and that while MUHC want­ed to assist in the inves­ti­ga­tion, they could not as con­fi­den­tial­i­ty laws pro­hib­it­ed them from pro­vid­ing all patients’ records. The lawyers also explained that the med­ical records are only search­able by patient num­ber, not by age or eth­nic­i­ty, mean­ing that researchers could not search for Indige­nous patients on the data­base.

    Julian Falconer—the lawyer for the Office of the Inde­pen­dent Spe­cial Inter­locu­tor, Kim­ber­ly Mur­ray—assert­ed that the set­tle­ment agree­ment allows the defen­dants to over­ride “con­fi­den­tial­i­ty con­cerns” with­out con­sent from the patients. He fur­ther expressed that he felt the notion of col­lab­o­ra­tion and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion between the two par­ties had “utter­ly dis­ap­peared,” with cred­i­ble his­to­ri­ans work­ing on the case being at a stand­still due to lim­it­ed or no access to archives.

    Fal­con­er end­ed by stat­ing that the refusal to pro­vide full access to archives is the sec­ond breach of the set­tle­ment agree­ment by the defen­dants, the first being the defendant’s dis­band­ment of the court-man­dat­ed expert archae­o­log­i­cal pan­el, which Jus­tice Moore ruled to rein­state on Nov. 20 after a case hear­ing on Oct. 27.
    ...

    At the same time, McGill has indi­cat­ed that it intends to appeal the rul­ing man­dat­ing the rein­state­ment of the advi­so­ry pan­el. An appeal that will pre­sum­ably delay that rein­state­ment, at the same time the exca­va­tion process con­tin­ues. It’s like they are buy­ing time to com­plete the exca­va­tion process and just make it fait accom­pli kind of sit­u­a­tion:

    ...
    In an inter­view with The Tri­bune after the hear­ing, Fal­con­er revealed that the Moth­ers were made aware that the defen­dants were con­sid­er­ing appeal­ing the court’s deci­sion to rein­state the archae­o­log­i­cal pan­el dur­ing the hear­ing.

    “[McGill] was told that they made an agree­ment to be guid­ed by a pan­el led by Indige­nous-led best prac­tices, and their response was to fire that pan­el,” Fal­con­er said. “When a judge brought to their atten­tion the error of their ways, their response is to appeal to that Judge. Does that sound like rec­on­cil­i­a­tion to you?”

    Philippe Blouin, anthro­pol­o­gist and asso­ciate of the Moth­ers, point­ed out that appeal­ing the court deci­sion will take more finan­cial resources from McGill and will lead the inves­ti­ga­tion away from pro­tect­ing Indige­nous graves.

    “The mon­ey that they are going to spend on the appeal is mon­ey from the Cana­di­an [and] Que­bec pub­lic and from McGill stu­dents, that they’re going to use against using the best prac­tices to find unmarked graves on those lands,” Blouin said in an inter­view with The Tri­bune. “It’s going to cost them way more than abid­ing by the rec­om­men­da­tion of said pan­el.”

    McGill explained in a writ­ten state­ment to The Tri­bune, that they have cho­sen to appeal to obtain fur­ther clar­i­ty on how to pro­ceed with the inves­ti­ga­tion, and that some of the legal fees will be drawn from stu­dents’ tuition.
    ...

    Stu­dent tuition is even going towards these appeals and legal bat­tles. Which rais­es the ques­tion about how expen­sive will this whole saga ulti­mate­ly get when it’s all over? Will McGill get away with destroy­ing the evi­dence with­out hav­ing to pay an sig­nif­i­cant fines in the process? Or is the plan to just ignore the court orders, destroy the evi­dence, and accept the inevitable fines and oth­er legal con­se­quences? We don’t know. But it’s beyond obvi­ous by this point that there is a mega-scan­dal under this rock that McGill, SQI, and pre­sum­ably much of the rest of the Cana­di­an gov­ern­ment (not to men­tion the US gov­ern­ment) are deter­mined to keep under this rock...until the rock and every­thing beneath it are exca­vat­ed away into the dust­bin of his­to­ry. That’s the plan. A plan that appears to be work­ing.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 2, 2024, 5:17 pm

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