The Legacy of Nutritional Experiments in Residential Schools

Shortly after WWII, when knowledge about nutrition was still sparse, scientists in Canada took advantage of already malnourished aboriginal communities by using them as research subjects to investigate the effects of different diets and dietary supplements. Evidence of these government-run experiments was brought to the forefront by food historian and UBC History alumnus Ian Mosby, and the research has gained widespread recognition. Sometimes the experiments involved decreasing food intake or withholding supplements. Hundreds of indigenous people across Canada were included in the experiments, of which they had no knowledge, and many of them were children in the Indian Residential School system.

The fallout from this unethical treatment is still having an effect today. Listen to a panel discussion about this distressing era in Canadian history and find out how UBC’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems is working to address issues such as access to healthy, traditional food; food security for all; and land stewardship.

Recorded October 17, 2014, at the UBC First Nations House of Learning, in Vancouver, BC.

Moderator – Jo-Ann Archibald, BEd(Elem)’72 – Associate Dean for Indigenous Education, UBC’s Faculty of Education
Presenter – Ian Mosby, BA’03 – Postdoctoral Fellow, L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History, McMaster University
Panelist – Chief Robert Joseph, LLD’03 – Hereditary Chief, Gwawaenuk First Nation; Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada and the Indian Residential School Survivors Society
Panelist – Eduardo Jovel, MSc’96, PhD’02 – Director, Indigenous Research Partnerships; Associate Professor, Faculty of Land and Food Systems
Panelist – Jessie Newman – UBC Dietetics student
Panelist – Gerry Oleman – Member, St’at’imc Nation

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