The Story of a National Crime

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The Story of a National Crime - Trailer

Season 1

Peter Henderson Bryce was a medical doctor, civil servant and public health expert. In 1907, after surveying 35 residential schools, he submitted a report to the Department of Indian Affairs detailing the connection between the residential school system, disease and the high rate of mortality among students. His calls to action fell on deaf ears. Bryce’s findings would remain suppressed until he left public service. Fifteen years after his initial report, he published an 18-page “appeal for justice”—a pamphlet detailing for the public everything he knew and everything the government knew about the health conditions in and as a result of Canada’s residential school system.


This is The Story of a National Crime, new podcast from Knockabout Media, coming this fall.


This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.

More Episodes

9/29/2022

Sick People Need More Than Pills

Season 1, Ep. 1
2022 marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of The Story of a National Crime. It was written by Dr. Peter Henderson Bryce. It was an eighteen-page pamphlet containing evidence of neglect, negligence and harm to First Nations children and their communities. From 1904 to 1913, Bryce was the medical inspector for the Department of the Interior and Indian Affairs. It was not the first time he had spoken out. This pamphlet was his appeal for justice and his condemnation of federal inaction. In this series, we look at the practices, policies, and official correspondence to reveal the intentional actions and acts of indifference that contributed to poor health and lethal outcomes. There will be examples of people who pushed back - the whistleblowers - the parents, the Indigenous communities, the bureaucrats, and members of the clergy. The experts interviewed highlight how archival documents only reveal part of the history and that numerous questions remain.Content Warning: This series talks about Indian Residential Schools, medical racism, segregated health care, and missing patients.If you are a Residential School Survivor or Intergenerational Survivor, you can access support through the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419. Mental health and crisis support is also available through Hope 4 Wellness at 1-855-242-3310.Credits:Written/Produced by Maia-Foster SanchezCo-Producer: Ryan BarnettAdditional Voices: Gabriel MaracleOur series advisors are Teresa Edwards, Kaila Johnston, and Erin Millions.Artwork by Caleb Ellison-DysartA Knockabout Media Production | Funded by the Government of Canada
10/6/2022

"A Condition Disgraceful to the Country"

Season 1, Ep. 2
He became the Chief Medical Health Officer of Ontario. He wrote the very first Health Code in Ontario. He was president of the American Public Health Association. He was a North American expert on public health. Dr. Peter Henderson Bryce wanted to become Canada's first public health officer. When an opening came up at Indian Affairs, he decided it would be a good stepping stone. In this series, we look at the practices, policies, and official correspondence to reveal the intentional actions and acts of indifference that contributed to poor health and lethal outcomes. There will be examples of people who pushed back - the whistleblowers - the parents, the Indigenous communities, the bureaucrats, and members of the clergy. The experts interviewed highlight how archival documents only reveal part of the history and that numerous questions remain.Content Warning: This series talks about Indian Residential Schools, medical racism, segregated health care, and missing patients.If you are a Residential School Survivor or Intergenerational Survivor, you can access support through the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419. Mental health and crisis support is also available through Hope 4 Wellness at 1-855-242-3310.Credits:Written/Produced by Maia-Foster SanchezCo-Producer: Ryan BarnettAdditional Voices: Gabriel MaracleOur series advisors are Teresa Edwards, Kaila Johnston, and Erin Millions.Artwork by Caleb Ellison-DysartA Knockabout Media Production | Funded by the Government of Canada