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Two experts in tuberculosis say the mass death from TB at residential schools was no accident, but the result of deliberate neglect that was part of Canada’s broader genocidal project. Lena Faust, a PhD student at the McGill International TB Centre in Montreal, and Courtney Heffernan, manager of the Tuberculosis Program Evaluation and Research Unit at the University of Alberta, acknowledged in a July 12 Globe and Mail op-ed that it’s unknown how many of the children whose remains were uncovered from unmarked graves in the past two months died as a result of TB. But as early as 1907, chief medical officer of the Department of Indian Affairs Peter Henderson Bryce identified schools an ideal vector for TB transmission, going as far as to say it was “almost as if the prime conditions for the outbreak of epidemics had been deliberately created.” Faust and Heffernan, who are advocates for ending TB in Canada and abroad, emphasize that although there was a TB epidemic at the time, it was greatly exacerbated by conditions in residential schools.

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