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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 5, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta The Lethbrukje Herald THIRD SECTION Lethbridge, Alberta, Thursday, July 5, 1973 PAGES 23 TO 28 NORTHERN HEALTH The living have priority By JOHN DODD (CP) The dead Indian baby arrives borne in a cardboard grocery box with its intestines in a plastic bag. The mother opens the goes into shock. Health officials, responding to opposition claims in the legislature, now admit this in Alberta. But reac- tions to it vary. "It's says Harold Cardinal, president of the Indian Association of Al- berta. "It's a disgraceful situa- says Art Dixon, Social member of the legisla- ture for Calgary Millican. "One explanation of such lack of. compassion is that the people responsible must as- sume that Indians, Eskimos and Metis are devoid of feel- ings, that life and death are of no importance to says an editorial in Edmonton Journal. 7be Alberta Hospital Serv- ices Commission lias been asked to inquire whether "ex- isting standards of conduct in the province of Alberta con- form with a contemporary sense of propriety and respect for the Health Minister Neil Crawford told the legislature. "We're not in the business of transmitting says Dr. Peter Davy, chief patholo- gist at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton. INSURANCE LIABILITY BONDS AUTO FIRE ROSSITER AGENCIES ITD. ESTABLISHED 1911 Unrar floor 517 4th Ave. S. MMIM 327-1541 "At the moment, anybody can be authorized to come in here, pick up a body and bury it in appropriate land." The government's first priority must be to the living, not to the dead, says Dr. C. L. Pearson, director of medical services for the Alberta gov- ernment. Dr. Pearson elaborated on his views in an interview. "These shocks could be avoided by handing-over ever- ybody to the mortician. But are we prepared to pay for making the body look bet- ter? "Is that a legitimate public expense to supply that money on a dead body when there are kids sick up at Fox Lake and Wabasca or somewhere where we can't get a doctor to Hie doctor recalled cases that occurred while he was an intern at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. Families would ar- rive carrying their own .home-made containers for transporting home the bodies of their children. "I think the family should be responsible for supplying something to carry the body in. I don't think the govern- ment can assume responsibil- ity for everything under the sun." OTHER CASES KNOWN Dr. Pearson and the others were commenting on two con- firmed cases of bodies of In- dian children being shipped home to mothers in northern Alberta in cardboard boxes from hospitals. There were reports of similar occur- rences and some doctors said the practice was "not uncom- mon." In the latest case, the body was that of three-months-old Belinda Manybears who died during a flight from her home in Slave Lake, Atta. She was being taken for emergency treatment at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and had been suffering from shi- gella, a form ot dysentery which is common in native settlements in northern Alber- ta. Provincial Coroner Dr. M. M. Cantor said he ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of death. The parents were not informed that an. au- topsy would be performed. The cause was not revealed. The coroner said he has the authority to order autopsies hi such cases without the con- sent of the next-of-khi. Later, Lillian Manybears sent an ambulance on the -150-mile trip to Edmonton to pick up the body of her baby. BODIES DSPLAYED The driver brought the body back to Slave Lake in a card- board box. It was opened be- cause the local tradition is to display the body for three days on the dining room table before the burial. Mrs. Manybears, 29, said she tried to reach the Indian affairs department to see about a coffin before the am- bulance left for Edmonton but Continued en Page 26 Controversy over dead Nurse examines native child held by mother at nursing station in the North. Controversy over the ship- ping of a dead Indian baby home in a cardboard box has been brought up in the Alberta legislature. Health officials now admit this happens in Alberta. Even common diseases are fatal YOUR BUSINESS ASSOCIATES KNOW THE THREE SISTERS MOTEL IS THE BEST ACCOMMODATION IN THE CROWSNESTt DO YOU? 3 COLOR TV FREE LOCAL TEL CALLS D.D. PHONES ICE NEWSPAPER RRNIi'S NEWEST RESTAURANT ADJACENT RESERVE FERNIE 423-4438 EDMONTON (CP) The three-months-old Indian baby whose body was shipped home to her mother in a cardboard box was being treated for shi- gella, a form of dysentery which is rampant among na- tive people in northern Al- berta. The case of the baby's body aroused controversy when brought.up this spring injhe legislature by opposition' members. They reminded the govern- confirmed the case and ordered an it had promised after a similar incident in- volving another Indian child that such things would not happen again. However, no controversy re- sulted in the legislature from reports that the baby was only one of four Indian chil- dren from the same area sus- pected of having died from shigeHa in the last year. It was realized, with regret, MLAs said, that such diseases causing death are common 5M-4th Avenue South 32B-2653 College Mod 2Mi and Mayor Maa.roth Orfo 321.7011 among the native people of northern Alberta, that the in- fant mortality rate is about 14 times higher than the provin- cial average, that the tubercu- losis rate is about 10 times higher. CASES COMMON About one case of shigella a week is reported from every native settlement in northern Alberta, said Dr. C. L. Pear- son, director of medical serv- ices for the province. "We look at it every month and have been for the past five or six years. I would have expected more cases." Dr. Pearson said, however, he is convinced that health services provided in northern combined responsi- bility of the federal and prov- incial ade- quate. The services are available but the native people won't use them, he says. And if they do come for treatment, they often don't follow the advice of the doctor or nurse. They won't continue to take their for seri- ous conditions like tuberculos- is. Theyll spend their money on liquor instead of on a prop- er diet Dr. Pearson said the to residents of northern Alberta have, per capita, more doctors, nurses, hospital beds and health expenditures than the average for the rest of the province. "The big need is for public health education. But the peo- ple are very resistant They don't want the white man's education. They think it inter- feres with then-'culture. There's a big barrier." BLAMES ATTITUDE What is essential to lower disease rates in the North, he says, is not expenditure of vast new sums of money by the government but a change in the attitude of the Indians. They need to accept the white man's laws of sanitation and medical care. "It's possible for an Indian family to be living right next to a nursing station and for the Indian child to have diar- rhea and the Indian mother is it LtuLs and other things that could make it worse when an she has to do is go next door to the nurse. "The nurse doesn't know the baby is sick, ft isn't a lack of services." Dr. Pearson, who spends as much time as he can in the North, said there is a commu- nication barrier, although there are almost always inter- preters available since the nurses do not usuaDy speak Cree. He added that Indian vocab- ularies are "so limited, in Cree or English, that, for ex- ample, they can't describe diarrhea." Harold Cardinal, president of the Indian Association of Alberta, disagrees with Dr. Pearson's contention that H is ulO TnfiffV) tflCDEOCML Sdt health that is to blame for high disease rates in the North. If health services are that good, why has the incidence of tuberculosis increased since the provincial govern- ment took over responsibility for health, he asks. "TB is going to spread if you have 10 people in a house no matter how spic and span it's kept. "If they really wanted to help, they would provide bet- ter housing." THEMQST SCOTCH BELL'S Extra: Special is now available in Alberta. Taste it..you'll see why ifs the Scot's favourite! on an independent survey earned out in Match 1971 in Aberdeen, Dondee, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. The LetHbridge Herald think PART IV PICTURE QUIZ 5 POINTS She and her husband are expecting the birth of their second child around the end of the year. Who is she? HOW 00 YOU RATE? 100 TOP SCORE! II to 90 pdMtt Etoritom. 71 ia M peMi Coed. 61 to 70 pohttt Fair. SO or 11 ffrnrrf FAMILY DISCUSSION QUESTION What kind of federal controls are needed on foreign ownership? STUDENTS YOUR NEWS QUIZ PARTI NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL Give yourself 10 points for each correct answer. 1 Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were sched- uled to visit.. to take part In the celebra- tion of its 100th year of confederation. a-Newfoundland b-Prince Edward Island. c-Saskatchewan 2 During her visit to Canada, Prime Minister of India said her country will need to import Canadian wheat fids year. 3 Solicitor-General Warren Allmand said the government will Introduce amendments to its capital punishment bill Quit would (CHOOSE ONE: completely abolish the death penalty, make it a capital crime to kill a 4 The House of Commons gave approval in prin- ciple to the government's long-discussed cor- porate tax package. Only the Party opposed the measure. a-Progressive Conservative b-New Democratic c-Social Credit 5 U.S. President Richard Nixc4 and Leonid Brezhnev, the signed an agree- ment pledging their nations to avoid military confrontations that could lead to nuclear war. a-premier b-president c-Communist Party leader PART II WORDS IN THE NEWS Take 4 points for each word that you can match with its correct meaning. 1.....arson s-to prohibit or outlaw 2.....probe 3.....penal 4.....ban 5.....banal b-relating to punishment c-to study or Investigate d-dull, trite e-lllegal and deliberate buraicg of property PART III NAMES IN THE NEWS Take 5 points for names that yon can correctly match with the 1.... Jocelyne Bourassa a-heads Food Price Review Board 2.....Margaret Court b-Australian tennis star 3.... John Dean 4 Robert 6 Beryl c-won LPGA La Cana- diexme d-testified ai Watergate hearings e-said illegal visitors should come forward 72-73 VIC. Inc. Save This Examination! Valuable Reference Material for ANSWERS ON REVERSE PAGE ;