Construction around the Royal Victoria Hospital in January 2024.
Construction around the Royal Victoria Hospital in January 2024. Credit: Andy Riga

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been picking through court documents and speaking to the Mohawk Mothers and McGill University about claims that the bodies of Indigenous children may be buried around the former Royal Victoria Hospital / Allan Memorial Institute.

The Mohawk Mothers, a group of women from Kahnawake, base their claims on recollections of a survivor of experimental brainwashing experiments at the Allan. They also cite archival evidence indicating Indigenous children were used as test subjects by the Allan, the Royal Vic and McGill.

McGill is expanding its campus onto a corner of the 35-acre site, owned by the Quebec government.

A court-approved plan was supposed to settle the issue but the two sides – the Mohawk Mothers vs. McGill and Quebec – are at an impasse again.

They’ll be in court again in June.

You can read my Montreal Gazette story about the controversy.

These images below are from a document produced by the panel of archeologists hired to come up with a plan for how to search for possible clandestine graves.

The colourful one shows how the site was divided into zones, with instructions on what should be done in each area. HHRDD = Historic Human Remains Detection Dogs; GPR = Ground Penetrating Radar.

The second map shows the buildings currently on the site.

The third image is a photo of what the area looked like during the era when bodies could have been buried there.

Colour-coded map shows archeological plan for the Royal Victoria Hospital / Allan Memorial site in Montreal

Overhead view of the Royal Victoria Hospital / Allan Memorial site in Montreal

Overhead view of the Royal Victoria Hospital / Allan Memorial site in Montreal in 1959

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *