Hello ~ Tân’si ~ Edlánet’é ~ Dahneh Dha’ ~ Nezu dágóts’e ~ Masì ~ Ah ~
Oki ~ Aaniin ~ Aba Washded ~ Tawnshi ~ Wa-é ák-wé ~ Bonjour
Welcome to the online home of the Ghosts of Camsell. My interest in the Charles Camsell Hospital began with research for my last book, Polar Winds: A Century of Flying the North, when I learned of the tuberculosis x-ray tours of Indigenous communities and how many were sent to the Camsell TB sanatorium – sometimes for years; sometimes never to return home. The Camsell is reputed to be one of Edmonton, Alberta’s most haunted sites and its long, complex past has certainly haunted my imagination. The site, especially when it was set up as an Indian Hospital between 1946 and 1968, is a perfect intersection – and perfect storm – of colonial health policies, aviation, the North, medical history, and residential schools. My hope is this small website, facilitated by the Edmonton City as Museum Project Partnership Demonstration initiative, will start unpacking some of this past. It is only the first step in a long journey of research and reconciliation.
I would love to share in your stories and photos through this project and others that will follow. Also, as a non-Indigenous researcher, I am always looking for partnerships and guidance from Elders and others who can help me understand this shared past – and communicate it respectfully.
Please note: I am guided by the ethical guidelines and principles for working with Survivors and Aboriginal communities espoused by the Legacy of Hope Foundation. 1) a deep concern and compassion for, and honouring of, Survivors, their families and communities; and 2) a clear understanding of the need for and importance of the oral tradition of Aboriginal peoples. If you have concerns about any of the material on this site, please contact me. If you find yourself triggered by any of the Residential School content, please call the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line for former Residential School students: 1-866-925-4419. For other types of support in the city, please go to the Aboriginal Edmonton Directory.