Peter Henderson Bryce was a doctor who was sent by the government in 1907 to inspect the infamous residential schools for Indigenous children.
He was shocked, and wrote a report saying that the overcrowded buildings were causing deadly diseases to spread rapidly among the underfed, worn-out children. The doctor also wrote a list of everything that needed to be done to save lives. But the government didn’t want to listen. Instead they gave the schools even less money.
The doctor was forbidden from talking about what he’d seen and was later forced out of his job. He then wrote a book: ‘A national crime’, in which he blamed the government and the churches for the fact that children were dying. Yet still the government continued to send children to these dangerous schools for several decades.
Today, Peter Henderson Bryce is regarded as a hero. He stood up for children’s rights when hardly anyone else either wanted or dared to.