Some actual numbers

The Lower Kootenay Band said on Wednesday that ground-penetrating radar had revealed 182 human remains at St Eugene’s Mission residential school,


Assume that all are of children.

The school opened in 1890 and became an industrial school in 1912. According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, it was the site of recurring outbreaks of influenza, mumps, measles, chicken pox and tuberculosis.

Hmm. Some 5,000 went through that school. That’s a death rate of near 4%.

By today’s standards that’s appallingly, horrendously, high. By general population standards of 300 years ago that’s probably pretty good. The probably because we’ve not really got – or I don’t at least – any real guidance on child mortality. We know roughly what young child mortality was. One in four didn’t see their fifth birthday sorta numbers. 25% that is. But that’s for, obviously enough, under fives. What normal mortality was for those between say, 5 and 15, I don’t know.

Sometime between 300 years ago and today whatever that old mortality rate was declined to today’s. And it declined bit by bit in different places. Child mortality in London was always much higher than in the country for example, it only became self-sustaining in population quite late in history.

What was child mortality – child, 5 to 15 – in Canada generally between 1890 and 1970? What was it among the bands? Then what was it in these schools?

No, I dunno. But those are the numbers we should be trying to see.

17 thoughts on “Some actual numbers”

  1. It’s just a grift. A bunch of people taken care of by people who are dead.

    Some bloke cosplaying as a native American will get a nice job out of it.

  2. If life in the big city / industrial towns was worse than in the country why did this shift in population coincide with the increase in population.
    The chances of surviving to adulthood must have increased?
    We can assume no major change in the birth rate.
    It was long before any major change in agricultural yields.
    So is it purely the increase in trade enabled by industrialisation that ensured sufficient food for fewer kiddies to die of starvation / malnutrition?

  3. What is their angle? Are they suggesting the school staged its own massacre of Indians?

    Maybe they weren’t kind to Indian corpses after death but unless they killed them so what? Countless dead Indians will have been namelessly interred across America in the 1000s of years they have been there.

    Just more socialist race grifting.

  4. Nessiemmersion

    Population in Britain was skewed by the Black Death and subsequent pestilences ( more Plague and smallpox epidemics). It took until the mid 18th Century until the British population had reached the levels of the 14th. This means the baseline is actually at a late date.

  5. I haven’t been following this. What is the beef?
    A cover up of excess mortality?
    Deaths unrecorded?
    Buried in unconsecrated ground or without ceremony?
    Mass murder? (surely not over a long period)
    Abuse of the children while they were alive? Hard to prove before autopsy.
    Bodies not returned to the families?
    Hiding deaths to get more funding (the dead souls trick)?
    Or what?

  6. From Statista: child (< 5 years) mortality rate in the UK in 1900 was 228 per 1000. I can’t find data for older children, but do remember from elsewhere that in Victorian times the death rate between 5-21 was similar to the 0-5 rate. Assuming that, a death rate of 4% for 5-15 was pretty good for the time.

  7. ” it was the site of recurring outbreaks of influenza, mumps, measles, chicken pox and tuberculosis.”

    And so was everywhere else, although a school provides optimum conditions for infectious disease.

  8. You’re making me wonder when there’ll be a similar fuss in Oz.

    They’d have a bit of a problem in Tasmania. If they claimed that all the Tasmanians died while on welfare in the 19th century, everyone in Tassie claiming they’re of aboriginal descent wouldn’t be entitled to their share of the loot.

  9. One of my things is transcribing census returns for my home town on the Yorkshire coast, and outputting them into a regular database so different years can be compared directly. One of the first bits of code I wrote to compare the now-comparable data was to tally the ages.

    In 1901 almost a full QUARTER of the population were under 10, almost HALF THE POPULATION were children. The age profile drops in near enough a straight line to zero at 90.

    0- 9=3351 24% *************************************************
    10-19=2961 21% *******************************************
    20-29=1966 14% *****************************
    30-39=1624 11% ***********************
    40-49=1325 9% *******************
    50-59=994 7% **************
    60-69=767 5% ***********
    70-79=447 3% ******
    80-89=103 0% *
    90-99=6 0%

    Close enough 2% of the population died each ten years. From individual ages I can see that in 1901 there were 277 under-1s, and 257 1-year-olds, so over the previous year by first approximation 8% of under-1s had died.

    Compare that for the 2021 figures. Every population decile has close to exactly the same number of people up until age 70, about 12% per decile, where it then drops straight to zero at 100. Modern people Just Are Not Used to under-70s dying and don’t have the cognative faculties to accept evidence of it happening in the past. When this is the environment you live in, how can you comprehend anything else:

    UK 2021 Estimate

    0- 9 12% ************************
    10-19 11% **********************
    20-29 13% **************************
    30-39 13% **************************
    40-49 13% **************************
    50-59 14% ****************************
    60-69 11% **********************
    70-79 8% ****************
    80-89 4% ********
    90-99 1% **

  10. Wife commented that in Canada people are used to old graveyards with lots of, by current standards, young people’s graves.
    As it mentions there was a Truth and reconciliation commission that looked into the schools and the reports of abuse and suppression of culture etc and would have covered deaths.
    There’s no doubt that the residential school system is a stain on history (sadly though not unique) this seems to be new evidence used to rake over old coals and no doubt some participants have a political agenda. Certainly there has been rumblings about the slowness of the implementation of the Reconciliation recommendations from the commission.
    The ‘generational trauma’ on First Nations is recognised in sentencing where judges will give a lower sentence if the persons relatives went to a residential school etc

  11. The other issue is that the parents weren’t usually informed of the deaths and the bodies weren’t returned, though that seems lost in the media coverage

  12. It seems pretty clear that the whole thing is an unwanted side effects thing coupled with generations of government incompetence.

    Back in the 1800s, the biens pensants all reckoned that the Right Thing to Do was to educate the children of savages so they were able to function and thrive in a modern nation. Around 1870 they gathered up a bunch of prior rules and regulations and amalgamated them, essentially making sure that the Indians had no federal rights and that their kids would be taken from them and educated properly in a manner befitting a civilised European. It really does seem that the instigators really did want the best for the kids. Subsequent legislation and actions eventually lead to the establishment of the Indian Schools.

    Back in the 1920’s, the idea that sickness was brought about by bacterial infection, rather than from exposure to some generic ‘miasma’ was at best 20 years old in Europe. Lister had discovered antiseptics. Other people had discovered that pure water and separating the shit from the water well was a good idea. But there doesn’t seem to have been an overarching widely understood and acted on understanding that bacteria infect you and separating sick and healthy was therefore a very very good idea.

    So the Indian schools bundled everybody into one big schoolroom (probably just as across the West, in the USA). So they died in horribly high numbers. Well, yes. That’s not genocide. That’s shitty sanitary conditions.

    Oh, and back in GB, in the 1800s, it was usual to fling the poor into unmarked graves. They were called paupers graves back then. One might reasonably assume that resource-limited Indian Schools with their apparently high disease-driven death rates would have done the obvious thing. But oooo this year ‘unmarked graves’ seems to be a criminal thing…

    And the Indian schools sought to teach the kids using the best European methods. These days, of course, that’s just absolutely incomprehensibly cruel – cultural genocide, as it were, for the woke. But again at the time it was just doing the best possible for the kids.

    Well, except they used teachers. They don’t seem to have been any more competent than the dregs of black America’s schools are these days. Quelle surprise.

    The only real surprise is that even the Canadian government didn’t realise what a fuckup the scheme was. After all, if it had worked, there’d be fewer and fewer savage barbarous Indians left having savage barbarous kids, and the whole thing would have petered out. But no – those fuckwits were still going at it in the 1960’s and 1970’s…

    So we can learn a few things. Alas, nothing new.
    – do-gooders should be listened to with extreme scepticism. Had they not been out in force, just perhaps the Canadian state may have decided that ripping kids from their families wasn’t actually a Good Plan, let alone an effective one.
    – governments always do the wrong thing, badly, for as long as possible. So they should be granted as little power as possible

    And there’s probably a lesson for this era’s biens pensants and bleeding hearts. But they’re too woke to give it a listen.


  13. French pendantry alert: it’s bien pensants, bien being an adverb doesn’t agree with the gerund (Larousse hyphenates it). Ask them next time you’re in Normandy 🙂

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