Monday, January 29, 2018

Caughnawaga’s Historical Hospital

I recently came upon this old photograph of the Kateri Hospital on the Caughnawaga reserve near Montreal (now called Kahnawake). When I was little my family lived in Chateauguay, a stone's throw away from the reserve. Our family doctor was indigenous and when I was four years old I had my tonsils removed at that hospital. I remember the ether mask and the sore throat afterwards. It was wintertime and I also remember seeing small children in nightgowns standing on the upper balconies when we arrived.  I asked my mother if they were cold and she told me they were "Eskimos" from the far north and that they were used to the cold.

The hospital was rebuilt in the 1930s and looked more like this when I was a patient:

Kateri Memorial Hospital early 1980s
A new hospital was built in 1986. A historical account of the hospital from 1905-2005 was written to celebrate its centenary.

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