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Canadian Friends Learn They Were Switched at Birth 41 Years Ago in Latest First-Nation Hospital Mix-Up

”Forty years gone … just distraught, confused angry,“ says man raised by the wrong mother

Two Canadian men have learned they were switched at birth more than 40 years ago at a hospital in Manitoba.

According to CBC News, Leon Swanson and David Tait are both 41 years old and were raised by each other’s biological mother after being born three days apart in 1975 at the Norway House Indian Hospital about 280 miles north of Winnipeg. DNA tests confirmed the switch.

“We don’t have words,” he said. “Forty years gone … just distraught, confused angry.”

However, this is the second case of infants being switched at birth at the Norway House Indian Hospital in 1975.

In November, Luke Monias and Norman Barkman from Garden Hill First Nation found out that they were not the biological children of the parents raising them. It was actually this case that prompted Swanson and Tait, both friends, to get DNA tests, as well their long-standing suspicions that they may have been switched at birth.

Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott released a statement Friday, in which she said a federal investigation will be taking place. According to the publication, Norway House was the “birthing center” of northern Manitoba because it was the only northern community that had a hospital in the 1970s.

“Given these latest developments, the department will be moving quickly to engage the services of an independent third party to do a dedicated and thorough investigation of all available hospital records from the period to determine what happened and whether there is any other cause for concern beyond the two cases identified,” the statement read.

“The results of this review will be made public. Cases like this are an unfortunate reminder to Canadians of how urgent the need is to provide all Indigenous people with high-quality health care. The government of Canada remains deeply committed to renewing a nation-to-nation relationship with all Indigenous peoples. I offer my sympathy to the families in this difficult time.”

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