At age 41, Leon Swanson and David Tait Jr. has come across the fact that they’re not who they thought they were since birth.
During the winter of 1975, a mix-up occurred when the men, born three days apart, were allegedly sent home to one another’s families. According to CTV News, the situation is believed to be the second swapping incident at a hospital.
Leon Swanson and David Tait Jr. were born on January 31, 1975 and February 3, 1975, respectively, in Norway House Indian Hospital, then run by the federal government. Manitoba aboriginal affairs minister Eric Robinson told the press that the two men were switched at birth more than 40 years ago.
“I can’t describe this matter as anything less than criminal,” Robinson said. “I mean, we can live with one mistake, but two mistakes of a similar nature is not acceptable.”
Robinson is helping the grieving men and their families. He is aiding them by calling for a third-party investigation, providing psychological counseling, and preparing personal meetings between the victim’s families and federal Health Minister Jane Philpott.
It was report by CBC News the the two men were raised in a remote northern community about 285 miles north of Winnipeg. Both men know each other.
According to DNA test reports, it was confirmed that both men were reared by the biological mother of the other. Both Swanson and Tait Jr. wept during the press meet on Friday. Tait Jr. stated that the government is answerable to the affected families. He said that they have to provide an explanation why and how such a mix-up could take place.
“We don’t have words,” he said.
“Forty years gone … just distraught, confused angry.”
The two men are currently being assisted by therapist Mary Wilson, who said that the two are dealing with an “identity crisis.” An ordeal like this changes one’s entire life, Wilson said.
Last November, Luke Monias and Norman Barkman from Garden Hill First Nation came forward after DNA results confirmed that they were swapped at birth. This prompted Swanson and Tait Jr. to act on their long-standing suspicion.