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Atikamekw disappointed with Quebec’s refusal to recognize systemic racism and adopt Joyce’s Principle

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MONTREAL —
Atikamekw and other Indigenous leaders are disappointed at the Quebec government’s refusal to adopt measures to improve health-care for Indigenous people because of a reference to systematic racism.

The Manawan Atikamekw Council and the Atikamekw Nation Council submitted a brief entitled “Joyce’s Principle” to the office of Premier François Legault on Nov. 16.

They posted a letter on the council’s Facebook page stating their disappointment in the Francois Legault government’s decision not to accept the document.

This document followed the death of Joyce Echaquan, a mother of seven who died in September in disturbing circumstances at the Joliette Hospital. Before her death, she filmed herself from her hospital bed.

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Towards the end of the approximately seven-minute video, hospital staff can be seen and heard making racist remarks and taunting her.

The video sparked a storm of indignation in Quebec and Canada.

Following her death, relatives and her community called for measures to ensure that Indigenous people receive equitable care without being victims of discrimination.

The CAQ government, however, refused to adopt a resolution presented by the Liberals as it referred to the notion of systemic racism as present in Quebec.

— this report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 18, 2020. 

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