Health board that governs Joliette Hospital acts to improve relations with Indigenous patients
MONTREAL -- The health authority that runs the Joliette Hospital where Atikamekw mother Joyce Echaquan died after being racially taunted says it's taking action and promising to make sure Indigenous people are treated with respect.
Echaquan filmed staff denigrating her, and the video footage sparked an outrage and pledges for change.
The Lanaudiere CISSS first pledged to hire community liaisons and implement sensitivity training.
Now, its new measures that have been ratified by the board include ongoing collaboration with Indigenous communities as well as preventing and condemning any instances of racism.
"It's good news because Indigenous people, First Nations communities, can work together with hospitals," said Manawan deputy chief Sipi Flamand.
The community is still pushing for Quebec to adopt Joyce's Principle, a set of measures to ensure Indigenous people have equitable access to health care and dignified treatment.
At its foundation, the principle acknowleges systemic racism in Quebec, something Premier Francois Legault has said does not exist, but something Indigenous leaders say is a reality that must be recognized as a foundation for better relations.
This week, they sent human rights complaints to the United Nations to add pressure to their demand.
"If the government recognizes it (they) could change (their) relationship with indigenous people," said Flamand.