MONTREAL -- On September 28, an Atikamekw woman, a young mother of 7 children, died tragically at the CISSS de Lanaudière in Joliette.

In an environment where everyone should receive care, attention and compassion, Joyce Echaquan was a victim of racism, humiliation, violence and contempt from the very professionals who were responsible for her well-being and healing.

This event is, unfortunately, not an isolated incident. It is yet another manifestation of the systemic racism experienced by Indigenous peoples in Quebec.

As researchers, members of organizations and as Indigenous youth, we are connected by a deep sense of outrage and anger towards the systems and institutions that accept these discriminatory and violent acts through their silence or inaction.

Through the work we do, we wish to add our voices to those that have already risen up.

Why is it that Quebec's public institutions and services have provided no concerted and relevant action plans to counter systemic racism? And yet, this systemic racism has been exposed and denounced.

For too long, scientific research in Indigenous communities has been highlighting solid evidence of racism across the province.

As a collective, we have conducted multiple research studies in collaboration with Indigenous organizations that demonstrate that the health, education and justice systems, as they are currently designed, do not meet the needs of Indigenous peoples.

For the Youth Research Network Chair (which brings together researchers, youth and partners of Indigenous youth strategies), research must be respectful, inclusive, reciprocal, beneficial, open and transparent.

We call on the government to move in this direction and to adopt practices that value the dignity, skills and identity of Indigenous peoples.

Given that more than a quarter of Indigenous people in Québec are between the ages of 15 and 34, young people are at the centre of our concerns.

Society as a whole must therefore work to break this cycle of misunderstanding and racism in order to allow future generations to live in a fulfilling social environment free of violence such as that experienced by Ms. Echaquan and her family.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2015), the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (2019), and the Viens Commission on Relations between Indigenous Peoples and Certain Public Services in Quebec (2019) all point to systemic problems affecting the daily lives of Indigenous peoples.

They make recommendations to undertake a reconciliation process between Nations. And yet, the government remains inactive.

It is time to take action and engage today's society in a decolonizing process in order to provide culturally safe public services.

These concrete and relevant actions must be rooted in the expertise of First Peoples and reflect a collaborative partnership that has been well underway for decades by Indigenous peoples and their allies.

Together, we offer our most sincere condolences and support to the family of Joyce Echaquan and her community.

Members of the Chaire-réseau de recherche sur la jeunesse du Québec (Indigenous Stream) See documentation at

  • Natasha Blanchet-Cohen, co-titulaire de la CRJ, Université Concordia
  • Véronique Picard, Huronne-Wendat, coordonnatrice de la CRJ et candidate au doctorat, Université Concordia
  • Flavie Robert-Careau, professionnelle de recherche de la CRJ
  • Alicia Ibarra-Lemay, Kanien’kehá:ka, assistante de recherche de la CRJ
  • Sabryna Godbout, Huronne-Wendat, membre du comité aviseur jeunesse de la CRJ
  • Fabienne Théoret-Jerome, Anishnabekwe, membre du comité aviseur jeunesse de la CRJ
  • Tatiana Jourdain-Rock, Innue, membre du comité aviseur jeunesse de la CRJ
  • Johnny Boivin, artiste Atikamekw & Innu, membre du conseil jeunesse de Montréal Autochtone et membre du comité aviseur jeunesse de la CRJ
  • Marie-Hélène Canapé, Innue, membre du comité aviseur jeunesse de la CRJ
  • Kijâtai-Alexandra Veillette-Cheezo, Anishnabekwe, membre du comité aviseur jeunesse de la CRJ
  • Annick Tremblay, agente de liaison politique et coordonnatrice des femmes élues de l’APNQL
  • Kahsennoktha Naomi George, Kanien’kehá:ka, coordonnatrice jeunesse chez Femmes Autochtones du Québec (FAQ)
  • Marjolaine Tshernish, Directrice générale, Institut Tshakapesh
  • Amélie Lainé, Directrice des partenariats et des programmes, Regroupement des centres d’amitié autochtones du Québec
  • Audrey Pinsonneault, Coordonnatrice en recherche et amélioration continue, Regroupement des centres d’amitié autochtones du Québec
  • Geneviève Sioui, Huronne-Wendat, coordonnatrice de l’engagement communautaire autochtone, Université Concordia
  • Odile Joannette, Innue, directrice générale du Wapikoni mobile
  • Widia Larivière, Anishnabekwe, cofondatrice et directrice générale de Mikana
  • Catherine Richardson, Director of First Peoples Studies, Concordia University
  • Emanuelle Dufour, doctorante et conseillère pédagogique Équité, diversité et inclusion, Collège Ahuntsic
  • Julie Christine Cotton, professeure, Département des sciences de la santé communautaire, Université de Sherbrooke
  • Audrey Rousseau, professeure de sociologie, Département des sciences sociales, Université du Québec en Outaouais
  • Stéphane Guimont Marceau, professeure, Institut national de la recherche scientifique INRS Urbanisation Culture Société
  • Lydia Risi, directrice principale des opérations et de la philanthropie - communautés inuites et des Premières Nations, Fusion Jeunesse
  • Martin Goyette, co-titulaire de la CRJ, ENAP
  • Carole Lévesque, Institut national de la recherche scientifique
  • Maria Eugenia Longo, co-titulaire de la CRJ, INRS
  • Laurent Jérôme, Professeur, UQAM, Directeur de la revue Recherches amérindiennes au Québec
  • Léa Lefevre-Radelli, Ph.D., UQAM/Université de Nantes
  • Marie-Eve Drouin-Gagné, chercheure postdoctorale, INRS-UCS, professionnelle de recherche de la CRJ
  • Sylvain Bourdon, co-titulaire de la CRJ, Université Sherbrooke
  • Magalie Quintal-Marineau, Professeure adjointe, INRS-UCS
  • Emilie Fortin-Lefebvre, Professeure, Directrice du Centre d'études pour l’autonomie économique des Premiers Peuples et des Inuit, UQAM
  • Michelle Smith, First Peoples Initiative and Cinema-Communications Faculty, Dawson College & Doctoral Candidate, McGill University
  • Hugo Asselin, École d’études autochtones, UQAT
  • Elizabeth Fast, Associate Professor, Applied Human Sciences, Concordia University
  • Karine Awashish, co-chercheure à la CRJ, doctorante en sociologie de l’Université Laval et cofondatrice de Coop Nitaskinan
  • Caroline Desbiens, Professeure, Département de géographie, Université Laval
  • Jrène Rahm, Professeure, Département de psychopédagogie et d’andragogie, Université de Montréal
  • Mark Watson, Associate Professor, Sociology and Anthropology, Concordia University
  • Jean-Marc Chouinard, Président, Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon