MONTREAL -- The press release issued by Quebec’s Minister responsible for Indigenous Affairs, Sylvie D'Amours, in the wake of the death of Joyce Echaquan is an “insult,” according to the official opposition, who says D’Amours is no longer fit to hold the position. 

Echaquan -- a 37-year-old Indigenous woman -- died at Joliette Hospital Monday evening in troubling circumstances. She was the victim of disparaging and degrading remarks shortly before her death, as shown in a video she broadcasted from her hospital bed.

Choosing to mark the first anniversary of the Viens commission report on Wednesday, D'Amours praised the work Quebec accomplished with Indigenous people over the past year in a press release called “Commission d'enquête sur les relations entre les Autochtones et certains services publics: écoute, réconciliation et progress un an d'action.”

D’Amours said she’s proud that out of 142 calls to action, 51 have already been completed or are in the process of being completed. She said her government has already issued a public apology and adopted a motion for the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Gregory Kelley, MNA for Jacques-Cartier, wrote on Twitter "One year after the Viens report, the day after the video publication of Joyce's video, the press release has no words to denounce this filthy drama! How can the CAQ be so disconnected?!" 

“Of course, we would have liked to have acted faster for the other calls to action and we were off to a good start, with the meetings in October 2019 and January 2020, but the pandemic came to disrupt our plans,” D’Amours said in her statement. 

“What matters is that we continue to move forward in constant respect of our commitment to walk hand in hand with the First Nations and Inuit,” she continued. “Implementing the Calls to Action and Justice remains my priority, and I look forward to bringing you good news on this in the near future.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2020.