A nurse has been fired and an investigation is underway after Joyce Echaquan live-streamed some of her final moments in a hospital north of Montreal, during which hospital staff appeared to verbally abuse and utter slurs at her. A vigil was held on Tuesday for the 37-year-old mother of seven from the Atikamekw nation of Manawan.
As she lay dying in a hospital bed, an Atikamekw woman clicked her phone and broadcast a video of a hospital staff member telling her, “You’re stupid as hell.” Another is heard saying she made bad life choices and asked her what her children would say if they saw her in that state.
Echaquan’s death comes only days before the anniversary of the Viens report, which found it is “impossible to deny” Indigenous people in Quebec are victims of “systemic discrimination” in accessing public services, including health-care services.
When asked if the way Echaquan was treated was an indication of systemic racism, Premier Legault maintained that it was not.
“I really don’t think that we have this kind of way of dealing with First Nations in our hospitals. Yes, there is some racism. We’re working on that.”