On Monday, September 28, an Atikamekw woman from Manawan, Joyce Echaquan, passed away at the Centre hospitalier régional de Lanaudière. During her final moments, she had started a Facebook live in which you can hear her crying for help from the hospital staff members.
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Quotes such as "who do you think is paying for this?" and "you're stupid as hell" can be heard coming from nurses in the background of the video.
Echaquan, who, according to her husband Carol Dubé, had gone to the hospital due to stomach pains, then lost her life on that bed.
Since then, many have taken to social media to discuss the injustice this Indigenous woman had to suffer through. A GoFundMe has been started to help raise funds for Joyce's loved ones.
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What happened to Joyce Echaquan in the hospital?
During Joyce's Facebook live video, you can hear her screaming "come get me."
Pamela Dubé Ketish, Joyce's cousin, told Radio-Canada that she was in the hospital at the same time as her and can confirm she heard these cries.
In the video, you can then hear two women start saying terrible slurs about the Atikamekw woman, stating that she was only good for sex.
Her family says that Joyce suffered from heart problems and ended up passing away on Monday, September 28 because of a negative reaction to the morphine she was given.
Echaquan was a 37-year-old mother of seven. The GoFundMe page aims to support her children.
The Government of Quebec has responded
2/2 Nous voulons savoir ce qui s’est produit. Une enquête est actuellement en cours, afin de faire la lumière sur ce drame. Quel que soit les résultats de cette enquête, les propos entendus sont inacceptables et intolérables.— Sylvie D'Amours (@SylvieDAmours) September 29, 2020
Sylvie D'Amours, the Quebec Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs, spoke about the injustices Joyce faced on Twitter.
"My sincere condolences and my heart goes out to Ms. Echaquan's children, family and community," she said.
"An investigation is currently underway to shed light on this tragedy. Regardless of the results of this investigation, the statements heard are unacceptable and intolerable."
During a press conference on Tuesday, Premier François Legault told the public that one of the nurses involved had been fired.
#JusticeForJoyce has been trending on social media
How utterly heartbreaking/disgusting to see this happened. Sadly, this is not surprising but disturbing to know th… https://t.co/uXi9kkEy0k— Sheila North - Cree (@Sheila North - Cree) 1601405306.0
Since the incident was brought to the public's attention, #JusticeForJoyce has been trending on various social media platforms.
Many people are speaking out to denounce the treatment that Echaquan received at the hospital in Joliette.
Chief Ghislain Picard from The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador stated "Racism and discrimination towards First Nations are very much present in Quebec and the passing of an Atikamekw woman yesterday at the Joliette hospital illustrates this sad reality that a large majority of Quebecers recognize."
Various protests are taking place to demand justice for Joyce, including one outside the National Assembly on September 29.
Montrealers will be holding their own protest on October 1 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Place Émilie-Gamelin.