A First Nation is voicing anger and frustration after the province rejected a proposal for better health care access for Indigenous people because it would mean acknowledging the existence of systemic racism in Quebec.
The Atikamekw Nation presented the proposal called "Joyce’s Principle" to the province on November 16. On November 24, a motion was presented by Liberal MP Gregory Kelley to recognize and apply the principle, a motion which was rejected, seemingly because it explicitly calls for a clear acknowledgment of systemic racism by the state.*
It’s named after Joyce Echaquan, a 37-year-old Indigenous mother of seven who recorded a disturbing video of hospital staff hurling insults and racial slurs at her as she lay dying in a Joliette hospital bed in September.
The government's responses remind us that the political will is not there.
Manawan Chief Paul-Émile Ottawa
"On September 28, 2020, my wife, the mother of my children, was torn from us in inhumane circumstances that we have all witnessed," said Carol Dubé, Joyce’s spouse, in a statement.
The viral video led to the firing of two hospital employees, a coroner's inquiry, and an apology from Premier François Legault.
But the Atikamekw Nation said the incident revealed a deeper problem: the province’s refusal to acknowledge the existence of systemic racism in Quebec, according to a November 26 news release from the Atikamekw Council of Manawan (CDAM) and the Atikamekw Nation Council (CNA).
“Despite the efforts made by our community to bring simple and concrete solutions that will help build trust with the health care system, the government's responses remind us that the political will is not there," said Manawan Chief Paul-Émile Ottawa, in a statement.
In a press conference on November 24, Quebec's minister responsible for Indigenous affairs, Ian Lafrenière, said that while he appreciates the work behind Joyce's Principle, "there's one point on which we don't agree: when we talk about systemic racism, we don't have the same vision."
Joyce’s Principle calls for a number of changes, including the establishment of an ombudsperson's office for Indigenous health, awareness campaigns to educate the public on Indigenous issues and changes to the way the government finances health and social services in Indigenous communities.
Mary Simon's approval rating is lower in Quebec compared to the rest of Canada, a poll released Wednesday showed, because the new governor general can't speak French.
An Angus Reid Institute poll of 2,049 Canadians found only 49% of Quebecers approve of her appointment compared to 74% of respondents in the rest of the country.
"Despite being from Nunavik (the Inuit homeland in Northern Quebec), and having been awarded the [province's] highest distinction, many Quebecers remain unconvinced Mary Simon is the best choice for governor general due to her lack of fluency in French," stated the Angus Reid Institute.
"Support is cleaved along linguistic divides in the only majority Francophone province in Canada," it continued, as only 40% of Quebecers whose first language is French approve of her appointment compared to 81% of English speakers.
Though Simon, the country's first Indigenous governor general, is not currently fluent in French, she has promised to learn, Angus Reid stated.
According to police, an investigation revealed that the pair were manufacturing and selling false certificates attesting to 750 hours of training, at a cost of $800 per certificate. Both suspects are now facing charges of fraud and the fabrication of false documents.
The SPVM said that help from the public led to the launch of a police investigation into the fraud case.
Anyone with information about criminal activity of the same nature can contact Info-Crime Montréal anonymously at 514-393-1133 or via the report form available on infocrimemontreal.ca.
From showcasing their culture to their art, fashion, music or lived experiences, these Indigenous creators in Canada are taking over TikTok for good reason. Are you following them yet? Because, if not, you should be.
First Pow Wow in forever! Felt so good to dance in Kanehsatake (Mohawk territory) ❤️🔥✨🙏🏾 #indigenoustiktok #powwowtrail #fancyshawl
Aïcha is an AfroIndigenous Wendat dancer and creator based in Quebec who expresses her distinct style through dance, showcasing traditional Indigenous dress for powwows, as well as her passion for beadwork.
Aïcha also uses her TikTok platform to teach her 225,000 followers about Indigenous slang, derived from English words.
I was honoured to model for @scottwabano and their debut collection! #nativetiktoks #fashion #indigenousfashion #foryou #curvemodel @bnmmodels
Lesley Hampton is an Anishinaabe and Third-Culture model based in Toronto who aims to make an impact on Indigenous communities through fashion.
Hampton's brand won the 2021 Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards' Fashion Impact award — and on TikTok, she said her fellow creators are collectively "shifting the industry, breaking down barriers, decolonizing fashion and rebuilding it to include ALL bodies."
Old style jingle special 😋 #indigenous #culture #jingledress
Michelle Chubb is a Winnipeg-based Nehinaw (Swampy Cree tribe and Buffalo Clan) TikTok influencer and jingle dress dancer. Chubb was showcased in Sephora's first-ever National Indigenous History Month campaign in June.
Chubb uses TikTok to stand up for Indigenous rights and showcase traditional dress, like her ribbon skirt and beaded earring collections.
Reply to @commonsenseplease2 thanks for giving me stuff to talk about with your bs #colonizerculture #colonizerscalledout #indigenoustiktok
Ashyaelizabeth is a Vancouver-based jewelry creator and TikTok influencer who's part of the Mistawasis Nêhiyawak Cree First Nation based in Saskatchewan.
She's the owner of Innerwolfjewelry and Innerwolftoothgems, showcasing her talents through Instagram as a jeweller while raising awareness for the lack of services available to remote First Nation communities via TikTok.
Kairyn Potts is a Two-Spirit comedian and Twitch streamer based in Toronto from the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation in Alberta.
Potts not only represents a community of Indigi-gamers on Twitch, but does so while creating Indigenous comedy on TikTok, raising awareness about Indigenous languages and shedding light on 2STok, a community of Two-Spirit creators on the app.
Kootoo Clarke's brand sells body butters, salves, balms, soaps and oils derived from Bowhead whale oil, Bearded Seal oil, Kamiik grease and Narwhal Milk. She also showcases Inuk culture on TikTok from Nunavut.
"Today, it is important to recognize the systemic racism against First Nations and Inuit within the health and social services network in order to put in place structuring actions to promote a more egalitarian and fairer relationship between these communities and nurses," said a statement by Luc Mathieu, president of the OIIQ.
The organization said that, after Echaquan's death, it made a "firm commitment" to prevent similar acts of racism by health care providers, as well as to rebuild trust with Indigenous communities to ensure they get the safe medical care they are entitled to.
In order to strengthen nurses' knowledge on Indigenous relations in health care, the OIIQ said it tasked its education committee with evaluating nurses' initial training in intercultural relations and cultural safety for First Nations and Inuit patients.
The organization also said it is taking necessary steps to implement continuing education activities for nurses on the same topics.