A family member of an Atikamekw man says he caught Quebec nurses uttering racist statements before he passed away.

Georges-Herve Awashish's cousin, Maylène Weizineau, told MTL Blog that Awashish expressed fears after allegedly hearing those comments at the Hôpital de Chicoutimi.

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We all deserve to be treated well and respected.

Maylène Weizineau

In a statement, Stéphanie Gobeil, spokesperson for the CIUSSS of Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, confirmed that an investigation is ongoing. 

"Should such a situation turn out to be true," she said, "it is clear to our institution that this is a shocking and unacceptable event."

"We encourage and support the denunciation of behaviours that could undermine the identity and dignity of users and all persons working within our organization." 

Weizineau made clear that he has questions about the circumstances surrounding his cousin's death.

"He wanted to be heard," Weizineau said.

Now, he's calling on the government to pay closer attention to the experiences of marginalized communities in the province's institutions.

"I want him too to be heard from everywhere so that the government knows what's going on in the organizations [...] that systemic racism really exists."

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