At a press conference on Monday, Premier François Legault announced that the government will launch an "awareness campaign" to fight racism against Indigenous people in Quebec.

The program was planned in collaboration with the Atikamekw chiefs, who he met Monday afternoon.

He also promised additional training not just in the health network, but across the provincial government, once again calling the treatment of Joyce Echaquan "unacceptable."

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I have to remind all Quebecers the First Nations preceded us [...] in Quebec.

Premier François Legault

 

Echaquan died in a hospital in Joliette, Quebec as nurses berated her with insults. She captured their words in a Facebook Live video just before her death.

The premier also highlighted the historic connections between Quebecers and First Nations at the Monday press conference.

He claimed to have an example in his own ancestry: an Algonquin "great, great, great grandmother."

The premier said that many Quebecers have a mixed heritage.

"I think Quebecers are capable of making an effort and help sensitize all those who are still racist," said Legault, adding that he recognizes the need to "constantly repeat that we are all human beings and we are all equal."

In an Instagram post following his meeting with the Atikamekw chiefs, Legault wrote that he "[needs] the support of all Quebecers to fight racism."

"It is high time to act."

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