Six months after Joyce Echaquan captured employees on the hospital in Joliette, about 70 km northeast of Montreal, attacking her with racist insults hours earlier than she died, one other Atikamekw girl has come ahead with troubling allegations.
Jocelyne Ottawa, 62, stated she was handled with disdain by two nurses on the native well being clinic in Joliette, which she visited final Friday to have a bandage modified on her foot.
“One in every of them informed me, when she noticed my title within the folder: “We’ll name you Joyce, for brief,’ Ottawa recalled in an interview with Radio-Canada.
“Then they requested me if I might sing them a track in Atikamekw.”
Ottawa additionally stated that one of many nurses took her cellphone and that, when she realized it was lacking, she was informed: “I’ve it in my hand.” Ottawa informed her: “You don’t have any enterprise my cellphone.”
Incident beneath investigation
Ottawa stated she felt humiliated and intimidated and, later, posted a message on Fb about her expertise.
“I informed myself: ‘Why are they saying this to me? Is it to mock Joyce, as soon as once more?'”
The nurses have been suspended with out pay and the incident is beneath investigation by the regional well being authority, the CISSS de Lanaudière, which operates the clinic and the hospital.
The girl’s story has renewed concern about the best way Indigenous persons are handled by health-care staff in Joliette and throughout Quebec.
Echaquan died within the hospital after she used her cellphone to movie employees making derogatory feedback about her. The video, which was posted dwell to Fb, was shared world wide.
Quebec‘s Indigenous Affairs Minister Ian Lafrenière stated it is clear there’s extra work to do. However he maintained the federal government’s controversial place that systemic racism doesn’t exist within the province.
Change will take time, he stated, and coaching will should be applied throughout the province and even then, attending a course will not resolve every little thing.
“I am so sorry. I am so shocked. I am so disenchanted … Can we assure that it will not occur once more? The reply isn’t any.”
The well being authority is taking the allegations “extraordinarily significantly,” Caroline Barbir, the interim head of the CISSS de Lanaudière, stated in an interview. The earlier president was faraway from his put up final December within the wake of Echaquan’s dying.
The CISSS de Lanaudière, which operates the clinic and the hospital in Joliette, stated it has a zero-tolerance coverage for racist behaviour and that the allegations can be taken significantly. (Jean-Michel Cotnoir/Radio-Canada)
In a press release, Barbir added that she has requested a cultural liaison, who was employed after Echaquan’s dying, to achieve out to Ottawa.
The 2 nurses have been amongst greater than 4,200 CISSS workers who attended a cultural security consciousness session, an method put in place in November. Additional coaching is deliberate for health-care professionals throughout the province.
Nancy Bédard, president of the province’s largest nurses union, the FIQ, stated her group is dedicated to the battle in opposition to violence and racism, whether or not based mostly on gender, race or cultural background.
“We strongly denounce any gesture and any behaviour conveying intolerance or racism. “
The case for Joyce’s Precept
For Sipi Flamand, deputy chief for the Atikamekw Council of Manawan, the newest incident is additional proof the province should undertake what is known as “Joyce’s Precept,” which goals to ensure that Indigenous folks have equitable entry to well being and social companies with out discrimination.
“So long as Joyce’s Precept is just not adopted, there’ll nonetheless all the time be systemic racism and the Quebec authorities has the duty to acknowledge it,” Flamand stated.
Joyce Echaquan’s dying, following racist remarks, final yr on the hospital in Joliette, led to requires Indigenous folks to have equitable entry to well being and social companies with out discrimination. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada)
Ottawa stated she returned to the clinic on Monday, regardless of being unsettled by her earlier expertise.
“I’ve no alternative. I would like care,” she stated.
“I would like to inform them that we, Indigenous folks, are human beings in our personal proper. And we’ve a proper to get the identical care as another particular person irrespective of their race.”