TRC CTAs 11-21: Healthcare rights for Indigenous peoples - remembering Joyce Echaquan

(clickable links at the end of this blog post)

Day 5 of sharing the 94 Calls to Action (CTAs) from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

As I think about CTA #18: “We call upon the…governments to acknowledge that the current state of Aboriginal health in Canada is a direct result of previous Canadian government policies, including residential schools, and to recognize and implement the health-care rights of Aboriginal people...”, I think of Joyce Echaquan, the Atikamekw mother of 7 who died in a Quebec hospital while being verbally abused by staff.

We know she was mistreated because Joyce captured it on video as she lay dying in the hospital bed. In court, the nurse testified that she (the nurse) was “overworked and stressed,” that “she didn't have issues with treating Atikamekw patients,” and that “when she heard her comments in the video later, she couldn't believe she had uttered them.”

Photo credit: CTV news