QUÉBEC CITY, Sept. 28, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - Exactly one year ago, Joyce Echaquan died under distressing circumstances in the Centre hospitalier de Joliette. Québec as a whole was shaken by this tragedy, which produced a shock wave and revealed the extent of the discrimination that certain members of Québec's Indigenous communities experience. To mark this sad event, Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs Ian Lafrenière invites Quebecers to reflect collectively on the fight against racism and on relations with the First Nations and the Inuit.
As deliberations and the implementation of concrete measures progress, the Québec government, in collaboration with the Indigenous partners concerned, is continuing to respond to the questions raised by Joyce's Principle, which aims to guarantee to all Indigenous people the right of equitable access, without any discrimination, to all social and health services.
The community of Manawan recently proposed renaming the Réserve de biodiversité projetée du Lac-Némiscachingue in Ms. Echaquan's honour. The Québec government will shortly take the necessary steps to change the reserve's name and has informed Ms. Echaquan's family and the community of Manawan of its intention.
"On this sad day, Québec as a whole has a duty to remember Joyce Echaquan, who was torn from her loved ones prematurely and under unacceptable circumstances. My thoughts are with her family the members of her community. I would also like to take advantage of this opportunity to invite Quebecers to learn more about the realities of Québec's Indigenous peoples. Let us reflect together on ways to deconstruct prejudice. It is my hope that we can then live together better and thus avoid other similar tragedies in the future."
Ian Lafrenière, Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs
"One year ago, Quebecers were astonished to learn of the scope of the problem of discrimination toward the Indigenous peoples in certain Québec institutions. Regardless of our language, culture, religion, or personal convictions, we all have a moral duty to act when we witness wrongdoing toward a vulnerable person. Together, let us ensure that the series of events that led to Joyce Echaquan's death cannot recur and that such injustices never again tarnish Québec's reputation."
Benoit Charette, Minister Responsible for the Fight Against Racism
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