Government of Canada provides $2 million to the Conseil des Atikamekw de Manawan and the Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw for the development of Joyce’s Principle

Press Release

From: Indigenous Services Canada

February 10, 2021 — Manawan, Territoire Atikamekw, Quebec — Indigenous Services Canada

The death of Joyce Echaquan in September 2020 is a harrowing reminder of the racism faced by Indigenous Peoples in Canada’s healthcare systems. First Nations, Inuit and Métis deserve access to safe and quality healthcare, without fear of discrimination or racism.

Today, the Minister of Indigenous Services, the Honourable Marc Miller, highlighted funding of $2 million to the Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw and the Conseil des Atikamekw de Manawan, Joyce’s community, to advance their work and advocacy for the implementation of Joyce’s Principle.

Joyce’s Principle aims to guarantee all Indigenous Peoples the right to equitable access to social and health services, as well as the right to enjoy the best possible physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

With this funding, the Atikamekw, including the community members of Manawan, will be able to develop tools and training, promote Joyce’s Principle to healthcare professionals, and educate First Nations on their rights when using the healthcare systems. These funds will also be used to organize meetings with non-Indigenous Peoples on fighting racism.

The leadership of the Conseil des Atikamekw de Manawan and the Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw, and the recommendations they have made to address anti-Indigenous racism in healthcare, represent a crucial step forward in anti-Indigenous racism efforts. To continue to make progress, the Government of Canada remains committed to working with Indigenous partners and communities, health professionals and organizations, as well as provinces and territories, to eliminate anti-Indigenous racism in healthcare systems in Canada.

Quotes

“Anti-Indigenous racism has been embedded in our healthcare systems for far too long. This funding to support the work and advocacy of the implementation of Joyce’s Principle is an important step along the path we are taking to eliminate anti-Indigenous racism in healthcare systems, in Joyce’s memory. First Nations, Inuit and Métis have the right to be served by a first class healthcare system without fear of discrimination or maltreatment, no matter where they live. We must all continue to stand up and speak up against the racism and discrimination faced by Indigenous Peoples across the country.”

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services

“This support from the Government of Canada is very encouraging. The efforts undertaken from the beginning for Joyce’s Principle must not be in vain. The sad events surrounding the death of Joyce Echaquan has created a shockwave in Canada and it is the responsibility of all to ensure that such an event does not happen again. First Nations Peoples across Canada have the right to fair treatment when they need healthcare and social services. This is the goal of Joyce’s Principle.”

Grand Chief Constant Awashish
Conseil de la Nation Atikamek

“This financial support will help us to implement Joyce’s Principle in collaboration with the institutions outlined in the principle, in all aspects necessary for cultural safety. We strongly hope that Joyce’s memory will be honoured through the implementation of the main elements of the principle throughout Quebec and in the rest of Canada.”

Chief Paul-Émile Ottawa
Conseil des Atikamekw de Manawan

Quick facts

  • Since the tragic death of Joyce Echaquan, the Government of Canada has convened two meetings with Ms. Echaquan’s family and her First Nation’s leadership, Indigenous health practitioners and medical students, First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation leaders, federal, provincial and territorial government representatives, health system partners and Indigenous experts.
  • A third dialogue is planned for spring 2021. The objective of these meetings is to discuss concrete measures to eliminate anti-Indigenous racism in Canadian healthcare.
  • As one of the many steps toward eliminating anti-Indigenous racism in Canadian healthcare, Indigenous Services Canada is working with Indigenous partners and the provinces and territories to co-develop new distinctions-based legislation to improve access for First Nations, Inuit and Métis to high quality, culturally relevant health services.

Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Adrienne Vaupshas
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services
adrienne.vaupshas@canada.ca

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
SAC.media.ISC@canada.ca

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