Introducing Joyce’s Principle – Atikamekw present Joyce’s Principle to the governments of Québec and Canada
NITASKINAN, QC, Nov. 16, 2020 – The Council of the Atikamekw of Manawan (CDAM) and the Council of the Atikamekw Nation (CNA) are submitting today the brief for “Joyce’s Principle” to the office of the Premier of Quebec, Mr. François Legault, as well as that of the Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Justin Trudeau. The Atikamekw are unequivocal, Joyce’s principle must be adopted without delay in order to assert the rights of Indigenous people in Quebec and Canada relative to health and social services.
Joyce’s Principle is an initiative of the CDAM supported by the CNA following the tragic death of Joyce Echaquan on September 28, 2020, at Joliette hospital. This is a call to action and commitment to governments to facilitate the transition towards health and social services systems that are safer and free from discrimination for Indigenous people across Quebec and Canada.
“On September 28, 2020, my wife, the mother of my children, was torn from us in inhumane circumstances that we have all witnessed. Joyce’s death was a terrible tragedy for our children and me. I hope that the governments of Quebec and Canada will adopt Joyce’s Principle so that this terrible event did not occur in vain, that her voice be the beginning of real changes for all Indigenous people so that no one ever again falls victim of systemic racism” said Carol Dubé, spouse of Joyce Echaquan.
“The members of our community of Manawan must be sure that we are doing all we can to ensure their safety in the healthcare system. By embracing Joyce’s Principle and putting the right people in strategic positions, this can be a big step towards building this fundamental trust” affirmed Paul-Émile Ottawa, Chief of Manawan.
“This is an important day, not only for Joyce Echaquan’s family, but also for the Atikamekw Nation, for Quebec and for Canada as well as for Indigenous people across the country. It is now up to governments to demonstrate a will for profound change. The adoption of Joyce’s Principle has to happen in a timely manner. The whole world heard Joyce’s cries, all were outraged by the way she was treated and now all eyes are on what the governments of Quebec and Canada will do so that Joyce is not forgotten and so that such situations do not happen again “, declared Constant Awashish, Grand Chief of the Atikamekw Nation.
Joyce’s Principle will be sent directly to other elected officials, some ministries, provincial and federal, as well as civil society organizations for consideration. Joyce’s Principle brief will be available to everyone through the principle’s Facebook page Principe de Joyce as well as upon request via email [email protected]
The CDAM and the CNA thank the organizations and individuals who have contributed to the development of Joyce’s Principle and have already shown their support for its adoption. We continue to gather support for its adoption via mail and email as we disseminate Joyce’s Principle brief across Canada.
The tragedy of Joyce Echaquan’s death does not tolerate inertia. It is by working together and quickly that we will achieve a balance that respects the rights of all and for all.
About the Atikamekw Nation Council
As a tribal council, the Council of the Atikamekw Nation (CNA) provides various services to the communities. The CNA also assumes a role of political representation for the Atikamekw Nation through the office of the President / Grand Chief elected by universal suffrage by all the members of the Atikamekw Nation, collectively holder of ancestral rights and title.
For further information: Réjean Néquado / Cell. : 819 676-7139 / [email protected]; Sipi Flamand / Cell. : 819 971-1533 poste #228 / [email protected]