Family of Indigenous woman who died in Quebec hospital to announce lawsuit

The family of Joyce Echaquan, an Atikamekw woman who died in a Joliette hospital after being subjected to degrading racist taunts, is expected to announce their decision to take legal action on Friday afternoon.

Members of Echaquan’s family, community members and lawyer Jean-François Bertrand will speak with reporters at the Lanaudière Native Friendship Centre.

READ MORE: Family of dying Indigenous woman who filmed mistreatment in Quebec hospital, speaks out

Before her death on Monday, the 37-year-old mother of seven recorded a video from her hospital bed and posted it to social media. In it, she is pleading for help while hospital staff can be heard hurling insults and racist comments towards her.

Echaquan’s family said she had been admitted with stomach pain.

The regional health authority (CISSS de Lanaudière) responsible for the hospital where Echaquan died confirmed that a patient attendant was fired on Thursday afternoon.

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READ MORE: Treatment of Indigenous woman in Quebec hospital puts focus on systemic racism

Earlier this week, the province announced a nurse heard in the video was also fired.

The Quebec coroner’s office is investigating the circumstances surrounding Echaquan’s death and the regional health broad is also conducting two separate investigations.

Ghislain Picard, the Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador was scheduled to meet with Premier François Legault in Montreal on Friday morning. A spokesperson for Picard told Global News that the chief decided not to meet with the premier.

READ MORE: Politicians, Indigenous groups condemning treatment of 37-year-old Quebec woman

— With files from the Canadian Press

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