Canada Racism common in health system says head of Native Women's Shelter of Montreal

00:35  01 october  2020
00:35  01 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

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The Native Women ' s Shelter in Montreal , a vital service for the city's Indigenous population, has had to close its doors because of COVID-19. Nakuset, the shelter 's executive director, said an outbreak among much of her staff left her with little choice. The seven women and three children who were

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  Racism common in health system says head of Native Women's Shelter of Montreal © Provided by The Canadian Press

MONTREAL — The executive director of the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal says racism against Indigenous people is so common at local hospitals that her organization escorts clients to medical visits.

“Every time we have to bring someone to a hospital, we escort them, because we know that there will be racist comments toward them,” Nakuset, who uses only one name, said in an interview Wednesday. “We have a form because we anticipate what’s going to happen.”

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He said Joyce Echaquan' s death would be thoroughly investigated. It is the latest in a series of Ghislain Picard, Grand Chief of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, said racism was "very Mary Hannaburg, vice-president of Quebec Native Women , said the video was a "very hard thing to

That form, she said, has a checkbox for racist comments because she said they’re so common.

On Monday, Joyce Echaquan, an Atikamekw woman, filmed nurses making derogatory comments to her as she lay dying in a hospital bed in Joliette, Que., northeast of Montreal.

Nakuset said the video reveals the nurses thought they could get away with talking like that. “If Joyce didn’t have a camera, this wouldn’t be a story."

Dr. Alika Lafontaine, an anesthesiologist in Grande Prairie, Alta., who is of Cree and Anishinaabe heritage, said Indigenous people regularly experience discrimination in Canada's health-care systems.

"Patients experience this every single day, to varying degrees," he said in an interview Wednesday.

The Quebec government has promised two investigations into Echaquan's death, one by the coroner, the other by the regional health centre. And while Dr. Lafontaine said those investigations are important, they won't solve larger systemic problems because these kinds of racist incidents often don't get reported, he said.

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White women and people of color were effectively barred from many occupations and could not vote Residential segregation remains a root cause of racial disparities in health today (Williams and Racism is not an attribute of minority groups; rather, it is an aspect of the social context and is linked

“If we're really going to fix the system, we have to not just unpack the racial events that happened, but also the reasons why this person would think that it was okay to act this way,” he said. These experiences lead people feeling disempowered in medical environments and reduce trust, Lafontaine said.

As a result, he said people won't share information with medical providers and "they may delay going to access treatment, because they need to be really, really sick in order to deal with, kind of, that level of discomfort, or hostility, and that all leads to worse outcomes."

Echaquan's death took place almost a year to the day after a public inquiry, known as the Viens Commission, released 142 recommendations aimed at improving Indigenous peoples' access to government services.

The commission's report concluded it is “impossible to deny” that there is systemic racism against Indigenous people in Quebec.

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The women who sought only nonresident services tended to be from higher socioeconomic groups than those who sought resident shelter services. For other women —those who did not take other actions—the impact of the shelter stay was either neutral or even triggered retaliation by their abusers.

Initial results on prevalence, health outcomes and women ’ s responses. The World Health Organization was established in 1948 as a specialized agency of the United Nations serving as the directing and coordinating authority for international health matters and public health .

Richard Budgell, professor of Inuit and northern health promotion at McGill University, says Indigenous people need to be meaningfully involved in the governance of health institutions.

“Because the only way you eliminate systemic discrimination is giving the people who have been discriminated against a role in those institutions,” he said in an interview Wednesday.

While Premier Francois Legault was quick to denounce the comments made by the nurses in the Joliette hospital as racist, he has maintained that systemic racism doesn't exist in Quebec.

Quebec's Indigenous Affairs Minister Sylvie D'Amours said Wednesday in a news release highlighting the one-year anniversary of the Viens Commission's report, that 51 of those recommendations have been adopted or are in the process of being implemented.

But Nakuset said she hasn’t seen any signs that that’s the case.

Liberal Opposition Leader Dominique Anglade called D'Amours news release insulting and said it shows she is no longer fit to be a cabinet minister.

D'Amours released another statement later Wednesday offering her condolences on behalf of the province to Echaquan's family and community.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2020.


This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press

Video: Dying Indigenous woman records slurs uttered by Quebec hospital staff (cbc.ca)

Quebec doctor asks peers to 'stop dragging our feet' in fight against systemic racism .
Dr. Pascale Breault's Indigenous patients at the health clinic in Manawan, Que., often begged her not to be sent to the hospital in Joliette, Que., for treatment, "for fear of not being understood, of not being heard, of being denigrated." The family physician shared her experience in a Facebook post this week, as the Atikamekw community mourned the loss of Joyce Echaquan, 37, who died on Sept. 28 at the Centre hospitalier de Lanaudière inDr. Pascale Breault's Indigenous patients at the health clinic in Manawan, Que., often begged her not to be sent to the hospital in Joliette, Que., for treatment, "for fear of not being understood, of not being heard, of being denigrated.

usr: 1
This is interesting!