Nurses fired after Atikamekw woman said they ‘humiliated’ her while she sought treatment

Incident occurred 6 months after Joyce Echaquan’s death, renewing concerns about racism

Benjamin Shingler · CBC News · Posted: Mar 16, 2021

[Excerpts] Two nurses at a health clinic in Joliette, Que., were fired Tuesday afternoon after an Atikamekw woman revealed they had taunted her with racist insults.

The incident occurred in the same regional health network where, six months ago, another Atikamekw woman — Joyce Echaquan — died not long after recording the racist treatment she received from hospital staff.

Jocelyne Ottawa, 62, said she was treated with disdain by two nurses at the clinic in Joliette, about 70 kilometres northeast of Montreal, which she visited last Friday to have a bandage changed on her foot.

“One of them told me, when she saw my name in the folder: “We’re going to call you Joyce, for short,’ Ottawa recalled in an interview with Radio-Canada.

“Then they asked me if I could sing them a song in Atikamekw.”

Ottawa also said that one of the nurses took her cellphone and that, when Ottawa realized it was missing, the nurse said: “I have it in my hand.” Ottawa told her: “You have no business looking at my cellphone.”

Firings meant to send message, health authority says

Ottawa said she felt humiliated and intimidated and, later, posted a message on Facebook about her experience.

“I told myself: ‘Why are they saying this to me? Is it to mock Joyce, once again?'”

To access the full article, click on: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-joliette-echaquan-jocelyn-ottawa-1.5951770