Current Problems

Health (18-24)

Death of Joyce Echaquan – Joyce’s Principle

November 16, 2020

The Council of the Atikamekw of Manawan (CDAM) and the Council of the Atikamekw Nation (CAN) –  have submitted a brief for “Joyce’s Principle” to Francis Legault, the Premier of Québec and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Québec Government has rejected adopting Joyce’s Principle “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 Québec and Canada.

Joyce’s Principle makes specific reference to Article 24 of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:

  • Indigenous peoples have the right to their traditional medicines and to maintain their health practices, including the conservation of their vital medicinal plants, animals and minerals. Indigenous individuals also have the right to access, without any discrimination, to all social and health services.
  • Indigenous individuals have an equal right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. States shall take the necessary steps with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of this right.

On Nov. 24, 2020 the Québec National Assembly refused to adopt Joyce’s Principle due its explicit reference to systemic racism within Québec.