MONTREAL — More family members are taking the stand today at a coroner’s inquest into the death of an Indigenous woman last year subjected to insults as she lay dying in a hospital northeast of Montreal.
Joyce Echaquan, 37, an Atikamekw mother of seven, filmed herself at the Joliette, Que., hospital last September as female staff were caught on the Facebook Live video insulting and mocking her.
The video of her seeking help and being ridiculed circulated widely on social media and prompted widespread indignation across the country.
Echaquan’s brother, Stéphane, was first on the stand today, describing seeing his sister’s body restrained in hospital as “inhuman” and “shocking.”
On Thursday, the inquest opened with emotional testimony from her widower, Carol Dubé, her eldest daughter and her mother, who testified that Echaquan had feared going to hospital in Joliette.
Echaquan, from the community of Manawan, north of Montreal, died at the hospital on Sept. 28, after being admitted with stomach pain.
Coroner Géhane Kamel told the hearing today she was cursed as she walked to the courthouse. Without going into specifics of what was said, she made a call for benevolence and calm.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 14, 2021.
The Canadian Press