A dying Indigenous woman filmed Facebook live video of hospital staff in Quebec, Canada, taunting her, an incident that aired protests, prompted an investigation and led to the firing of a nurse.
Joyce Echakan, a mother of seven, filmed the video on Monday after being taken to a hospital in Joliet two days ago for abdominal pain.
He died the same day at the Center Hospitallion Regional de Lanudier, when he took the video. Echakan’s family said that Joyce had heart disease.
In the footage, which was seen by NBC News, Echakan lies in a hospital bed. She is seen breathing loudly and screaming and moaning.
Nurses can be heard in French calling Echacón “stupid as hell” and suggesting he was only good for sex.
The video spread to Canada and sparked protests outside the hospital, with some in the crowd on Tuesday, “Justice for Justice.”
“First, I want to offer my condolences to the family. Second, what happened is completely unacceptable,” Québec’s chief, François Legaul, said during a press conference on Tuesday.
Legault said a task force on racism would issue recommendations in the coming weeks. “We will take action to fight against racism,” he told reporters.
Canadian Senator Leo Housekos tweeted on Wednesday, “This mother, daughter, friend, the lack of human compassion and lack shown in our society should not be tolerated in our society.”
Perry Belgaarde, the national head for the Assembly of the First Nation, condemned the incident.
“A year after releasing the Veins Commission report, Joyce Acquan, a young Atikamev woman, died, facing an incredibly racist and insensitive taunt by Quebec health care workers.” Tweeted, Citing a 2019 government report that systemic discrimination was found against indigenous people accessing public services.
“Discrimination with First Nations people is prevalent in the health care system and needs to be stopped.”
The local public health department said in a statement translated from the French that an internal investigation was launched and a nurse has been fired.
The agency said it “finds the comments found in the video circulating on social media unacceptable,” adding that it “does not tolerate any such language on behalf of its employees within the organization.”
“The investigation is on and a nurse has been fired,” the statement said.
Eichacan died, which is 5 percent of the country’s population of about 37 million, amid ongoing concerns over treatment for Indigenous people in Canada.
Reuters has contributed.