Out and About
Urban Indigenous Forum: Addressing Systemic Racism in Healthcare
A discussion on the urban Indigenous experience when accessing our right to healthcare and the importance of creating a culture of anti-racism in healthcare.
In a first look webinar, the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) seeks to honour urban Indigenous experiences in accessing our right to healthcare as well as the experiences of those who transport between on-reserve and northern communities to urban settings.
During the forum, we will discuss:
- the action that is currently happening on the ground in our communities
- the role of urban Indigenous service providers in healthcare
- explore Indigenous-led healthcare systems in place
This discussion will also seek to provide recommendations for moving forward to ensure that Indigenous peoples are able to access healthcare services with dignity, without fear and, free from discrimination.
- Senator Yvonne Boyer – Senator, Senate of Canada; former Associate Director for the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics at the University of Ottawa; former Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Health and Wellness at Brandon University
- Jennifer Brazeau – Executive Director, Centre d’amitié autochtone de Lanaudiére
- Édith Cloutier – Executive Director, Centre d’amitié autochtone de Val d’or
- Dr. Alika Lafontaine – Physician, Alberta Health Services; Associate Clinical Professor, Lecturer, University of Alberta
- Dr. Janet Smylie – Director of Well Living House, Research Scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital, Physician, Professor at University of Toronto
- Moderated by Jocelyn Formsma – Executive Director, The National Association of Friendship Centres
On September 28, 2020, Joyce Echaquan, a 37-year-old Atikamekw woman and mother of seven died in Centre hospitalier de Lanaudiere, in Joliette, Quebec. The horrendous and degrading moments before Joyce Echaquan’s death were captured by her via Facebook Live. These harrowing moments called the world to bear witness to the deplorable racism, abuse and inhumane treatment Ms. Echaquan was subjected to prior to her death, all at the hands of healthcare workers entrusted and sworn to care for her.
This tragedy has led to raw outrage, grief and pain for Ms. Echaquan’s family and friends, as well as hundreds of Indigenous communities nationwide. Regrettably, the racism Ms. Echaquan was subjected to is a common reality for many Indigenous persons accessing their right to healthcare.
The NAFC believes that this forum is a crucial first step to ensure that systemic and institutional racism in healthcare services is addressed, and that all Canadians have access to quality and non-discriminatory healthcare.