‘You have very big hearts’: Husband’s message to supporters after death of wife, Joyce Echaquan

Joyce Echaquan with her baby. Photo courtesy of family of Echaquan

On Wednesday, just over a week after Joyce Echaquan’s tragic death in a Joliette, Que. hospital, her husband, Carol Dubé, delivered a heartfelt message of thanks and gratitude in a video posted to a gofundme campaign for the family.

“On behalf of my seven children and myself, I would like to thank everyone for your prayers, your messages of condolences and everything you are doing for my family and my wife,” he said.

Read more: Atikamekw Nation Grand Chief claims Joyce Echaquan’s family, community want more than apology

Echaquan, a 37-year-old Indigenous woman from the Atikemekw Nation of Manawan, was subjected to degrading and racist comments by hospital staff as she lay on her deathbed pleading for help.

The mother of seven children, ranging in age from seven months to 21 years, filmed her final moments, livestreaming the video on Facebook.

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The video sent shockwaves across Quebec and beyond, prompting calls for justice and an end to systemic racism against Indigenous people.

Dubé says that while he hasn’t been spending time on social media he is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support being shown towards his family.

“It’s unfortunate that it happened this way, but I know that there is good in this world,” he said.

“You have very big hearts and I will prove to you that I too have a very big heart. Thank you everyone. We are all brothers and sisters.”

Read more: Quebec premier voices frustration over handling of Indigenous affairs portfolio

A nurse and an orderly involved in Echaquan’s treatment have been fired and several investigations, including a public inquest, have been launched.

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On Tuesday, Quebec Premier François Legault apologized to Echaquan’s family and community on behalf of the Quebec government.

He also promised to fight racism and become personally involved in the Indigenous Affairs portfolio to ensure quick action.

While Echaquan’s loved ones and Atikamekw leaders are hoping for action, they are also calling on Legault’s government to recognize systemic racism against Indigenous people.



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