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Huge undertaking aims to make 7 quilts for Joyce Echaquan’s children

Click to play video 'Artists come together to create quilts for Joyce Echaquan’s children' Artists come together to create quilts for Joyce Echaquan’s children
WATCH: A group of artists are working to create quilts for the seven children of Joyce Echaquan, an Indigenous woman who died while she was in the care of a Quebec hospital. Global’s Tim Sargeant reports – Dec 30, 2020

It’s a massive undertaking, but one that Pascale Kaniasta Annoual is ready to tackle.

The quiltmaker is organizing a massive campaign to make seven quilts — one for each child of Joyce Echaquan, the Indigenous woman who died while in care of nurses at the Joliette Hospital last September.

“I went into this mode of what can I do? So (a) quilt is very little but it accumulates into something big,” Kaniasta told Global News.

Seventy people are involved in making the twin-sized quilts.

Echaquan died a few days after being admitted into the hospital after complaining of stomach pains.

She was ridiculed and insulted with racial slurs by two nurses while lying in her hospital bed.

Read more: Joyce Echaquan death: Lawyer leading Indigenous mortality committee to lead public inquiry

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Interpreting what Echaquan liked isn’t easy. Kaniasta says her favourite colour was purple.

But she’s hoping the children will take comfort in the quilts which will be very intricate.

“How the person who is making it interprets the block and the square they’re going to make is very personal. And then comes the time where we design the assembly and we go by color themes,” she said.

Kaniasta hopes to have all the quilts ready by Christmas and they will be handed over to Echaquan’s uncle, who will gift them to the children.

“I’ve been to some of the women’s houses and we’re laying them out on the floor, numbering them and somebody else may be the only quilting and actually sowing together,” she said.

The quilts will also be on display for public viewing and comments on the Facebook page of the Indigenous Health Centre of Tiohtià:ke.

To see the quilts, visit the Indigenous Health Centre’s Facebook page.

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