Indigenous clinic opens in Joliette


The Aboriginals of Manawan will now be able to meet a doctor in a clinic organized especially for them in Joliette, two afternoons per month.

• Read also: Indigenous man dies in hospital after complaint over racist comments

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This is a solution proposed by the Lanaudière Native Friendship Center (CAAL) in the face of the fear generated by the death of Joyce Echaquan on September 28. Indeed, several members of the Attikamek community of Manawan have expressed their fears of being mistreated, after seeing the video of Ms. Echaquan, who died under the insults of racist staff at the Joliette hospital.

Two Tuesdays a month, by appointment, locals can meet a doctor at the Mirerimowin clinic located at CAAL in Joliette. Only eight people per month will be able to benefit from it.

“We should provide more services, but it’s already better than nothing. People have lost confidence in the system so much that we fear serious repercussions if they wait too long to seek care, ”explains Jennifer Brazeau, director of CAAL

In addition to benefiting from an Attikamek translation if necessary, patients will be followed according to a comprehensive approach involving the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions, like the wheel of Indigenous medicine.

Even if the CAAL has made a request for assistance from the Integrated Health and Social Services Center (CISSS) of Lanaudière for many years now for this clinic project, nothing was moving, says Ms. Brazeau. “It was after Joyce Echaquan’s death, and because a doctor told us his willingness to help us that we decided to set up the service, even though we had not met all the conditions. We bought a massage table and the doctor is bringing his kit, that’s how we do it. “

The director of CAAL has had no news from the CISSS since the events of September 28. The hospital where Joyce Echaquan died comes under the CISSS de Lanaudière. “I don’t feel any urgency to act on their part. They didn’t contact us to ask what they could do. For me, it is their responsibility to approach us. Someone has been killed. ”

The problem of racism has long been known at the Joliette hospital. Several testimonies were heard during the Viens commission last year, and numerous complaints have been filed in the past.

Ideally, the CAAL would like the presence of a nurse two days a week and that of a doctor one day a week.


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