How Indigenous Communities Continue To Be Singled Out In Canada

Racial discrimination is not a thing of the past. A dying woman of indigenous origins in Canada was ridiculed by the hospital staff, giving rise to a human rights uproar in the country.

In what is being termed as an offshoot of systemic racism, a 37 years of age Atikamekw woman was left unattended and taunted upon in French by Canadian hospital staff, as he abdominal pain became worst and unbearable. She filmed her ordeal on Facebook and this video went viral post her death.

Joyce Echaquan has reported her heart condition and the fact that she already was a mother of seven, when he experienced severe stomach pain. While the nursing staff was trying to make a point at her repeatedly having children and not using contraception, their way of handling it has been termed as racially discriminatory.

In a public statement, the Assembly of First Nations national chief, Perry Bellegarde, said that, “Discrimination against First Nations people remains prevalent in the healthcare system and this needs to stop.” Whether the death was a result of racial discrimination is still to be ascertained. Towards this, the province’s coroner office has already announced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Echaquan’s death. The local health board is also investigating.

The indigenous communities in Canada and in other parts of the world have been subjugated and bullied over and over again. In September, activists were appalled it was discovered that the it was discovered that Guafo, a 50,000-acre island and a hotspot for marine biodiversity, part of the ancestral land of the Mapuche people was being put up for sale. The sacred Chilean Island was being put up for sale for $20 million.

For the Mapuche people, the island is a part of their cultural belief system. “We are asking the government to consider returning [the island],” said Cristian Chiguay, lonko, or leader, of eleven Lafkenche de Quellón communities which are part of a scheme to conserve ancestral fishing grounds off the island where they collect sea urchins and red carrageenan seaweed used in skin conditioning cosmetics.

Indigenous fishermen in Canada are thrown flairs at for fishing lobsters. It’s a harrowing time for these communities that have to continue to fight for their survival and protect their own, with less or no support from the government. This is rampant in Nova Scotia where proficient in their art of hunting lobsters, the Indigenous peoples are being threatened in their traditional territory and issues are raised over their own permits — something commercial fishermen say contravenes current rules.

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