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Joyce's Principle

Mikwetc e pe nita kiskeritamekw anowe «Principe de Joyce». Ki wicamitinan kitci witcihiweiekw kitci otamirowakaniwok anowe masinahikan.

We thank you for your interest in learning more about Joyce's Principle. We invite you to support the process for it's adoption.

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About Joyce’s Principle

Joyce’s Principle aims to guarantee to all Indigenous people the right of equitable access, without any discrimination, to all social and health services, as well as the right to enjoy the best possible physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

Joyce's Principle requires the recognition and respect of Indigenous people’s traditional and living knowledge in all aspects of health.

The death of Joyce Echaquan, which occurred in abject circumstances on September 28, 2020, at the Joliette Hospital Center in Lanaudière, Quebec, near the Atikamekw community of Manawan, sparked the proceedings that led to the presentation of this brief.

This principle is a call to action and a commitment from governments to end an intolerable and unacceptable situation.

In itself, Joyce's Principle is inspired by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007), Article 24, which reads as follows:

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to their traditional medicines and to maintain their health practices, including the conservation of their vital medicinal plants, animals and minerals. Indigenous individuals also have the right to access, without any discrimination, to all social and health services.

2. Indigenous individuals have an equal right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. States shall take the necessary steps with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of this right.

The reason behind Joyce’s Principle

The adoption of Joyce’s Principle will make it possible to assert the rights of Indigenous people relative to healthcare and social services in Quebec and Canada. Therefore, this brief constitutes a reminder and a formal request for a commitment by the governments of Quebec and Canada (and their institutions) to respect and protect Indigenous rights relative to healthcare and social services  rights that are recognized internationally.

Why support?

Supporting Joyce's Principle means

  • Making a personal commitment to convey a positive message for the adoption of Joyce's Principle to political and institutional bodies; 
  • Supporting the application of the six pillars of Joyce's Principle;
  • Suporting the implementation of cultural security in the health care systems for Indigenous People; 
  • Actively engaging in the fight against racism against Indigenous People; 
  • Working to end systemic racism in society; 
  • Being an agent of change in society.

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Illustration: Work of Eruoma Awashish, artist Atikamekw Nehirowiskwew of Opitciwan
Title: Justice for Joyce 2020

In memory of Joyce Echaquan 1983-2020