Quebec to roll out cultural safety training for healthcare workers

In light of a recent tragedy, the province commits to diversity training for its healthcare workers

Quebec to roll out cultural safety training for healthcare workers
This initiative comes after the death of Indigenous woman, Joyce Echaquan.

Quebec will be spending $15 million on diversity training in light of a recent tragedy which happened in the province.

According to a report from CBC, Joyce Echaquan, an Atikamekw woman, was admitted in late September at a hospital in Joliette, Q.C. Echaquan did a Facebook livestream of her treatment at the hospital; in the background of the video, viewers could hear discriminatory and degrading insults from the staff. Echaquan died shortly after, though the cause of her death is still unknown.

In response to this Ian Lafrenière, Quebec’s Indigenous affairs minister, announced last Friday that the province would be spending $15 million on providing cultural safety training to healthcare workers so as to improve the provision of public services to Indigenous communities.

During the press conference, Lafrenière also seemed to indicate that this is the first of many more initiatives, saying “this is one announcement, this is not the last one.”

Anti-racism initiatives
Over the last few weeks, the federal government has highlighted anti-racism initiatives in different provinces, part of its Anti-Racism Action Program, which the feds have invested $15 million in.

At the end of October, Bardish Chagger, minister of diversity, inclusion and youth, highlighted 13 projects in British Columbia which address systemic barriers faced by Indigenous Peoples, racialized communities and religious minorities.

One stand-out is the Holding Space for QTBIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Colour who identify as LGBTQ2IA+). This is delivered by the Pride in Art Society and, said Canadian Heritage’s statement, “is a project that will address barriers to employing and engaging QTBIPOC artists and communities, as well as provide opportunities to strengthen Indigenous and racialized LGBTQ2 artists, whose intersectional identities often present additional barriers and increased marginalization.”

This week Adam van Koeverden, parliamentary secretary to the minister of diversity, inclusion and youth, highlighted additional projects in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

In total the $15-million Anti-Racism Action Program currently funds 85 local, regional, and national initiatives as well as outcome-based activities.