A family is speaking out about alleged racism that occured in the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region (RQHR) and is asking the health region to restart talks with them.
Joyce Tapaquon believes her daughter, Juliette Tapaquon, was a victim of stereotyping and racism while in palliative care at the Pasqua Hospital.
Juliette passed away after a battle with Cancer in October 2014.
She reportedly sent an angry message to a nurse and was thrown out of palliative care by police. The family believes police were called, rather than talking to Juliette, because she is First Nations. She was readmitted to the hospital, but not into palliative care.
The Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism held a rally in support of the family outside of the Pasqua Hospital.
Joyce spoke particularly about how she believes her daughter didn’t receive appropriate pain control or the availability of traditional ceremonies, including smudging and having an elder present.
Joyce said it was only her and her nephew at Juliette’s side.
“There was no nurses there, there was nobody there,” Joyce said. “She died yelling for me. She said ‘Mom, don’t leave me’ and I said ‘No, I’m not going to leave you, I’ll be right here until the end.’”
Joyce and the rest of her family have been asking for the RQHR to investigate the matter and ensure everyone receives the proper care – whether they are aboriginal or not.
They had been in talks with the health region but communications have allegedly broken down between the groups.
The RQHR responded with a written response Friday.
In it, they said “Quality, safe care for all of our patients is always the primary concern in all of the services we provide, including palliative care.”
They also said they appreciate the family sharing their concern and will use it to “review, learn and improve the care we provide.”