JOLIETTE, QUE. -- A ceremony was held Tuesday marking the one-year anniversary of the death of Joyce Echaquan, an Indigenous woman who was humiliated by staff in a hospital northeast of Montreal as she lay dying, sparking outrage across the country.

Echaquan, a 37-year-old Atikamekw mother of seven, filmed herself on Facebook Live as a nurse and an orderly were heard making derogatory comments toward her at the hospital in Joliette, Que.

On Tuesday, Echaquan's family visited the hospital room where she died and later took part in a ceremony in her honour with Atikamekw community members, politicians and other guests.

Some guests carried a red or pink rose as they entered a white tent erected behind the hospital. Others, some wearing ribbon skirts or sweatshirts bearing Echaquan's picture, sat on folding chairs outside.

Constant Awashish, chief of the Atikamekw First Nation, told reporters he appreciates that Quebecers are more aware of systemic racism since Echaquan's death, but he said the anniversary is a source of anxiety.

"It's a confusing day for people," he said. "We want something better for future generations and better treatment for First Nations in public services, but also there is this anxiety that Joyce Echaquan gave her life for no reason."

"The feeling of anxiety is that we want the government to recognize the situation and call it by its real name," he added, referring to the provincial government's refusal to use the term systemic racism to describe inequalities in Quebec society.

In a statement, Indigenous Affairs Minister Ian Lafreniere on Tuesday asked Quebecers to use the day to reflect on relations with First Nations and Inuit peoples and the fight against racism. He said the Quebec government is working with Indigenous leaders to address measures proposed by the Atikamekw community after Echaquan's death to ensure equitable access to health care for Indigenous patients.

Premier Francois Legault tweeted on Tuesday that what had happened to Echaquan was a "collective awakening to the discrimination still suffered by Indigenous Peoples." He added: "Let's continue to fight against these behaviours that have no place in our society."

Echaquan's home community of Manawan has announced plans to name a biodiversity reserve at Lac-Nemiscachingue in her honour, and the government says it intends to begin that renaming process. Her husband, Carol Dube, said in a statement that Echaquan's memory must not fade and called on everyone to join their fight.

"The door she opened is too important, she cannot have died in vain," he said. "We owe it to her to continue to fight to break down prejudices and tackle injustices."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2021.