Recently, the Municipalité d’Oka passed a unilateral by-law, by-law 2020-223, that declared the Pine Forest as their cultural heritage site. This was done without the free prior and informed consent of the Kanien’kehá:ka of Kanehsatà:ke. This unilateral decision is in violation of international human rights norms that support and protect Indigenous peoples’ rights to self-determination.
Echaquan’s health had been affected by ailments caused by colonial encroachment on her people’s lifeways. In a phone interview held on Thursday with Real People’s Media, family friend Chantal Chartrand reported that Echaquan attended the Emergency department on Saturday, Sept. 26th to seek treatment for stomach pains, and that by Monday, Sept. 28th, she was dead.