Tla-o-qui-aht elder Levi Martin says a prayer for the RCMP at the vigil for Chantel Moore in Tofino on June 18. Martin said he hopes the relationship that Indigenous people have with the RCMP can change. (Nora O’Malley photo)

Tla-o-qui-aht elder Levi Martin says a prayer for the RCMP at the vigil for Chantel Moore in Tofino on June 18. Martin said he hopes the relationship that Indigenous people have with the RCMP can change. (Nora O’Malley photo)

B.C. First Nation wants murder charge laid against police officer who shot Chantel Moore

‘No one needs to give up their life on a wellness check’, reads a statement from the First Nation

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations (TFN) hereditary chiefs and elected council released a statement on June 20 demanding that the police officer who killed Chantel Moore be charged with murder under Canada’s Criminal Code.

The statement also calls for an independent, Tla-o-qui-aht-approved inquiry into Moore’s death, as well as sweeping changes in the way Canada addresses issues of systemic racism and mental health within its police forces.

Moore, a Tla-o-qui-aht member, was fatally shot at her residence in Edmundston, New Brunswick in the early morning hours of June 4 by a member of the Edmundston Police Force during the course of a “wellness check.”

“This killing was completely senseless,” the statement reads. “No one needs to give up their life on a wellness check – NO ONE. We demand answers on why the officer used such brutal force that was both uncalled for and unnecessary.”

The release references a statement made by RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki during the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry two years ago, where she committed to do better by First Nations: “I’m sorry that for too many of you, the RCMP was not the police service that it needed to be during this terrible time in your life. It is very clear to me that the RCMP could have done better and I promise to you we will do better.”

“We are still waiting to for ‘better’ and Chantel certainly deserved ‘better,’ reads the Tla-o-qui-aht statement.

According to members of Moore’s family, the officer who killed Moore had been dispatched to perform a wellness check because she was afraid of someone who was harassing her. The wellness check concluded with the officer’s use of deadly force. According to a police statement, the officer acted in self-defense after Moore threatened him with a knife.

The TFN hereditary chiefs and elected council also want to see body cameras become mandatory for all police officers working with the public to ensure all police are held accountable for their actions and protected from false testimony or misunderstandings of others.

Mychèle Poitras, a communications representative from the City of Edmundston confirmed via email to the Westerly News that the death of Moore is currently being investigated by the Bureau des enquêtes du Québec, an independent body called on by the RCMP. The officer who shot Moore is on paid leave.

“We can’t make any comments until this [investigation] is completed,” wrote Poitras.

Edmundston Mayor Cyrille Simard, met and spoke with Moore’s family at a healing walk held earlier this month while they were in Edmundston.

Simard said too many tragedies involving people of diverse backgrounds, particularly First Nations people, have occurred over the years to leave things as they are, without reacting and without helping to make the necessary corrections to resolve and eradicate them.

“I would also convey our sincere and firm dedication that, with you, we make sure that all light is shed on this tragedy,” Simard said. “We owe it to Chantel, we owe it to you, we owe it to ourselves, and we owe it to all the victims of similar tragedies that have marked the history of this country.

Robin Cargill, who Moore often called grandmother, spoke at the Tofino vigil for Moore on June 18.

“She was truly golden. She was one of the sweetest people you could ever know, despite the light and the darkness. Even if she felt terrible she always tried so hard to look for light. She was always looking for a smile back. I just really hope that her death isn’t in vain. I hope that she being an angel now is going to manifest huge change,” said Cargill.

Tla-o-qui-aht elder Levi Martin also spoke at the vigil.

“In our culture, when a member of our community is not living the way they should be, we go and we talk to them and we pray for them. I would like to say a prayer for the RCMP so that things will begin to change.”


TRIGGER WARNING: This video contains content that may be upsetting for some people to watch.



nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ: Family, friends gather outside B.C. Legislature to grieve Chantel Moore

READ: B.C. First Nations leaders ‘disgusted’ by allegations of racist blood-alcohol guessing game

MMIWGRCMP

Just Posted

Carina Stokes, bar manager at Enderby’s Small Axe Bistro, was recognized as one of four exceptional B.C. restaurant workers by the British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association Tuesday, June 8, 2021. (Contributed)
Enderby bar manager recognized as ‘stand-up’ B.C. restaurant worker

Small Axe Roadhouse’s Carina Stokes one of four to receive special recognition from the BCRFA

Dawn Low is the first female CAO for the City of Revelstoke. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review file)
Armstrong welcomes new CAO

Dawn Low previously served as CAO in Revelstoke since 2019

18-year-old skier Logan Leach follows his guide, Julien Petit, down an alpine track. The Lumby athlete who is visually impaired has been named to Alpine Canada’s Ski Team ahead of the 2022 Paralympic Games in Beijing. (Contributed)
Lumby’s Logan Leach named to national ski team

The 18-year-old visually impaired athlete officially joins Canada’s Para-Alpine roster ahead of Beijing 2022

Sovereign Lake Nordic Club is the first ski area in Canada to signify its commitment to ending working poverty, by paying all its staff and contracted workers a living wage. (Contributed)
Vernon ski area first in Canada to pay living wage

Sovereign Lake Nordic Club invests in staff and contracted workers

Fair-goers take a ride at the 120th annual Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2019. (Katherine Peters - Morning Star)
Armstrong’s IPE not eligible for COVID-19 grant designed for major attractions

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo criticized the rigidity of the provincial program’s criteria

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Most Read