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)

Tla-o-qui-aht 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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich council recently adopted a 131-step climate action plan expected to cost $2.5-million in the first year of implementation. (Black Press Media file photo)
Tensions high as Saanich considers reigniting local area plan review

Majority vote pushes discussion to fall strategic plan check-in

Alphabet Zoo Early Learning Centre wants to relocate from Langford to 3322 Fulton Rd. in Colwood, but has not been approved for a P-6 zoning by Colwood council. Residents who neighbour the property, have expressed concern to the Goldstream Gazette regarding the potential daycare site. Neighbours Ryan Landa and Selene Winchester said the noise of construction has been disruptive to the area, and the property is not suitable for a daycare. (Photo contributed/Ryan Landa)
Proposed West Shore daycare stirs up controversy amongst neighbours

Neighbouring property owners are concerned about traffic, noise that a daycare would bring to the area

(Black Press Media file photo)
Central Saanich surveys residents’ thoughts on active transportation plan

The online survey results will be used to finalize the plan before it heads to council

Oaklands Elementary’s Division 5 Grade 4/5 class posed with Leila Bui (middle), her dad Tuan Bui (crouching to her left) and mom Kairry Nguyen (right) after presenting the family with a cheque for $710 raised by the students during a necklace sale in December 2020. (Photos courtesy Kairry Nguyen)
Victoria students raise funds for girl seriously injured when struck by vehicle in crosswalk

Oaklands Elementary class contributes to purchase of all-terrain wheelchair for Leila Bui

Saanich Fire Department. (Black Press Media file photo)
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Cole Moore with one of his sisters, Jasmin Moore. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island man looks to brain surgery for second chance

Fingers crossed that procedure can give Cole Moore a new lease on life after decade of seizures

Health Minister Adrian Dix, front, B.C. Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrive for a news conference about the provincial response to the coronavirus, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, March 6, 2020. Pandemic emergency measures have been in place for almost a year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. officials plead for patience as 1.7 million COVID-19 calls flood in

Vaccine registration for 90-plus seniors opened Monday

A West Kootenay man died in an avalanche on March 4 while snowmobiling near Mount Payne, which is indicted by the red flag. Illustration: Google Maps
B.C. father of 3 dead after avalanche in West Kootenay

The man was snowmobiling with a group when incident occurred March 4

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Vaccine hesitancy decreases in B.C. as mass immunizations set to begin: poll

Two-thirds of British Columbians, and Canadians, would get the vaccine as soon as possible

Software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, has been forced to re-skill during the COVID-19 pandemic after more than six years of unsuccessfully applying for jobs in B.C.’s tech industry. (Submitted photo/Shaimma Yehia)
Why skilled immigrant women continue to be shut out of B.C.’s booming tech sector

Experienced software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, hasn’t found a job since she migrated to Canada 6 years ago

A woman walks through Toronto’s financial district on Monday, July 30, 2018. A new poll suggests most Canadians believe there’s still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in this country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Canadians, especially women, say gender equality not achieved in Canada: Poll

Poll results themselves underscore the challenge, with more men believing equality had been achieved

This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, left, in conversation with Oprah Winfrey. (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via AP)
Race, title and anguish: Meghan and Harry explain royal rift

Meghan said she struggled with concerns within the royal family about her son’s skin colour

Most Read