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

Staff and volunteers at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea were disappointed by the theft of an educational porpoise skull likely taken on Jan. 8. (Courtesy of Tina Kelly)
Well-loved porpoise skull stolen from Sidney aquarium

Skull had been used for youth and visitor education and outreach for years

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

The Starbucks in Langford’s Westshore Town Centre is one of almost 300 storefronts that the U.S. coffee giant will be shutting across Canada by the end of March. (Google Maps)
Langford’s Westshore Town Centre Starbucks to close permanently

Popular coffee chain to close 300 storefronts across Canada by end of March

An Oak Bay Police officer handed out five tickets for “fail to obey stop sign” and two tickets for using a cell phone while driving, all within two hours at King George Terrace on Jan. 11. (Oak Bay Police Twitter)
Man confronts unmasked group at Oak Bay Marina

Oak Bay police issue plenty of tickets in short King George Terrace visit

Registered nurse Sammy Mullally displayed a tray of supplies to be used by a drug addict at the Insite safe injection clinic in Vancouver, B.C., in 2011. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Councillors call on Saanich to address overdose crisis, explore options for safe consumption sites

‘There’s no vaccine for this problem,’ new action is needed, councillors say

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Gin, one of the Kantymirs’ two sheep. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep start up ATV, sit in cars and go for walks in Salmon Arm

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Most Read