'Our people continue to be shot by police': Indigenous leaders in B.C. call for police reforms 1 year after woman was shot by officer
Coast to coast, family members and friends of Chantel Moore are mourning and at the same time demanding change to how Indigenous Canadians are treated by police.
One year ago today, 26-year-old Chantel Moore was shot and killed by a Edmundston, N.B. police officer during a wellness check.
Moore, who is from Vancouver Island's west coast, is being remembered Friday on the island by her stepmother, who is walking her ashes to a traditional site near Tofino.
"I have some of Chantel's ashes with me," said Anna Maasuu, as she walked down the Pacific Rim Highway. "We are bringing her home."
Across the country in New Brunswick, Moore’s mother Martha Martin is holding vigils to remember her young daughter.
According to family, Moore's favourite saying was “stay golden,” which inspired many to wear gold or yellow clothing Friday in her memory.
'HER FAMILY SHOULD NOT STILL BE WAITING'
Indigenous leaders on Vancouver Island are not only grieving, but also slamming provincial and federal politicians and police services for not addressing concerns brought up after the shooting.
“Chantel Moore’s death was a tragedy and a great loss to her family and nation," said Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council president Judith Sayers.
"But the bigger tragedy is that there have been no positive changes to policing or consequences for police officers who have shot First Nations people, and so our people continue to be shot by police.”
Sayers says in the past year three Indigenous Vancouver Islanders have been shot by police, resulting in two deaths.
Following the east coast shooting of Chantel Moore, the tribal council asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, the RCMP and local police agencies to update policies.
Key requests included implementing Indigenous de-escalation training and the creation of an Indigenous-led oversight body.
The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council says no clear answers or direction has been given one year later.
"Her family should not still be waiting for answers and for justice." said Sayers.
In the House of Commons Friday, Blair was questioned about Moore’s killing and why so little is still known.
He said the that Quebec Bureau of Independent Investigations had conducted a throughout probe of the police shooting in New Brunswick and handed it over to the province.
CTV News reached out to the province of New Brunswick, which provided the following response:
“The investigation into the death of Chantel Moore was handled by the Bureau des enquetes indépendantes. Additional investigative work had to be done, and Public Prosecutions Services of New Brunswick only had the complete BEI file as of early April.”
“We can confirm that the Crown will be meeting with the family and their counsel on Monday. We will have no further comment until after they have met with the family”.
INDIGENOUS INTERACTIONS WITH POLICE
Last year, a CTV News analysis found Indigenous Canadians are more than 10 times more likely to be shot and killed by police than white people.
The analysis revealed that, of the 66 people shot and killed by police in Canada since 2017 for whom race or heritage could be identified, 25 were Indigenous.
That's nearly 40 per cent of the total. Adjusted for population based on 2016 census data, it means 1.5 out of every 100,000 Indigenous Canadians have been shot and killed by police since 2017, versus 0.13 out of every 100,000 white Canadians.