Indigenous leaders condemn Police actions in death of Chantel Moore

(xwməθkwəy̓ əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱ wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ ilwətaʔɬ/sel̓ ílwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, BC – First Nations leadership across BC is united in calling for a full and timely investigation in the matter of the police-involved death of Chantel Moore.

Chantel Moore died at the hands of police last night in Edmundston, New Brunswick.

There is a lack of reliable data on police-involved deaths and race in Canada. However, recent data assembled by CBC shows that 14% of all police-involved deaths are Indigenous. A recent access to information request revealed that one-third of the people shot to death by RCMP officers over a 10-year period are Indigenous, despite indigenous people only making up 5% of the population.

The BC First Nations Justice Council, BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN), the Union of BC Indian Chief (UBCIC), and the First Nations Summit (FNS) share their deepest sorrow with Chantel’s family and are outraged by this tragic and senseless death.

What leaders are saying:

Doug White, Chairperson, BC First Nations Justice Council

“Today we feel acutely the results of a lack of action from government in response to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) report. De-escalation training and racial bias training is urgently needed across this county to avoid another senseless loss. We are calling on government for the swift administration of justice, it took three years for Dale Culver’s case to work through the Internal Investigations process, we hope Chantel’s family will not have to wait that long.”

Lydia Hwitsum, Political Executive, First Nations Summit

“A full, independent and impartial investigation into the shooting death of Chantel Moore must be conducted as soon as possible. Her family deserves answers to the circumstances that led to her tragic death at the hands of the Edmundston Police Department. Indigenous people in Canada face clear systemic racial bias by police forces. This systemic racism must stop, Indigenous lives matter, the lives of Indigenous women and girls matter!”

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip – President, BC Union of Indian Chiefs

“The killing of Chantel Moore was systemically premeditated by generations of inaction. The individual officers involved, the municipal police force, and the Government of Canada all share in responsibility for Chantel’s death. Her family’s loss is heartbreaking, and it is made more so by how familiar this loss has become for our communities. Inaction to dismantle the white supremacy foundational to policing has caused this to be one in a pattern rather than an exception, and I believe we need to tear down the systems that allow for the pattern to continue.”

Terry Teegee, Regional Chief, BC Assembly of First Nations

“I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Chantel Moore, a loving mother and a ‘kind, gentle person’. Another Indigenous life has been senselessly and prematurely lost at the hands of police in Canada. To this day, First Nations continue to experience and witness the complacency and denial of the justice and political systems in Canada that both perpetuate and allow this and many similar tragedies to happen. Every moment that passes with continued inaction by the federal Government to release and implement a National Action Plan as called for in the 231 Calls for Justice in the National Inquiry into MMIWG Final Report imperils the lives of Indigenous women and girls and continues the genocidal and racist systems at work in Canada. The BCAFN demands immediate action by the Canadian government to increase transparency and undertake real work to dismantle colonial structures. In particular, the need for more responsive, and accountable policing and review of police practices; and create or expand mandates of independent oversight bodies to investigate cases of abuse and misconduct of police officers as called for in the MMIWG report. We further challenge government, federal, provincial/territorial and municipal, to form true commitments and further foster/create partnerships with the mandate to fight racism and advance equality.”

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