NIPISSING – Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Glen Hare says he is appalled to hear about the shooting death of Tia-o-qui-aht First Nation member Chantel Moore by a police officer in Edmundston, New Brunswick.
“There is a long-standing history of racism and violence towards First Nations and Indigenous peoples at the hands of people in positions of authority in this country. Why does this continue to happen to our people?” said Grand Council Chief Hare. “This is a sad day for all of our Indigenous women, men and children in this country. This is a senseless death that I hope is investigated further. There are ways to diffuse a situation without shooting a gun to kill.”
Ms. Moore, age 26, died last Thursday when police arrived at her home in response to a request to check on her well-being. Edmundston police say one of their officers encountered a woman with a knife making threats. She was shot and died at the scene.
The police force says it is asking for an independent review of the shooting, and New Brunswick RCMP will help with the investigation as “a matter of accountability.”
Grand Council Chief Hare says he is also concerned about the incident last week in Kinngait (Cape Dorset) in Nunavut. “Caught on video, a Nunavut RCMP officer is seen striking a man with a police truck. He just opens the door and rams into him. Something isn’t right here. This has got to stop. Why are we using police vehicles to run over people?”
“Racism is here and has been for more than 200 years. It is prevalent in all minorities and people of colour. It lives and breathes in Canada. We call on all federal and provincial leaders to go beyond acknowledging and apologizing for racism and put a plan in place to address the systemic issues that we as Indigenous peoples, and any person of colour, are far too familiar with. Racism was the building block for policies that are still in place to this day in Canada. We call on all occupants of Mother Earth to stand with us in our fight to protect our communities, families, men, women and children, and create a world where a person of colour doesn’t have to worry about their life simply for being born in the skin that they’re in. We all have a responsibility to take action.”
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said in a statement that Canada needs a reckoning over a “repeated and disgusting pattern of police violence against Indigenous people. I don’t understand why someone dies during a wellness check. When I first saw the report (concerning Ms. Moore’s death I thought it was some morbid joke. Frankly, along with many Indigenous peoples living in Canada, politicians in Canada, I’m pissed. I’m outraged. There needs to be a full accounting of what has gone on. This is a pattern that keeps repeating itself.”