Ottawa – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) has written to the family of Chantel Moore, the young Indigenous woman who was shot and killed by police in Edmundston, N.B., to support their call for a public inquiry into her death.
Ms. Moore, who was from the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation in British Columbia, was killed last month on June 4 during a so-called “wellness check,“ an act that, on its surface, appears to be part of a continuum of violence against the Indigenous people of Canada.
Although Quebec’s independent police investigation agency, the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes, is investigating the shooting and will turn its findings over to the New Brunswick coroner, Ms. Moore’s family has asked for a public inquiry that will have the power to make findings of misconduct.
NWAC agrees that those responsible must be held accountable for her tragic death.
“We agree that a coroner’s inquest is insufficient,” wrote, Lorraine Whitman, president of NWAC in a letter to Ms. Moore’s family. “Factual and substantiated answers are needed to determine why a health check resulted in a tragic death. Indigenous people live with inherent fear and distrust of our justice system. Without further understanding the circumstance that lead to the loss of Chantel, Indigenous women continue to see police as vessels of death and violence rather than ones of peace and security.”
It is not just the province’s police and justice systems that need to be held accountable, according to the national Indigenous women’s organization. Canada as a nation needs to be held accountable.
“We need answers and we need action to ensure history does not repeat itself,” Ms. Whitman added. “As the largest Indigenous women’s organization in Canada, with a 46-year history of advancing public policy and Indigenous women’s issues, we join our voice with that of Ms. Moore’s family to magnify their calls for justice.”
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