Family, friends gather outside B.C. Legislature to grieve Indigenous woman shot by police

Martha Martin, mother of Chantel Moore, speaks through tears at a healing gathering at the BC Legislature building Thursday evening. Moore was fatally shot by police during a wellness check in New Brunswick on June 4. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Martha Martin, mother of Chantel Moore, speaks through tears at a healing gathering at the BC Legislature building Thursday evening. Moore was fatally shot by police during a wellness check in New Brunswick on June 4. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
A young girl watches as the friends and family of Chantel Moore sing the Women’s Song. Moore, originally from Vancouver Island, was fatally shot by police in New Brunswick on June 4. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)A young girl watches as the friends and family of Chantel Moore sing the Women’s Song. Moore, originally from Vancouver Island, was fatally shot by police in New Brunswick on June 4. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Grace Frank (left), grandmother of Chantel Moore and Martha Martin (right), her mother, grieve at a healing gathering on the front steps of the BC Legislature building June 18. Moore was fatally shot by police during a wellness check in New Brunswick on June 4. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Grace Frank (left), grandmother of Chantel Moore and Martha Martin (right), her mother, grieve at a healing gathering on the front steps of the BC Legislature building June 18. Moore was fatally shot by police during a wellness check in New Brunswick on June 4. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Hundreds came to the BC Legislature building the evening of June 18 for a healing gathering to honour the life of Chantel Moore, a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman fatally shot by police in New Brunswick on June 4. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Hundreds came to the BC Legislature building the evening of June 18 for a healing gathering to honour the life of Chantel Moore, a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman fatally shot by police in New Brunswick on June 4. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Grace Frank (left), grandmother of Chantel Moore and Martha Martin (right), her mother, grieve at a healing gathering on the front steps of the BC Legislature building June 18. Moore was fatally shot by police during a wellness check in New Brunswick on June 4. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Grace Frank (left), grandmother of Chantel Moore and Martha Martin (right), her mother, grieve at a healing gathering on the front steps of the BC Legislature building June 18. Moore was fatally shot by police during a wellness check in New Brunswick on June 4. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

A sea of sunflower and butter yellow shirts and dresses dotted the front lawn of the BC Legislature building Thursday evening during a healing gathering for Chantel Moore, a 26-year-old Tla-o-qui-aht woman fatally shot by police in New Brunswick earlier this month.

Moore’s mother, Martha Martin, spoke to the crowd, honouring the Vancouver Island woman’s life and calling for justice for all grieving missing and murdered family and community members.

“Today I am here to be my daughter’s voice,” Martin said through tears, speaking into a loudspeaker. “She was not just a status card number, she was my daughter, a mother, an aunt, a granddaughter and most importantly, she was human.”

Moore, who was originally from the Tofino area, had recently moved to Edmunston, N.B. when police were called to check on her well being around 2:30 a.m. on June 4. A statement from the Edmundston Police Force said the responding officer was confronted “by a woman holding a knife who made threats.”

Moore was shot and pronounced dead at the scene. Her family has since stated that she was shot five times – a detail that has not been confirmed by police.

RELATED: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Moore’s death came less than two weeks after Minneapolis man George Floyd’s death in police custody went viral, sparking continent-wide anguish and protests demanding an end to police violence and systemic racism.

Organizers for the Victoria event emphasized that the gathering was about Chantel, not police. Attendees were encouraged to wear yellow because, as her grandmother, Grace Frank, told Black Press Media, Chantel used to tell her friends on Facebook to ‘stay golden, peeps.’

“Chantel was a kind, loving, caring, gentle person,” Frank said. “She was such an outgoing person, she just loved people.

“I certainly hope that by all the people across Canada coming together to march, rally…I really hope that brings attention all over Canada to what’s been happening for a long, long time,” she added. “We won’t give in until there’s justice because it was wrong. It was terribly wrong, what happened.”

Her words thick with emotion, Moore’s mother called for change.

“Let’s make changes to our system,” she said. “New training for wellness checks. It’s been two weeks today that my daughter was taken. I want to know why.”

The BC First Nations Justice Council has condemned police actions in Moore’s death. In a statement, Chairperson Doug White said action is needed.

“De-escalation training and racial bias training is urgently needed across this county to avoid another senseless loss,” White said. “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.”

Quebec’s Bureau des enquetes independantes, an indepedent police watchdog organization, is investigating Chantel’s death because there is no such watchdog agency in New Brunswick.

With files from Elena Rardon, Ashley Wadhwani and the Canadian Press.

RELATED: Vancouver Island First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
nina.grossman@blackpress.ca


@NinaGrossman
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

protest

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19 exposure at The Key, weather shelter announced in Fort St. James

Northern Health made the public service announcement Dec. 1

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

Pipe stringing work in Section 4. (Coastal GasLink photo/Lakes District News)
Pipe installation begins from south of Burns Lake to north of Vanderhoof

Coastal Gas Link’s November update indicates 528 additional workers

Vanderhoof Community Foundation logo.
Donate in your loved one’s name this Giving Tuesday: Vanderhoof Community Foundation

Today, Dec. 1 is celebrated as Giving Tuesday, a global movement for… Continue reading

Annerose Georgeson in the process of painting a mural at the Stuart Nechako Manor in July. While she was working on the mural, a nurse and a senior living at the Manor were enjoying the live painting. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof artist completes mural at the Manor

A Vanderhoof artist has finished her mural at a local long-term care… Continue reading

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Business groups have been advocating for years that local approvals for construction in B.C. are too long and restricted, and that B.C.’s outdates sales tax deter business investment. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents worried about COVID-19 deficit, business survey finds

Respondents support faster local approvals, value added tax

Most Read