The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. Indigenous leaders are calling for an investigation into the conduct of Mounties on Vancouver Island after two police shootings of members of a small First Nations community in three months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. Indigenous leaders are calling for an investigation into the conduct of Mounties on Vancouver Island after two police shootings of members of a small First Nations community in three months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Indigenous leaders call for clarity, investigation into RCMP after B.C. shooting

The RCMP declined to comment on the requests by Indigenous leaders

Indigenous leaders are calling for an investigation into the conduct of Mounties on Vancouver Island after two members of a small First Nation were shot by police in the last three months.

A Tla-o-qui-aht woman was badly injured after being shot multiple times Saturday when police responded to a report of a disturbance at a home in the community of Port Albion, located on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

The shooting follows the death of Julian Jones, a 28-year-old Tla-o-qui-aht man, who was shot and killed by RCMP officers on Meares Island in late February.

Judy Wilson, the secretary-treasurer of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, said the conduct of the RCMP detachments in the communities of Tofino and Ucluelet needs to be investigated in the wake of the most recent shooting.

“This tragedy, this trauma, it will stay with the family and the children for generations to come,” she said.

She said the victim is a mother of two and suffered gunshot injuries to her spine, leaving questions about her future quality of life.

“There should be a review. How are they handling these calls to the community?” Wilson said.

The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation is a member of the Nuu-chah-nulth tribal council.

Tribal council president Judith Sayers said her members have been left with a lot of questions and few answers from police.

“Can you imagine having had your daughter, or your brother, or someone you know shot and you don’t know why? You don’t know what the circumstances were until an investigation is complete,” she said.

“There’s got to be more details provided and I’m sure that can be done without impugning the investigation.”

Sayers said police forces across Canada need to re-evaluate their use-of-force protocols and training, particularly when it comes to working with Indigenous or other communities they may have little experience with.

Officers may feel alone or unwelcome in a community where they don’t know many, or any, people and police training needs to work with Indigenous groups to help officers understand and respect the community they’re entering, Sayers added.

The RCMP declined to comment on the requests by Indigenous leaders, citing an investigation by the Independent Investigations Office.

The police watchdog, which investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death, is investigating both of the shootings.

For the first time in its history, the watchdog allowed an Indigenous community member to act as a civilian monitor in its investigation into the death of Jones.

The monitor is able to look at any aspect of the investigation, interview investigators and submit a report at the end on its competency and outcome.

Ron MacDonald, the chief civilian director of the investigations office, said in an interview that it is looking to have a similar position made available for this investigation.

“We want to do aseffective an investigation as we can and we also want to do it in such a way that engenders as much trust in the community as we’re able to do,” he said.

MacDonald said the watchdog is looking at developing a community liaison to help with its work with Indigenous groups.

— By Nick Wells in Vancouver

The Canadian Press

IndigenousRCMPShooting

Just Posted

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

People had a chance to interact with different animals at the petting zoo, participate in mutton busting, and buy everything local during the Fall Fair held in 2019. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
55th Fall Fair in Vanderhoof cancelled

Alternative events eyed once again

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Athena and Venus, ready to ride. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Goggling double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to B.C. commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

A Photo from Sept. 2020, when First Nations and wild salmon advocates took to the streets in Campbell River to protest against open-pen fish farms in B.C.’s waters. On Dec. 17, federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced her decision to phase out 19 fish farms from Discovery Islands. Cermaq’s application to extend leases and transfer smolts was denied. (Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror)
Feds deny B.C.’s Discovery Island fish farm application to restock

Transfer of 1.5 million juvenile salmon, licence extension denied as farms phased out

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

FILE – Nurse Iciar Bercian prepares a shot at a vaccine clinic for the homeless in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, June 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
B.C. scientists to study effectiveness of COVID vaccines in people with HIV

People living with HIV often require higher doses of other vaccines

A 50-year-old woman lost control of her vehicle Tuesday, June 15, crashing through a West Vancouver school fence that surrounds playing children. (West Vancouver Police)
Driver ticketed for speeding near B.C. school crashes into playground fence days later

‘It’s an absolute miracle that nobody was injured,’ says Const. Kevin Goodmurphy

Dr. Réka Gustafson, who is British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer, speaks during a news conference in Vancouver on April 8, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. public health officials prepare to manage COVID-19 differently in the future

Flu-like? Health officials anticipate shift from pandemic to communicable disease control strategies

Most Read