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

Kimberley case counts not at the point for 18 years and older community vaccination, says Interior Health. (File photo)
Many factors considered for smaller community-wide vaccination: Interior Health

East Kootenay resort town’s COVID-19 situation not at the point of community-wide vaccination, say officials

The BC Wildfire Service is urging caution amid forecasts of strong winds throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre. (BC Wildfire Service photo)
Strong winds forecasted for Kamloops Fire Centre, BC Wildfire service urges caution

“Wind can cause grass fires to spread very quickly,” says the BC Wildfire Service

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
54 more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty-two people in the region are in hospital with the virus, 11 of them in intensive care

The freed osprey keeps a wary eye on its rescuers after being deposited on its nest. (Photo credit: Greg Hiltz)
Hydro crew in Ashcroft gets osprey rescue call-out they won’t soon forget

Bird was tangled in baling wire hanging from a hydro pole, necessitating a tricky rescue

Hesco baskets were first used outside the Cache Creek fire hall in 2020 (pictured), and have once again been put in place as a pre-emptive measure to safeguard the hall against possible flooding. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Cache Creek taking pre-emptive measures to prevent flooding

Sand and sandbags will soon be available for all residents who need them

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. sees 1,006 COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

Vaccine bookings for people aged 60 and older set to start

Most Read