Community members celebrate Chantal Moore's life 2 years after her death

·2 min read
About 70 gathered at the Old Burial Ground Saturday to celebrate the life of Chantal Moore.  (Mrinali Anchan/CBC - image credit)
About 70 gathered at the Old Burial Ground Saturday to celebrate the life of Chantal Moore. (Mrinali Anchan/CBC - image credit)

Community members gathered in Fredericton to celebrate Chantal Moore's life two years after she was shot and killed by police.

Over 70 Indigenous women, men and allies met at the Old Burial Ground Saturday morning on the anniversary of Moore's death.

The celebration of life began at Officer's Square, where the men involved began their march to the burial site in a display symbolizing the tradition in the culture that men are supposed to be protectors.

"It is a traditional way for the men to be the protector of our nations, so I wanted to make a statement that it's the men who should be standing up to protect the women," said Wolastoq Grand Chief Ron Tremblay.

Those at the ceremony were dressed in yellow and gold in honour of Moore's favourite saying, "Stay Golden."

Jennifer Sweet/CBC
Jennifer Sweet/CBC

The 26-year-old from Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation in British Columbia was shot by an Edmundston Police Force officer during a wellness check on June 4, 2020.

The officer never faced criminal charges.

In the same week, Rodney Levi of Metepenagiag First Nation was shot twice and killed by an RCMP officer responding to a call for assistance.

The deaths sparked a public outcry over systemic racism and the way police respond to people in mental distress.

A coroner's inquest concluded that Moore's death was a homicide.

Calls to action from the Chantal Moore Inquiry were presented during the ceremony.

They included training for police officers in how to act appropriately during encounters with Indigenous peoples and the implementation of a specialized Indigenous investigative unit to oversee and guide all cases involving Indigenous peoples.

Mrinali Anchan/CBC
Mrinali Anchan/CBC

"I'm hoping that today will bring forward some stronger recommendations for the municipal police, the provincial and federal policing," said Tremblay.

Coun. Greg Ericson represented Mayor Kate Rogers. who was away for a federal meeting.

The anniversary landed on Treaty Day, which Tremblay said is of great significance.

"Our treaties were based on peace and friendship so we are here to maintain the peace and friendship here."

Lisa Perley-Dutcher of Neqotkuk, formerly known as Tobique First Nation, said the gathering was in conjunction with a similar march in B.C. being held by Moore's mother.

"We're doing this in solidarity with them right now," she said.

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