Protest undermines B.C. healing ceremony for Indigenous woman
September 24, 2021 By Canadian Press
Sept. 20, 2021 – Family of a Vancouver Island Indigenous woman killed during a police wellness check in New Brunswick says the effort to seek justice has been overshadowed by a weekend attack on Victoria’s police chief.
Chantel Moore’s family and the chief say it’s time to focus on Moore again.
A video statement issued Sunday by Moore’s family and police Chief Del Manak follows the assault on Manak one day earlier. A woman poured liquid on the chief as he was an invited guest at a memorial for Moore outside the British Columbia legislature.
Manak was not hurt, and police say the suspect, who was not invited to the ceremony, was arrested, along with four others who interfered as police responded.
Hjalmer Wenstob, who speaks for Moore’s family, says her mother is “disheartened” to see how the event to demand justice for Moore was undermined. Wenstob says the family opposes violence and apologized to Manak in accordance with Nuu-chah-nulth traditions.
Meanwhile, Manak says it’s time to refocus on work being done by Moore’s family to prevent similar deaths.
Moore was killed in June 2020 in Edmonston, N.B., during a police wellness check.
The assault on Manak happened moments after he was recognized during a traditional blanketing ceremony Saturday to honour Moore and begin the healing process with police.
Moore’s family has made eight demands ranging from body cameras for all police officers to a better system of handling wellness checks, and acknowledgment and action to address racism and discrimination.
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