New Brunswick

Chantel Moore's family arrives in New Brunswick, greeted by community leaders

The family of the 26-year-old Indigenous woman shot by police last week has arrived at the Fredericton International Airport.

Moore, 26, was killed by an Edmundston police officer performing a wellness check

Members of the local First Nations hug outside the arrivals area of the Fredericton Airport in Lincoln, New Brunswick on Monday June 8, 2020. The members were there to greet family members of a 26-year-old Indigenous woman Chantel Moore who was fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B. (Stephen MacGillivray/The Canadian Press)

The family of the 26-year-old First Nations woman shot by police last week have arrived at the Fredericton International Airport.

The family members were greeted by community leaders with drumming and singing. They're in the province to seek answers and provide support to Moore's mother and five-year-old daughter.

Chantel Moore was shot by an Edmundston Police Force officer who came to her home to conduct a wellness check Thursday. Her death inspired an outcry in light of protests against systemic racism in policing in the United States and Canada.

Family members told The Canadian Press they had many questions about what led to her death.

Chief Alan Polchies Jr., of St. Mary's First Nation in Fredericton, speaks with the media outside the arrivals area of the Fredericton Airport. Polchies was there to greet family members of 26-year-old Indigenous woman Chantel Moore who was fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B. (Stephen MacGillivray/The Canadian press)

Amy Charlie, who is Moore's cousin but also referred to as her sister as per Tla-o-qui-aht culture, also told the news agency it's important for the family to be together.

"I think I need to say a final goodbye to her,'' she said.

The family arrived from British Columbia to the sound of drumming and singing from the New-Brunswick-area Indigenous community and members of St. Mary's First Nation. Aboriginal Affairs Minister Jake Stewart and Lt.–Gov. Brenda Murphy were also in attendance.

Family of Indigenous woman killed by Edmundston police arrives in Fredericton

1 year ago
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Family of Chantel Moore, the First Nations woman who was killed by Edmundston police last week, arrived in Fredericton on Monday to seek answers and provide support to Moore's five-year-old daughter Gracie. 0:59

"It's simply not good enough to tell Indigenous leaders to sit and wait while our communities continue to suffer from a broken system," said Chief Alan Polchies of St. Mary's First Nation.

He said Moore was shot on the one-year anniversary of the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, highlighting the issue even further.

"Justice delayed is justice denied. We demand action now."

Polchies said there will be a healing walk in Madawaska on Saturday.

"Healing is a process of Indigenous people. And today we come here to greet the family that came from the other part of Turtle Island. That came from Tofino."

Edmundston police have said the officer shot Moore to "defend himself" because she allegedly had a knife and was making threats. An independent police watchdog is investigating the shooting and the police force's claims.

It's not clear exactly what led to the wellness check. Moore's aunt told CBC News a former boyfriend who lives in Toronto had asked police to check on her because she was being harassed. Insp. Steve Robinson with the Edmundston police said Moore had received "strange" messages on Facebook.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, says she can't reveal if Chantel Moore's family received a compassionate exemption to the interprovincial travel ban and the mandatory 14-day isolation requirement. (Ed Hunter/CBC)

When asked if there will be a coroner's inquest into Moore's death, Premier Blaine Higgs said there is a full investigation being done by the independent Quebec body. 

"I will be awaiting to understand the full details," he said. 

Higgs said he would be open to discussing the merits of a national inquest into the relationship between police and First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples in Canada, but did not say if he's for or the against the idea.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, said public heath will make compassionate exemptions to the interprovincial travel ban and the 14-day mandatory self isolation requirement, but would not say if Moore's family has received this exemption.

"It's obviously a very tragic situation," she said.

"What I can say in a general sense is, from the beginning, we have on a case-by-case basis made compassionate exemptions, and the details of those compassionate exemptions are worked out between Public Safety and Public Health in terms of what protocols are followed."

With files from The Canadian Press and Radio-Canada

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