Hundreds walk to honour Chantel Moore Saturday in Halifax
The event started in Grand Parade and ended at Halifax police headquarters
About 400 people gathered to take part in a healing walk in memory of Chantel Moore in Halifax on Saturday.
The ceremony for Indigenous peoples and supporters began in Grand Parade around 1:30 p.m., with many dressed in shades of yellow and gold.
Attendees were asked to wear their Indigenous regalia, gold and yellow colours, or rainbows.
Moore's catchphrase was, "stay golden," according to organizers, and shortly after she died a rainbow appeared in the sky.
The event was one of many that happened across Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to honour Moore, the 26-year-old Indigenous woman who was shot and killed by police in Edmundston earlier this month.
Healing walks also took place in Edmundston, Fredericton, Moncton and the Membertou First Nation in Cape Breton on Saturday.
The Edmundston Police Force has said an officer shot a woman during a wellness check June 4 after she threatened him with a knife. The officer was not injured
Halifax organizers said the priority of the event was collective healing, although they also wanted to amplify the message "abolish the police."
They say too many Indigenous and Black lives have been lost at the hands of police.
Moore's funeral was Thursday. Quebec's independent police investigation agency, the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), is investigating the shooting and the province confirmed on Thursday a coroner's inquest will take place.
Walk attendees urged to wear regalia, certain colours
Attendees of the 'Healing Walk K'jipuktuk', the Mi'kmaw name for Halifax, were asked to read through proper protocol composed by Dr. Imelda Perley on the Facebook event.
Perley, the former Elder-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick and instructor at the Mi'kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre, writes that a healing walk should never be called a protest.
"This is not our traditional word, we instead use 'Ikatomone' (eek-gut-moh-neh) which translates to 'let's guard' our way of life, our languages, our ceremonies, our rights to declare justice," she said.
Perley said other protocols include using sacred drums, and wearing ceremonial skirts and shirts to honour the First Nations' colours and pride.
Police kill Indigenous man Friday night
A day before the various walks, police shot and killed another Indigenous person in New Brunswick.
Friends and community members have identified the man killed as Rodney Levi, 48, of the Metepenagiag First Nation.
Quebec's BEI is also investigating the shooting, which they said happened in the vicinity of Miramichi, N.B., which is about 32 km east of Metepenagiag First Nation.
Levi was shot by a member of the Sunny Corner RCMP during an incident in Boom Road, N.B.
RCMP were called at 8 p.m. local time to respond to reports of a person "possibly armed with a knife."
Officers reportedly found the person in a building with the knife and used a stun gun "several times, without success," said the statement.
The statement said the individual allegedly charged at police and one of the officers fired his gun, hitting the man, who was then given medical assistance and later pronounced dead at a hospital.
The water ceremony has been cancelled. Those who were going to lead the ceremony knew and loved Rodney Levi. Organizers say the focus is supposed to be the water, not anger or grief. "Intentions have been stolen from us by police violence." <a href="https://t.co/VJ7eQFNJwy">pic.twitter.com/VJ7eQFNJwy</a>—@brooklyncbc
The organizers of the Halifax event handed out pamphlets with the names of eight Indigenous people who were killed by police forces in Canada since April. Levi was not among them.
In light of Levi's death, which organizers said was "unbearable," there was no water ceremony.
The people set to lead the ceremony knew Levi, so the event was cancelled to give them room to grieve.
Instead, the walk ended at Halifax Regional Police headquarters on Gottingen Street, where demonstrators led chants and played a grieving song in honour of Moore and Levi.
With files from Brooklyn Currie