Aaron Watts of Tseshaht First Nation sings a song to remember Chantel Moore during a vigil at Haahuupayak School on Thursday, June 4. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Aaron Watts of Tseshaht First Nation sings a song to remember Chantel Moore during a vigil at Haahuupayak School on Thursday, June 4. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Vancouver Island First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council requests an independent investigation

More than 100 people gathered at a vigil near Port Alberni on Thursday night to remember the life of a Tla-o-qui-aht woman who lost her life at the hands of police.

Chantel Moore, who used to reside in Port Alberni, was fatally shot by police in Edmundston, New Brunswick in the early morning hours on Thursday, June 4 after officers were called to check on her wellbeing.

The Edmundston Police Force has stated that Moore was holding a knife and making threats.

Moore’s family has stated that Moore was shot five times, although this detail has not been confirmed by police.

READ MORE: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police

The vigil on Thursday evening, which took place at Haahuupayak School, was organized by Myra Mack of Tseshaht First Nation.

“I never knew her personally, but she was a friend to many,” Mack explained.

Aaron Watts of Tseshaht First Nation opened the vigil by offering his condolences for Chantel’s family.

“All of Tseshaht is grieving with you,” he said on Thursday.

This is the second evening in a row that Tseshaht First Nation has gathered for songs and healing. On Wednesday, the community came together to offer forgiveness after an incident of racism that targeted First Nations on the Tseshaht reserve.

READ MORE: Racist incident shocks Tseshaht First Nation

READ MORE: Qualicum Beach man arrested over racist incident at Tseshaht First Nation

“I like the way we’ve been practicing,” said Watts. “In the face of ugliness, we come together. In the face of sorrow, we come together. This is true medicine, what we have right here.”

Members of multiple Nuu-chah-nulth nations came together to share songs and prayers throughout the evening. They also shared their experiences of racism. Moore’s death takes place at a time when people across Canada and the United States are taking to the streets to protest racism and police brutality.

“We’re fighting for our rights, we’re fighting for our freedom,” said Watts. “We’re fighting for the right to be equal. We’re now in a place where our people are literally dying at alarming rates.”

READ MORE: Port Alberni residents gather to protest racism

Martin Watts, another member of Tseshaht First Nation, explained that Moore had moved to Port Alberni from Campbell River to “make a better life for herself” and make new friends.

“And look how many friends she made,” he said, gesturing to the crowd.

He explained that Moore had moved again to New Brunswick to be with her five-year-old daughter, Gracie, and her mother.

A donation box at the vigil raised more than $1,000 for Moore’s Tla-o-qui-aht family, some of whom are planning to travel to New Brunswick to practice traditional Nuu-chah-nulth grieving protocols. A GoFundMe had raised more than $40,000 as of Thursday night.

“They still need a little bit of help,” said Martin Watts. “So share that GoFundMe, help where you can. Show support, show the love, let people know you care for them.”

The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council released a statement on Thursday, calling for immediate action in an independent investigation.

“The family and community of Chantal needs answers as to why she was shot on a health check by the police,” stated the release. “Justice must not wait and every power must be exerted to ensure that justice is served in an appropriate, immediate, and respectful way.”



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Kevin Titian (in white) speaks, remembering Chantel Moore, during a vigil at Haahuupayak School on Thursday, June 4. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Kevin Titian (in white) speaks, remembering Chantel Moore, during a vigil at Haahuupayak School on Thursday, June 4. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Just Posted

Fraser Health issued an overdose alert on Jan. 21, 2021 after an increase in overdoses over the past week in Chilliwack associated with a “greeny-blue/turquoise down substance.” (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Fraser Health issues drug overdose alert in Chilliwack

Alert comes after increase in overdoses associated with ‘greeny-blue/turquoise down substance’

ds
Mission potbellied-pig sanctuary mourns death of beloved old hog named Roscoe

14-year-old, 800-pound pig was ‘quite a character,’ said owner Janice Gillett

A screenshot from a local Instagram account video. The account appeared to be frequented by Mission students, and showed violent videos of students assaulting and bullying other students.
Parents, former students describe ‘culture of bullying’ in Mission schools

Nearly two dozen voices come forward speaking of abuse haunting the hallways

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA holds a webinar on Jan. 26 titled Staying Safe Online.
‘Staying Safe Online’ is subject of Fraser Valley webinar

Session on Tuesday, Jan. 26 is hosted by non-profit Circles of Support and Accountability

A door is boarded up following a fire at Pho Xuan restaurant on Yale Road on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
UPDATE: Early morning fire at vacant Chilliwack restaurant was deliberately set

Fire erupted north of the Yale Road overpass at Pho Xuan, which was permanently closed

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

The Vancouver-based SAR team successfully rescued two lost snowshoers off of the west side of Tim Jones Peak in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 19. (North Shore Rescue photo)
B.C.’s busiest SAR team raises alarm after 2021 begins with fatality, multiple rescues

‘People beyond ski resort areas of Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress go without cell reception,’ SAR warns

Post-COVID-19 recovery clinic in Surrey, at Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. (Photo: Fraser Health)
Surrey to host 1 of 3 post-COVID recovery clinics in Lower Mainland

The Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre is located at 9750 140th Street

Most Read