Assembly of First Nations women’s council calls for accountability in death of Chantel Moore

It’s been two years since Chantel Moore was fatally shot by police in New Brunswick during a wellness check.

Her family and advocates are still looking for justice, and say more needs to be done.

“Where do we go when the people who are supposed to be helping us are the ones who are murdering us?” said Ocean Man First Nation Chief Connie Big Eagle, chair of the Assembly of First Nations Women’s Council, on Monday during a news conference in Vancouver.

“We need to find solutions and we need to be included in those solutions.”

Connie Big Eagle, chief of Ocean Man First Nation in Saskatchewan, is the chair of the AFN Women’s Council. (CBC)

Chiefs from across Canada are gathering in Vancouver this week for the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) annual general assembly. The organization’s women’s council, which works to ensure that the concerns and perspectives of First Nations women inform the work of the AFN, is advocating for greater police accountability and justice for Moore’s family.

Moore, a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation in B.C., was shot and killed by an Edmundston, N.B., police officer who’d been dispatched to check on her wellbeing on June 4, 2020.

In May, a New Brunswick coroner’s inquest ruled her death a homicide. In 2021, the New Brunswick Police Commission found there was “insufficient evidence” that the officer breached the Code of Professional Conduct Regulation. The Public Prosecutions Service of New Brunswick has said it will not pursue charges against the officer.

Moore’s family says there’s been no justice.

“I’m not going anywhere. I’m not going to be silenced,” said Moore’s mother Martha Martin. 

“I’m so tired of seeing recommendations after recommendations and we see no action. Until I see hard action, we’re going to continue to make noise.”

Chantel Moore with her daughter Gracie. Moore was killed by police in 2020. (Submitted by Grace Frank)

Martin’s son died by suicide while in police custody in 2020, five months after Moore.

“There’s been several shootings after,” said Martin.

“This list can go on and on… We need our leadership to step in and start making action plans. I’m done seeing recommendations. I want to see hard action.”

Resolutions to implement Calls for Justice

The AFN Women’s Council is pushing for the implementation of the 231 Calls for Justice made by the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Two draft resolutions will be put forward during the general assembly this week: to support the family of Chantel Moore and implementation of the 231 Calls for Justice, and to support sustainable funding and accountability for the implementation of the 231 Calls for Justice. 

“We are here in solidarity to say that Chantel will not be forgotten,” said B.C. Women’s Council representative Louisa Housty-Jones.

“We must continue to press for justice for Chantel and all those who have experienced death and abuse at the hands of the police.”

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