Canadian Aboriginal organizations called for an impartial inquiry into the death of a young Aboriginal woman, who was shot by a police officer, on Saturday and denounced the discrimination suffered by First Nations people.
The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CPA), one of five national Aboriginal organizations, demanded “a public inquiry under Aboriginal supervision”, to shed light on the death of 26-year-old Chantel Moore.
The young woman was killed Thursday by a police officer from Edmundston, New Brunswick (east). He came to check on the young woman’s health, at the request of a loved one.
Edmundston police said the officer was confronted by a threatening woman armed with a knife and that he had to defend himself. According to the family, the policeman fired five times. An investigation into the circumstances of the police intervention and the death of the young woman was opened.
“The tragic murder of Chantel Moore demonstrates once again that Canada’s Aboriginal peoples face very different circumstances when they interact with the police and the justice system,” said Robert Bertrand, National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples ( CPA), in a press release on Saturday.
“The assassination of members of our peoples by those who have the duty to protect, must stop,” said Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), in another statement.
Bellegarde also called for an “impartial inquiry to determine why lethal force was used and whether the young woman’s race played a role in the police decision”.
Several studies “have revealed the existence of systemic racism against First Nations within the police force and the justice system,” he added.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke on the issue of discrimination in Canada on Friday before participating in a demonstration in Ottawa against racism and police violence, following the death of George Floyd in the United States.
“In the past few weeks, we have seen that a large number of Canadians have suddenly realized that discrimination is a reality experienced by too many of our fellow citizens and something that must stop,” he said during the meeting. from his daily press briefing.
An aboriginal chief of the province of Alberta (west), Mr. Allan Adam, chief of the Chipewayans of Athabasca on the other hand accused on Saturday police officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) of having brutally struck him during ” a routine check, last March, on his license plate. The RCMP, for its part, accused Mr. Allan of having resisted his arrest.