Chantel Moore died Thursday. CP photo

Chantel Moore’s family plan healing ceremonies, will seek answers during N.B. trip

‘We grew up together. I think I need to say a final goodbye to her’

FREDERICTON — Ten family members of a 26-year-old Indigenous woman who was fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B., are travelling across the country from British Columbia to offer support to her mother and daughter, relatives said Sunday.

Amy Charlie, who grew up with Chantel Moore, said in an interview from Tofino, B.C., that it will be important for the family to gather in the days to come.

“We grew up together. I think I need to say a final goodbye to her,” said the 20-year-old cousin, adding that in Tla-o-qui-aht culture she is referred to as Moore’s sister due to their close relationship.

She and her grandmother, Nora Martin — who will also be on the trip — say the family is also hoping to meet with investigators to find out more about what occurred.

Moore died Thursday when police arrived at her home in response to a request to check on her well-being, and police have alleged their officer encountered a woman with a knife making threats.

Charlie and her grandmother say they are seeking more complete information from officials on what occurred,

“We all want answers,” said Charlie.

Martin is the sister of Moore’s biological grandmother but says she is considered a grandmother in their Tla-o-qui-aht culture.

She has said in earlier interviews with The Canadian Press that her family has endured previous trauma at the hands of police, and she is calling for lasting change to break the pattern.

More than 50 years ago, Martin’s grandfather suffered a broken neck while in police custody, she said.

Another relative died 10 to 12 years ago while in police custody, she said. There was an investigation and recommendations were made, but Martin says little has changed.

She and her sister, Grace Frank, have said they doubt the police version of events as Moore was a petite woman who they say was not violent.

“We have to know the circumstances. We can’t go with what the RCMP say. We don’t believe that Chantel attacked him. There’s no way in the world she would attack anybody,” said Martin.

“She had no mental health issues.”

However, the primary focus of the journey will be to offer support to their sister — Moore’s mother — and Moore’s five-year-old daughter.

Martin said the family expects they will meet Maliseet First Nation leaders after they arrive in Fredericton on Monday morning.

They are hoping to hold private, traditional ceremonies for Moore during a funeral and burial, once the coroner releases the body to the family.

“We can’t really do anything until we hear from the coroner,” the grandmother added.

“It’s very important. We value our family, whether they are alive or not. We treat the family member who has passed on with much, much respect,” she said.

Martin said later in the week it’s expected there will be a ”medicine walk,” which she says is a healing ceremony, in honour of Moore.

Late last week, a coalition of Maliseet First Nations called for an independent probe of the New Brunswick justice system in light of Moore’s death.

The six chiefs in the Wolastoqey First Nation in New Brunswick issued a joint statement expressing their condolences to Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation in B.C. to which Moore belonged.

It is signed by the chiefs of communities along the Saint John River Valley, including Tobique, St. Mary’s, Madawaska, Oromocto, Kingsclear and Woodstock First Nations.

Public Safety Minister Carl Urquhart said in an emailed statement that a probe has started through Quebec’s independent police investigation agency, known as the Bureau des enquetes independantes, along with a New Brunswick coroner’s investigation.

“Decisions on next steps will be taken after the investigations have been completed,” wrote the solicitor general.

It remains unclear what agency will recommend if a prosecution should proceed for the shooting, as the Bureau des enquetes independantes has stated its sole role is to produce a summary of the facts.

Their findings will be sent to the public prosecution service and the RCMP, said an email from a spokesman for Urquhart.

The Quebec agency has provided a brief statement, saying its investigation will determine if the information provided by police is accurate.

The City of Edmundston and the Edmundston Police Force said Friday they will make no further comment.

The union representing the 30 police officers and 11 dispatchers in the service said on Saturday in a release that it wished to offer sincere condolences to the family of Moore, calling the death “a difficult and tragic situation for all the parties involved.”

Relatives have said that Moore’s mother, Martha, had been raising Chantel’s daughter Gracie in New Brunswick, and Moore recently moved there to be with her mother and daughter and to go to college.

In Ottawa Friday, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller has said the family deserves answers, quickly. “It was a wellness check and someone died,” he said. “I can’t process that.”

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

There were 410 COVID-19 cases recorded in Alberta Wednesday. (File photo)
Alberta records 410 COVID-19 cases Wednesday

Central zone dropped to 160 active cases

Shaun Isaac, owner of Woodchucker Firewood in Trochu, is awaiting a new shipment during a firewood shortage in the province. All of the wood he has left is being saved for long-time customers who need it to heat their homes. (Contributed photo).
Firewood shortage in central Alberta caused by rising demand, gaps in supply

‘I’ve said “No” to more people than ever’: firewood seller

file photo
Maskwacis RCMP investigate pedestrian fatality

Collision on Highway 2A causing fatality still under investigation.

Shaela Dansereau/ The Pipestone Flyer
City of Wetaskiwin cases rapidly climbing

City of Wetaskiwin reporting 11 active cases of COVID-19

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta labour board orders health-care staff who walked off the job to go back to work

Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a news release that he was pleased with the labour board’s decision

Husky Energy logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Husky pipeline spills 900,000 litres of produced water in northwestern Alberta

The energy regulator says environmental contractors are at the site

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Sharon Hickin, general manager of the Days Inn Sylvan Lake and the new Lake House Diner, poses for a photo outside the new restaurant. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News
Pandemic puts extra hurdles in place for new Sylvan Lake businesses

Over the past seven months numerous new businesses have opened in Sylvan Lake, despite the pandemic

Rachel Notley, leader of Alberta’s official Opposition, speaks in Edmonton on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. Notley says the government needs to sharply ramp up the number of contact tracers if it wants to get a handle on the rising number of COVID-19 cases. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Opposition calls for more COVID-19 contact tracers as case numbers rise

Alberta has about 800 tracers, and chief medical health officer Dr. Hinshaw says more are being recruited

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. Hospital and health-care workers who staged a one-day illegal walkout returned to work Tuesday while politicians swapped recriminations and accusations in the house over the dispute. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta health staff return to work, surgeries resume after one-day walkout

AHS estimated 157 non-emergency surgeries, most of them in Edmonton, had to be postponed as a result of the walkout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way to provide an update on the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Canada has reached a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing 10,000 novel coronavirus deaths. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta COVID deaths pushes Canada past milestone of 10,000 deaths

Canada crossed the threshold of 5,000 deaths on May 12, a little over two months after the first was reported

Cases in Ponoka (East Ponoka County) as of Oct. 27. (alberta.ca)
Diagnosed cases of COVID-19 at three Ponoka businesses

Town ‘strongly encouraging’ residents to wear non-medical masks in public

Most Read