FREDERICTON — A dozen family members of a 26-year-old Indigenous woman who was shot dead by police in Edmundston, N.B., last week, arrived in New Brunswick on Monday to a high-profile greeting at the Fredericton airport.
The relatives of Chantel Moore travelled across the country from British Columbia to offer support to her grieving mother and daughter.
A ceremony that featured drumming and singing acknowledged the family’s arrival.
New Brunswick Aboriginal Affairs Minister Jake Stewart, who was joined at the airport by Lt.-Gov. Brenda Murphy, said he felt it was important to be there as the family arrived.
“I felt as minister of Aboriginal affairs I should be here to show support for the family and bring condolences from my family and my colleagues at the provincial government,” Stewart said.
Moore was killed early Thursday when Edmundston police arrived at her home in response to a request to check on her well-being. Police have alleged their officer encountered a woman with a knife.
A probe has started through Quebec’s independent police investigation agency, known as the Bureau des enquetes independantes. New Brunswick does not have its own agency to investigate incidents involving police.
The Quebec agency has said it won’t comment until it files its report.
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.
Family members were met at the airport by leaders from the Maliseet First Nation.
St. Mary’s First Nation Chief Allan Polchies said Moore’s death occurred a year after the report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and Indigenous leaders are still waiting for action.
“Our voices matter here in this country. It is simply not good enough to tell Indigenous leaders to sit and wait while our communities continue to suffer from a broken system,” Polchies said.
“Justice delayed is justice denied. We demand action now,” he said.
Polchies said a “healing walk” will be held in Edmundston on Saturday to assist the family in the healing process.