Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

The Chief Councillor of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation says British Columbia’s police watchdog has agreed to allow an Indigenous person to act in an advisory role during its investigation of a fatal police shooting on the weekend.

Moses Martin says the decision by the Independent Investigations Office, which could not immediately be reached for comment, is something the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation had requested.

The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, Pacheedaht First Nation and the First Nations Leadership Council said in a statement they want a transparent investigation into the death of the man from the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation.

Story continues below advertisement

The RCMP said two officers from its Tofino detachment were called to a home on the Opitsaht reserve on nearby Meares Island to locate a woman in distress on Saturday night.

The Mounties allege an unspecified “interaction” took place in which one man was shot and killed, while another was arrested.

The RCMP declined to comment because the shooting is being investigated by the provincial Independent Investigations Office, which investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death.

The office says the RCMP responded to a report of a woman being held against her will at a residence on Meares Island at about 9:30 p.m. on Saturday. The woman was taken to hospital for medical assessment, it says.

Mr. Martin welcomed the advisory role, adding First Nations had also asked to participate in the investigation into the death of Chantel Moore, a 26-year-old Indigenous woman, in New Brunswick last year.

“That’s a change for us,” he said in an interview on Monday. “That’s something we also wanted to be a part of in the Chantel Moore case, but we never got a response.”

The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation is a member of the Nuu-chah-nulth tribal council and the Opitsaht reserve makes up one of its three major communities.

Story continues below advertisement

The Pacheedaht First Nation is part of the Nuu-chah-nulth culture, but does not fall under the council’s umbrella.

Mr. Martin added that the community will require RCMP officers who enter its territories to do so with an escort by a band member.

“Hopefully something like that would defuse some of the situations,” Mr. Martin said.

Judith Sayers, president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, said the death on the weekend is another shocking incident for the community involving police shootings.

“It just doesn’t make sense why there aren’t other de-escalation methods being used,” Ms. Sayers said.

“This has become far too often that Indigenous people are being shot. I just really hope people are taking note of this out in the public.”

Story continues below advertisement

An Edmundston police officer shot and killed Ms. Moore during a wellness check in June. Police allege she lunged at an officer with a knife, and her death was also investigated by the agency in Quebec that investigates police shootings.

Ms. Moore, who was from the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, had moved to the community in northwestern New Brunswick to be closer to her mother and young daughter.

New Brunswick’s public prosecutions service announced on Dec. 23 that it had received the Quebec agency’s report into her death and would take time to examine the findings.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies