Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Ron MacDonald fields questions at a news conference in Halifax on Sept. 27, 2011.

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

British Columbia’s police watchdog has run into complications as it works to name an Indigenous civilian monitor for its investigation of the shooting death of a Tla-o-qui-aht man in February, its chief civilian director says.

Julian Jones, 28, was shot and killed by RCMP officers on the Opitsaht reserve on Meares Island, B.C., in late February.

The decision to have an Indigenous civilian monitor its investigation was a first for the watchdog, with an aim of helping investigators work more closely with affected communities.

Story continues below advertisement

But Ron MacDonald, the head of the Independent Investigations Office, says there have been issues with finding a candidate who will be comfortable following privacy protocols.

“The challenge to the civilian monitor role is while the person is given complete access to the file, they’re not allowed to discuss that with anybody due to privacy laws,” he said. “That’s an issue the community is still figuring out.”

Part of the problem, MacDonald said, is having regular citizens understand how police investigations operate. Watchdog members aren’t able to comment on cases, with MacDonald having the final say on what can be released to the wider public.

He admits it’s a process that can take time to get used to, especially when it involves close-knit communities.

Jones was the second of three Tla-o-qui-aht members shot by police in the past year, two of which ended in deaths.

MacDonald said the civilian monitor program in its current form may not be the “perfect fit” for this and other investigations.

“It might mean in the future, we’ll go to the government and say ‘we need to change the legislation’ and come up with a better program or way for the community to be involved in our investigations,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

Judith Sayers, the president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, said in an interview that the recent investigation into the death of Chantel Moore highlights the need for Indigenous voices in police watchdog investigations.

Moore was a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, which is part of the Nuu-chah-nulth council.

She was living in New Brunswick when an Edmunston police officer shot and killed her during a wellness check in June 2020. Prosecutors have ruled out criminal charges against the officer.

“We had absolutely no information or anyone on the inside to make sure that investigation went right,” Sayers said about the investigation into Moore’s death.

The civilian monitor role, if done properly, offers a chance for Indigenous input on a process they’re often excluded from, Sayers said.

“We have to find ways to make the system better. If somebody sits on an internal investigation we might know more about how we can make this operate better.”

Story continues below advertisement

MacDonald said his office has been working to develop a community liaison program, which would draw expertise from members from various communities.

“The whole idea would be that they would help us explain to people who we are, what we do,” he said. “Similarly they would be able to give us information about their community, how we can make the correct approaches and right steps.”

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth declined a request for an interview on the subject of Indigenous communities and policing.

The issue of reaching out and forming trust between the police watchdog and other communities is important, MacDonald said, noting preliminary data shows Indigenous people are overrepresented in police complaints investigations.

Out of the 90 cases investigated by the watchdog where victims identified their ethnicity, MacDonald said Indigenous people accounted for 25.

Sayers said the shootings have taken a toll on the Tla-o-qui-aht and Nuu-chah-nulth communities.

Story continues below advertisement

“That’s an amazing number of people who have been shot by police,” she said, referring to thetwo deaths out of a community of 1,200. “It’s huge for us to be dealing with.”

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

This content appears as provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.

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.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

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