KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Some 700 Mi’kmaq people and allies came to the Grand Parade in downtown Halifax for a solemn and very moving gathering and healing walk in memory of Chantel Moore.
Chantel is the 26 year old mother from the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation killed by a police officer early in the morning of June 4th, in Edmunston, New Brunswick, during what was supposed to be a wellness check.
Last night’s killing of Rodney Levi, a Mi’kmaq father of three from Metepenagiag First Nation, also by New Brunswick RCMP, was very much on people’s minds.
Nine Indigenous people were killed by police in Canada since April.
“Our Healing Walk should never be called a “protest”, this is not our traditional word, we instead use “Ikatomone”(eek-gut-moh-neh) which translates to “let’s guard” our way of life, our languages, our ceremonies, our rights to declare justice,” stated an excerpt of the Healing Walk Protocol for the event.
The ceremonial water carrying component of the march was cancelled.
“Rodney Levi is known and loved by organizers of this event. And when you carry water, the intention should be about the water, and not about anger and grief. So we’ve had to postpone that, because these intentions have been stolen from us by police violence,” one of the organizers explained.
Before walking mostly silently to the Gottingen Street police headquarters the crowd listened to drumming, singing, the recitation of a poem and several speeches.
Everybody wore masks and took great care to maintain physical distancing.
From the talk by Raven Davis
Don’t wait for our lives to be taken, support us now. Do the work you need to do to understand how you are implicated in harming and oppressing Indigenous and Black people.
I’m here today to ask you to consider how you were complicit in harm, in racism and oppression, in ableism, in transphobia, in white supremacy, here in Kjipuktuk, here in Halifax, the city you live and work in, a city, province and state that has in the past and continues to suppress Indigenous and Black lives.
We can no longer continue to erase the violent history of Canada when Indigenous and Black lives are yet to be free, in government, in academia, in our organizations, in our institutions and our healthcare system, in our correctional services, in our prisons, this violence must be addressed.Raven Davis
From the talk by David Ladouceur
All I can do is share with you my story of run ins with the system. As a child, I became a part of the child welfare system, taken away from my parents home and put it into foster care.
Foster care was the pipeline to prison. There I fought a different system, the legal system is not designed for Indigenous people. It’s designed to punish us and pull us away.
I’ve lived all across Canada, from one coast to the other. And I found myself calling Halifax my home.
Part of the reason for me coming to Halifax was, I thought, in a smaller city I’ll be alright. Well, it didn’t turn out that way. When you get stopped three times in one week by the police, that’s harassment. When you get followed into your workplace from across the bridge, that’s harassment.
They say, if you’re indigenous today, it’s a miracle. If you survived, it’s a miracle.David Ladouceur
More from Raven Davis’ talk
Chantel Moore left behind a five year old girl. A girl who will grow up knowing the police murdered her mother. A girl who will grow up mourning her mother every time she sees a police car.
Chantel Moore left behind a girl who will be permanently affected for the rest of her life as a result of the murder of her mother, who is violently taken by police. Chantel’s little girl is going to bed today without a hug from her loving arms. She is going to bed without a story that puts your mind in a fairy tale end. She’s going to bed without a song, a lullaby or a chant.
She’s going to bed without a kiss from her mother. She’s going to bed without a prayer spoken by her mother. And most unfortunate, she will never have the opportunity to know Chantel Moore, her mother, her incredible resilience, strength and beauty.Raven Davis
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