June 17, 2020 – Wapna’kikewi’skwaq – Women of First Light, an Indigenous women-led organization is deeply saddened and disheartened that another young Indigenous woman, Chantal Moore, has been killed. Then on June 12th, a young Mi’Kmaq man, Rodney Levi was killed by police in northern NB. Both point to the wide-spread and systemic racism towards Indigenous people, people of colour in Canada.
Wapna’kikewi’skaq – Women of First Light strongly requests that the investigation into Chantal Moore and Rodney Levis’s death be led by Indigenous people. “We need Indigenous people, especially women to be leading this investigation”, stated Clan Mother and Board member, miigam’agan, “We have seen time and again how the truth is hidden, and the institutions protect their own.” Wapna’kikewi’skaq is more than willing to identify Indigenous police, lawyers and others who are qualified to lead this investigation in a respectful and thorough manner. “The Clan Mothers watch our people. We know who has integrity, good values and skills”, explained Jane Meader, a Clan Mother from Membertou. Meader added, “We support the five Chiefs in NB calling for an independent investigation and encourage the involvement of Clan Mothers in selecting who should do this crucial and heartbreaking work.”
“We have lost all faith in justice in Canada for Indigenous people.” Catherine Martin, Board member, explained, “Without our direct involvement in the investigations, we believe, we will not see the truth come out. This was a wellness check! The woman was afraid from being harassed by a man. Someone knocks loudly on the door at 2 am and so she comes to the door with a knife. That makes sense. Killing her does not,” explained Martin adding, “The same goes to Rodney. He was reaching out for help, when he was killed.”
Women of First Light has started an on-line petition requesting that the Clan Mothers be involved in selecting who is involved in the investigations. Over 1,000 signatures have been added in less than 24 hours. They do not trust the Quebec Police due to experiences of Indigenous people within Quebec.
There can be no reconciliation without justice.