KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Some 60 Mi’kmaq and allies gathered last evening at the Halifax Regional Police HQ on Gottingen Street to remember and honour Eishia Hudson, who was murdered by Winnipeg police one year ago. Eishia was just 16 years old when she died.
The officer in question was cleared of any charges by Manitoba’s Independent Investigation Unit. Eishia’s family is calling for a public inquiry.
Last night’s memorial in Halifax, one of four such events Canada-wide, was a sad and moving but also an angry event.
“No parents should ever have to say goodbye to their child because the police murdered them. When Eishia was murdered, I remember seeing it on social media, and my heart broke, and my rage boiled. Of course, I wanted to take the streets, I wanted to burn everything down, but because of COVID and its protocol we couldn’t,” one of the speakers told the crowd.
Speakers were justifiably frustrated, not only because Eishia’s murder by police was just one of so many Indigenous people senselessly killed, but also because of how difficult it is to mobilize the larger white settler community around these issues.
“The system is fucking broken. What do we want to do about it? These things happen right in our backyard, they’re not far away, these aren’t distant people we will never know. They’re me, you, they’re us. So take away from this, bring more people with you and get more people here.”
Someone read a letter by William Hudson, the father of Eishia.
“My daughter was so much more than the media can ever hope to explain. She was a bright young girl. She had a smile so big and so beautiful. She would have all my eyes on her with her contagious positive attitudes. She had a heart of gold.“
“My daughter was only 16 years old, a child. She was never given the chance to grow. For far too long, we have had many murdered and missing women, girls, two spirit, men and boys taken from us, with no justice within this colonial government. We have never received justice.”
“We call upon the government for a public inquiry into the murder of my 16 year old daughter Aisha Hudson. We demand change. The BIPOC community is done with being mistreated, labelled and victimized by police brutality with no consequences or action. This is wrong.”
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