The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. Indigenous leaders are calling for an investigation into the conduct of Mounties on Vancouver Island after two police shootings of members of a small First Nations community in three months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. Indigenous leaders are calling for an investigation into the conduct of Mounties on Vancouver Island after two police shootings of members of a small First Nations community in three months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Indigenous leaders call for clarity, investigation into RCMP after B.C. shooting

The RCMP declined to comment on the requests by Indigenous leaders

Indigenous leaders are calling for an investigation into the conduct of Mounties on Vancouver Island after two members of a small First Nation were shot by police in the last three months.

A Tla-o-qui-aht woman was badly injured after being shot multiple times Saturday when police responded to a report of a disturbance at a home in the community of Port Albion, located on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

The shooting follows the death of Julian Jones, a 28-year-old Tla-o-qui-aht man, who was shot and killed by RCMP officers on Meares Island in late February.

Judy Wilson, the secretary-treasurer of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, said the conduct of the RCMP detachments in the communities of Tofino and Ucluelet needs to be investigated in the wake of the most recent shooting.

“This tragedy, this trauma, it will stay with the family and the children for generations to come,” she said.

She said the victim is a mother of two and suffered gunshot injuries to her spine, leaving questions about her future quality of life.

“There should be a review. How are they handling these calls to the community?” Wilson said.

The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation is a member of the Nuu-chah-nulth tribal council.

Tribal council president Judith Sayers said her members have been left with a lot of questions and few answers from police.

“Can you imagine having had your daughter, or your brother, or someone you know shot and you don’t know why? You don’t know what the circumstances were until an investigation is complete,” she said.

“There’s got to be more details provided and I’m sure that can be done without impugning the investigation.”

Sayers said police forces across Canada need to re-evaluate their use-of-force protocols and training, particularly when it comes to working with Indigenous or other communities they may have little experience with.

Officers may feel alone or unwelcome in a community where they don’t know many, or any, people and police training needs to work with Indigenous groups to help officers understand and respect the community they’re entering, Sayers added.

The RCMP declined to comment on the requests by Indigenous leaders, citing an investigation by the Independent Investigations Office.

The police watchdog, which investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death, is investigating both of the shootings.

For the first time in its history, the watchdog allowed an Indigenous community member to act as a civilian monitor in its investigation into the death of Jones.

The monitor is able to look at any aspect of the investigation, interview investigators and submit a report at the end on its competency and outcome.

Ron MacDonald, the chief civilian director of the investigations office, said in an interview that it is looking to have a similar position made available for this investigation.

“We want to do aseffective an investigation as we can and we also want to do it in such a way that engenders as much trust in the community as we’re able to do,” he said.

MacDonald said the watchdog is looking at developing a community liaison to help with its work with Indigenous groups.

— By Nick Wells in Vancouver

The Canadian Press

IndigenousRCMPShooting

Just Posted

A key in the lock of a door. (File photo)
Sicamous residents say lack of long-term rentals detrimental to town

A couple who have lived in Sicamous for 27 years and want to stay might have to leave

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Brodie Stuart and her mom, Mikel Stuart, gather for the celebration at Parkview Elementary on June 18, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Eagle Valley News)
Three Shuswap parents honoured for combined 34 years of volunteering

Parkview Elementary parent advisory council members surprised by appreciative flash mob

Centennial Field in Blind Bay will be the site of Market by the Bay on Thursday nights starting June 24, 2021. (Columbia Shuswap Regional District photo)
Forty vendors expected for new Market by the Bay in the South Shuswap

Market starting June 24 to be situated at Centennial Field in Blind Bay

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to collect donations ahead of Kristy Handel’s 33-kilometre run for Chelaine McInroy (pictured) to cover costs for a new prosthetic leg after her June 12, 2021, surgery. (GoFundMe)
Salmon Arm woman runs to raise funds for friend’s new prosthetic leg

33-kilometre Run for Chelaine to help athlete cover medical costs from latest surgery

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
‘Springsteen on Broadway’ clears way for AstraZeneca recipients to attend show

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Most Read