A second candlelight vigil will take place in Victoria tonight to commemorate the life of Chantel Moore.
Moore was a 26-year-old Indigenous woman who had moved to New Brunswick from her home on Vancouver Island, before she was shot five times and killed by a police officer during a wellness check on June 4.
RCMP alleges that Moore was brandishing a knife, and the officer in question did not attempt to use non-lethal weapons during the incident.
Last week, hundreds of people showed up at the BC Legislature for a vigil in Moore’s honour.
Now her aunt Laura Mason, who hails from the Tla-o-quiaht First Nation located near Tofino, is hoping people will attend a second ceremony at the BC Legislature tonight, to not only keep Moore’s story alive, but also hear from other Indigenous people about their experiences.
“I don’t want Chantel’s story to be swept under the rug. I don’t want her to be forgotten or dismissed because she was brutally shot to death when the police were there meant to check on her, not kill her,” said Mason in a phone interview with Victoria Buzz.
“This week I’m hoping people will share their experiences of police brutality and their truths as an Indigenous person. Everyone I know that is Indigenous has experienced something that non-Indigenous people don’t know or can’t really relate to or understand.”
The event on Thursday evening will take place at the BC Legislature grounds from 7 p.m. til 10 p.m., the first hour of which will be reserved for Moore’s mother, Martha Martin, and other Indigenous people to speak about their experiences.
The hour between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. will be reserved for freestyle drumming and singing from anyone who wishes to participate.
“I imagine there will be people that have heavy things to share and I don’t want people to leave vulnerable and raw. So we’ll start to wrap up with songs,” adds Mason.
At 9 p.m., Mason will be announcing a special project in memoriam of Moore and her mother, which will be followed by a candlelight vigil and five minutes of silence to represent the five gunshots that killed Chantel Moore.
According to Mason, she and Moore’s other family members are seeking some level of accountability on the part of the police officer who shot her.
“As Indigenous people, we don’t wish people unwell on people, it’s not in our nature, but we do expect accountability rather than just a slap on the wrist,” she said.
Around 400 people are expected to show up at the gathering and are all encouraged to wear masks.
Mason says those who do not bring a face covering can request one from organizers on the ground. There will also be hand sanitizer available at the event.
Just like last week’s memorial, attendees are asked to bring candles for the vigil, and wear yellow to represent Moore’s favourite colour and phrase, ‘Stay Golden’.
Second vigil for Chantel Moore
- When: 7 p.m. – 10 p.m., June 25
- Where: BC Legislature grounds