An Indigenous civilian monitor will be appointed in the investigation of the death of a man shot and killed by Tofino RCMP last weekend.
The man has been identified as Julian Jones, a 28-year-old member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation.
His death led to swift calls on Monday from Indigenous groups and First Nations for better oversight and justice reforms, as well as the appointment of an Indigenous person in the investigation.
“We call for an Indigenous person to be appointed to the IIO process, and we firmly demand that supports be in place for the family as they go through this heartbreak,” the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, Pacheedaht First Nation and the First Nations Leadership Council said in a joint statement.
The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIOBC) said they are consulting with First Nations leadership to identify a candidate for the position of a civilian monitor.
Section 38.08 of the Police Act permits the appointment of a person who is not a current or former member of any police force in B.C. or the RCMP to review a specific investigation.
IIOBC said in a statement Monday afternoon that the Indigenous monitor will have access to all documentation and evidence in the investigation.
They will be able to submit interim reports to the investigative team and must also submit a final report to the Chief Civilian Director of IIOBC at the conclusion of the investigation.
The oversight body also committed to making that final report available to the public.
In June, another member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation was killed by an Edmundston police officer, during a wellness check at an apartment in Edmunston, New Brunswick.
The victim in that incident, 26-year-old Chantel Moore, was shot dead after police said she answered the door armed with a knife and refused commands to drop it.
According to the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, the Hawiih (hereditary chiefs) and elected Council of Tla-o-qui-aht sent a list of demands, including calls for mandatory body cameras and better training and recruitment processes, that they say were never responded to.
“The use of deadly force by Canadian police forces against Indigenous peoples is an epidemic in this country,” the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council stated.
“There have been numerous inquiries, studies, reports, and a First Nations Justice Strategy in BC created to address the need for justice reform. Despite this, our citizens continue to die as a result of police shootings.”
A full report on the investigation into the death of Chantel Moore has not been made public.