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

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

This young fledgling white raven was spotted in the Coombs area on May 16. (Mike Yip photo)
Expert says 2 sets of parents producing rare white ravens in mid-Island area

One of the iconic birds is currently recovering at wildlife centre after being rescued

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

The Parksville Civic and Technology Centre. Offices will re-open to the general public on June 21. (PQB News file photo)
Parksville’s city hall offices to open again on June 21

Offices will resume pre-COVID hours of operation

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Most Read