Healing Walks To Honour Chantel Moore Were Held In Canada & Even Rain Couldn't Stop Them
They weren't conventional protests, but rather traditional "Ikatomone"s.
People came together on the east coast in memory of a life tragically lost. Chantel Moore was honoured by multiple healing walks in Canada. Even the rain couldn't stop people from marching for her.
On June 13, healing walks were held in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in memory of Moore and all missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two-spirit and LGTBQ+ people.
All Indigenous peoples and allies were asked to participate.
They were held in Edmundston where Moore was killed, as well as Fredericton, Moncton and Halifax.
Protocols for the walks include both silence and chants to honour emotions, wearing ceremonial skirts and shirts, using sacred drums to soothe the shared anguish and sacred pipes to invoke power.
Even as it rained in Edmundston, people walked through the streets in Moore's memory to honour her.
At the end of the walk there in the town square, her family addressed the crowd of gatherers.
One family member said that she was the second person in the family to be killed by a police officer.
"We've been hurt many times," he said. "How can we ever trust any police force? Why should we answer a door for a wellness check?"
Other protocols include wearing red shawls as a symbol for all missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and wearing moccasins to leave sacred tracks.
A healing walk should never be called a protest as that's not the traditional word.
Instead, "Ikatomone" is used which translates to "let's guard" our way of life, languages, ceremonies and rights to declare justice.
People were asked to remember Moore by bringing drums, shakers, art and signs along with wearing gold and yellow, Indigenous regalia and rainbows.
The walk's organizer said that shortly after she was killed, a rainbow was seen in the sky.
Some brought signs that said, "Indigenous lives matter" and called for justice.
Everybody was also asked to show compassion, care, and courtesy in their expressions during the walk.
Moore, a 26-year-old indigenous woman from Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation in B.C., was shot and killed by Edmundston police.
Police had been called to do a wellness check.
Quebec's police watchdog group Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes is investigating her death.
A day before the walks took place, a Mi'kmaq man wasin New Brunswick.
He has been identified as 48-year-old Rodney Levi.