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Minister says reckoning on police violence against Indigenous people needed

Last Updated Jun 5, 2020 at 10:48 am PDT

Minister of Indigenous Services Marc Miller joins fellow ministers and Government of Canada officials as they hold a news conference to provide an update on COVID-19 on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, April 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Summary

Indigenous services minister outraged at police violence against Indigenous people in Canada

Minister Marc Miller says there's a pattern of police violence against First Nations, Metis and Inuit people

Miller says Canada as a country needs to take a hard look at why this is happening

OTTAWA — Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says he is outraged at police violence against Indigenous people in Canada.

Miller says Canada needs a reckoning because there is a pattern of police violence against First Nations, Metis and Inuit people that continues to repeat itself.

“I watched in disgust yesterday (Thursday) a number of these incidents. A car door is not a proper police tactic, it’s a disgraceful, dehumanizing, and violent act. I don’t understand how someone dies during a wellness check.”

Miller was referring to a graphic video of an RCMP officer in Nunavut ramming the door of his car into an Inuk man walking along the road in Kinngait Monday evening. He also touched on the death of 26-year-old Chantel Moore in Edmundston, N.B., Thursday after she was shot by officers who were checking on her and who say she “charged” them with a knife.

Miller says he has seen firsthand the physical reaction of fear Indigenous people have when they encounter police, a fear he has never felt himself as a white man and a fear nobody should have.

He says full investigations are needed and answers must come quickly on the specific events but that Canada as a country needs to take a hard look at why this is happening.

“You look at it and you say, ‘Yes, there’ll be an independent investigation.’ But, frankly, along with many Canadians, Indigenous peoples living in Canada, politicians, I’m pissed. I’m outraged. There needs to be a full accounting of what has gone on,” Miller adds.