Mayors Helps and Desjardins, Police Board Co-Chairs Statement on Assault on Chief Manak at Chantal Moore Memorial

Earlier today, Chief Manak was invited by Chantal Moore’s family to participate in a memorial for her. He was blanketed according to an Indigenous custom and was invited to speak. After his remarks, while he was observing the remainder of the ceremony, someone walked up and poured liquid down his back.

As Co-chairs of the Victoria-Esquimalt Police Board we are upset and saddened by this act. It is unacceptable. We recognize that there is a long history of mistrust between police in Canada and Indigenous communities. We know that there is a lot of healing to do. That is precisely why the Chief was invited by Moore’s family to participate in the memorial; he has been working closely with them since her death and they immediately and publicly denounced this act of violence against the Chief Manak.

For the past few years, VicPD has been working closely with local Indigenous communities to rebuild trust and understanding. This has happened through anti-stigma training from Indigenous youth, participation in events and ceremonies with the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness and other learning opportunities.

We call on everyone in the community to stand down from attacks and to express differences of opinion respectfully and in a way that will help to build understanding and allow much needed-healing to happen.