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Chiefs to renew call for racism inquiry during meeting today with N.B. premier

Last Updated Jul 9, 2020 at 5:08 am EDT

People walk to honour Rodney Levi in Red Bank, New Brunswick on Friday June 19, 2020. Indigenous leaders in New Brunswick are renewing a call for an independent, Indigenous-led public inquiry to investigate systemic racism and two recent police shootings in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Stephen MacGillivray

FREDERICTON — Indigenous leaders in New Brunswick are renewing a call for an independent, Indigenous-led public inquiry to investigate systemic racism and two recent police shootings in the province.

Wolastoqey and Mi’kmaq chiefs will bring up the issue during a meeting with Premier Blaine Higgs this afternoon in Fredericton.

They expressed disappointment following a June meeting with Higgs during which the premier turned down their request for an inquiry and instead suggested a task force to review recommendations made from previous inquiries.

In a letter to the provincial government dated July 8, the Wolastoqey chiefs say an inquiry must look at how the justice system in New Brunswick is failing Indigenous peoples.

The Mi’kmaq leaders are calling for immediate reforms to the justice system, including improved police training and standards, as well as increased Indigenous involvement in police oversight.

The calls follow the fatal shootings of Chantel Moore and Rodney Levi — two Indigenous people killed by police in June.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 9, 2020.

The Canadian Press