‘I’m pissed. I’m outraged’: Minister reacts to police violence against Indigenous peoples

Friday, June 5th, 2020 12:45pm


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Indigenous Services Canada Minister Marc Miller

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said he watched “in disgust” a series of videos that has captured police violence against Indigenous people in Canada.

“I’m pissed. I’m outraged,” the minister said in a news conference this morning.

“A car door is not a proper police tactic,” he said of an RCMP incident in which an officer in Nunavut drove into an Inuk man, knocking him to the ground with his cruiser car door.

“It’s a disgraceful, dehumanizing and violent act,” said Miller today in a press conference.

He said he doesn’t understand how someone dies during a wellness check, referring to the fatal police shooting Thursday of Chantel Moore, a First Nations woman living in New Brunswick.

“When I first saw the report, I thought it was some morbid joke.”

He said police violence against Indigenous peoples is a pattern that keeps repeating itself. There needs to be a full accounting of what’s gone on, Miller continued.

He said he will never experience safety and policing in the same way that Indigenous peoples experience it.

“My team and I saw it. We saw the real fear that was experienced at Tyendinaga where I felt safe around police forces and they didn’t. I can’t speak for them… But you can see it... It’s palpable. It’s painful.” The minister was referring to rail blockades at that community earlier this year in support of the inherent right of Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders to govern their traditional territories.

“Police serve Canadians and Indigenous peoples of Canada. Not the opposite.”

Miller called for a reckoning and justice.