The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8. (Black Press Media file photo)

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8. (Black Press Media file photo)

Indigenous woman shot by police was holding a replica gun, says Ucluelet First Nation

Woman has been identified as a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

Ucluelet First Nation president Charles McCarthy says the woman shot by police in Hitacu on Saturday was holding a replica gun and was not allowed to be in the community.

Ucluelet RCMP say they arrived at the Hitacu residence responding to a report of a disturbance and a male in need of medical assistance on May 8 around 5:12 p.m.

“Responding officers entered the home and encountered a woman with a weapon. Shots were fired by the police officers. The woman suffered gunshot wounds and was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services,” reads a statement from the BC RCMP. “A male was also transported to hospital for treatment. No one else was physically injured in this incident.”

The woman has been identified as a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation member and the man is a member of the Ucluelet First Nation.

“The weapon has been officially reported by the (IIO) Independent Investigations Office of BC, as a replica gun. There have been running community concerns in relation to the two individuals involved. A stay away order was in place for the female,” McCarthy said through a statement released Tuesday night.

He added that Ucluelet First Nation continues to work with the RCMP “to ensure that our community is safe and secure, and where Yuułuʔiłʔath can continue to live their lives in a way they are not fearful.”

“There is belief in an equal, just society where everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect by the RCMP. Yuułuʔiłʔath Government is nonetheless concerned about this incident and the nature of other national incidents in the media,” McCarthy said. “Incidents regarding the RCMP in the performance of systemic racism within their duties when it involves indigenous and other visible minorities…The security of the nation remains first and foremost. Our thoughts are with Yuułuʔiłʔath – Ucluelet First Nation, our neighbouring nation, the individuals involved, and all families affected.”



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

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