Anger. Frustration. Sadness. These are some of the emotions Terry Teegee, the Regional Chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations, has felt in recent weeks.
News reports present and past of Indigenous people being badly hurt or killed in incidents involving police in Canada have affected him deeply.
He lists off some of their names: Chantal Moore, Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam, Dale Culver and his relative, Everett Riley Patrick, who died in hospital in April after being arrested by Prince George RCMP.
“Across this country we’re seeing it more and more with Indigenous peoples being injured or killed while being arrested,” he told Glacier Media. “I’m so frustrated and dumbfounded. When you’re arrested, you shouldn’t end up being dead.”
Teegee spoke to Glacier Media in advance of National Indigenous Peoples Day, which goes June 21. His interview was one of three conducted recently to gauge the state of Indigenous peoples’ lives and issues in British Columbia in 2020.
Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer and Scott Fraser, B.C. Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, also participated in separate interviews, where policing and government affairs were discussed.
Teegee, a member of the Takla Lake First Nation, joined Glacier Media via a Zoom call from the Lheidli T’enneh reserve near Prince George, where he lives with his family.