On the evening of March 31, close family members in Tofino gathered on the First Street dock to celebrate what would have been Chantel Moore’s 27th birthday.
It was a way to “keep her memory alive,” said Grace Frank, Moore’s grandmother.
Moore, of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, was fatally shot in her New Brunswick apartment during a wellness check by an Edmundston police officer on June 4, 2020.
Quebec’s police watchdog, the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), has completed its investigation into the shooting, but her family says they have yet to receive any answers.
Alongside her husband, sister, three sons and nephew, Frank released red and yellow-coloured balloons into the air while singing, “happy birthday.”
The colour yellow was meant to embody Moore’s signature phrase, “stay golden, peeps,” said Frank.
“Yellow was her colour,” she said.
With Meares Island standing watch in the background, the family laid down yellow roses and candles on the dock.
Once home, they shared a meal of burgers and poutine.
It was Moore’s meal-of-choice for her 25th birthday – the last birthday Frank got celebrate with her granddaughter before she moved to the east coast.
Over cake, they took turns sharing stories about Moore through weepy eyes.
The day was “really, really hard,” for Moore’s mother, Martha.
“It’s hard to want to do anything,” she said from her New Brunswick home. “It’s still so fresh. I spent most of the day in tears.”
With no answers about the death of her daughter, “you can’t move forward,” she said. “It’s every parent’s nightmare.”