Gitanyow Lax’yip, July 8, 2024: On the third anniversary of Jared Lowndes’ tragic death, a coalition comprising the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs, First Nations Leadership Council, BC First Nations Justice Council, #JusticeforJared, Pivot Legal Society, and the BC Civil Liberties Association is launching a crucial letter-writing campaign. The campaign demands a public inquiry into the deaths of Indigenous Peoples by the RCMP and municipal police.

The initiative, driven by the families of Jared Lowndes and Dale Culver, seeks to address systemic racism within the RCMP, municipal police, and the BC Prosecution Service (BCPS) and seeks justice for those who have tragically lost their lives.

On April 5, 2024, BCPS announced it would abandon its case against the two RCMP officers charged with manslaughter in Dale Culver’s death. 35-year-old Culver, a member of the Wet’suwet’en and Gitksan Nations, died in police custody after being chased for riding a bike without a helmet.

Two weeks later, on April 23, the Crown declined to prosecute the three RCMP officers involved in Jared Lowndes’ death. Lowndes, aged 38 and a member of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, was fatally shot by police in a Tim Horton’s parking lot.

Only two of the five RCMP officers recommended for charges in Dale Culver’s death will face legal action after Constable Clarence MacDonald’s obstruction charges were also stayed.

In all cases, charges were stayed or not approved despite the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) finding that officers had committed offences. 

Sergeant Bayani (Jon) Eusebio Cruz and Constable Arthur Dalman’s obstruction trial was heard at the Prince George courthouse in June, and the court’s ruling is tentatively set for July 25, 2024. 

During the trial, the judge heard compelling testimony from Kenneth Moe, who recounted feeling “violated” after the two officers allegedly pressured him to delete the video he took of the events following Culver’s death.

Moe testified that he was threatened with confiscation of his cell phone and obstruction charges if he did not comply. His testimony highlighted the officers’ alleged attempts to suppress evidence vital to the investigation of Culver’s death.

Allegations of police misconduct in these cases have raised serious concerns about systemic racism and the mistreatment of Indigenous peoples in custody. 

The coalition believes that a comprehensive public inquiry with Indigenous oversight is essential to uncovering the truth, holding those responsible accountable, and implementing meaningful reforms to prevent future tragedies.

The GHC is calling on community members, allies, and advocates for Indigenous rights to participate in the campaign.


Joel Starlund/Sk’a’nism Tsa ‘Win’Giit, Executive Director of the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs, stated:

“The deaths of Indigenous people in police custody must be thoroughly investigated. Our letter-writing campaign is a call to action for all who believe in justice and accountability. We need systemic change to ensure that these tragedies never happen again.”

Debbie Pierre, cousin of Dale Culver and Operations Manager for the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs, added:

“We urge everyone to join us in this campaign. There have been countless inquiries and recommendations dating back decades that could have changed the outcome for our family, but here we sit, mourning Dale’s death. The time for change is now; Indigenous peoples cannot wait any longer. By writing letters to government officials, we can amplify our voices and demand the inquiry that is so desperately needed.”


Indigenous deaths involving police: