Police in Truro, Nova Scotia, have confirmed that the grandson of renowned First Nations activist Nora Bernard has been charged with first-degree murder in her death.
James Douglas Gloade, 24, was arraigned December 31.
Members of the Millbrook First Nation and the town of Truro remain deeply disturbed by the incident. “It’s one of those situations that is unexplainable. It’s hard to describe….other than hurt,” said family friend Lloyd Johnson in the Kitchener Record January 9.
Truro Police Chief David MacNeil confirmed they believe that the accused was on street drugs at the time of Bernard’s murder. He could not confirm whether Bernard was attempting to help her Grandson on a drug-related issue at the time of her death.
Gloade’s preliminary hearing, where his trial date will be set, is expected in February.
Bernard spearheaded the campaign to win compensation for residential school survivors. In 2006, she won what has been referred to as the largest class-action lawsuit in Canadian history, with between $4 and $5 billion in compensation for over 79,000 residential school survivors.
Although the community remains upset about the tragedy, Chief MacNeil said many Elders now have at least some “piece of mind” knowing that the murder was not related to any backlash targeting those involved in the residential school survivors’ settlement.