Rallies planned as calls for change follow Saskatchewan verdict - APTN NewsAPTN News

Rallies planned as calls for change follow Saskatchewan verdict

Colten Boushie was fatally shot in the head on a farm near Biggar, Sask., in August 2016.

Kathleen Martens
Rallies are being held across Canada this weekend in the wake of a jury finding Gerald Stanley not guilty of the second-degree murder of Colten Boushie.

The late Friday verdict shocked Boushie supporters and saw Indigenous leaders call for calm amid wrestling with their own feelings.

“…the jury system is going to be a flawed and unjust system,” Indigenous Senator and former judge Murray Sinclair posted on Facebook.

“The United Kingdom enacted legislation to remove (striking Indigenous people from the jury). It’s time for Canada to do the same or this will not be the last time we see such injustice.”

Sinclair, best-known for championing reconciliation between Canada and Indigenous peoples, was not alone.

“How can there be no consequences at all for shooting and killing Colten Boushie, an Indigenous man?” asked Lillian Dyck on her Facebook page.

Dyck is an Indigenous senator from Saskatchewan, where the trial in Battleford polarized citizens racial views and politicians warned people to react responsibly.

A Stanley supporter wasted no time in seeking donations online for legal fees.

“Unfortunate events to follow led to, what was proved to be, a freak accident, which cost the life of one of the young men” wrote Sam Olson on a gofundme page set for $25,000.

“As I can imagine, the Stanley family has spent thousands on legal fees surrounding this ordeal.”

The 56-year-old farmer from Biggar was portrayed as protecting his property with a gun that he claimed fired accidentally, while Boushie, 22, was described as a threat in a vehicle full of would-be thieves despite court being told he was asleep.

“We will not give up our fight for justice,” Boushie’s cousin Jade Tootoosis said immediately afterwards on the courthouse steps, where she has been the family spokesperson.

She expressed doubts about a fair trial after the 12-person jury appeared to lack any Indigenous members. Something the first federal Aboriginal justice minister noticed, too.

“My thoughts are with the family of Colten Boushie tonight,” Jodi Wilson-Raybould said Friday on Twitter. “I truly feel your pain and I hear all of your voices.

“As a country we can and must do better.”

Saskatchewan chiefs urged the public to speak out on social media and suggested the verdict was a challenge to reconciliation efforts.

“This is not going to go away any time soon,” said Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron. “Something has to happen. The federal government has to happen.”

But Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe warned people to be careful.

“I would urge everyone to be measured in their reaction,” he said in a statement asking for calm. “Let us all remember our personal responsibility for our thoughts, our actions, and our comments – including those on social media.”

The Boushie family hired its own lawyer and is raising money to pay legal and travel costs associated with the trial.

APTN National News will have full coverage of the verdict and rallies on Sunday’s newscast.



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5 Responses to “Rallies planned as calls for change follow Saskatchewan verdict”

  1. mary@stapleton.ca'
    Mary Stapleton February 13, 2018 at 1:54 am #

    May this lead to a renewed jury selection process. And so many more changes.

  2. jason.campeau@gmail.com'
    Jason February 11, 2018 at 3:45 am #

    This is a terrible tragedy. I feel for Colten’s family, but I also think of my Ancestors teachings about Respect. Lessons we all learn from when we are small, Don’t eat that food, Don’t go into strangers yards. My ancestors lived according to the land and respecting all life in it. We are all taught, don’t tease a Mother Bear, why don’t we? Our ancestors taught us to think of the little Cubs, rather than being torn to shreds. Rather than continuing the Blame, Racial trail, look at this as a lesson in Respect. Do we shoot the Mother Bear defending her Cubs? No, because we understand that its about the little Cubs, its about Respect. Instead of focusing on building on the already built bonfire. Lets this be a lesson that our Ancestors always taught us. There are consequences for actions, that we should take responsibility for. Go back to the 7 Grandfather Teachings, and see if any were violated here. It was the Law that Governed Turtle Island. Meegweetch!

    • Sherrypcrawford@icloud.com'
      Sherry February 15, 2018 at 3:19 pm #

      Great share and reminder!

  3. Gprod@sasktel.net'
    Winston February 11, 2018 at 12:37 am #

    How much pressure would there be on a first nations person on the jury? Could they be impartial? Would they be safe if they voted to acquit?
    This whole thing is not about race. It’s an unfortunate robbery gone bad. Everybody loses.

  4. valhenry@tbaytel.net'
    chezhank February 10, 2018 at 8:18 pm #

    How can Murray Sinclair claim the jury system is flawed?

    “As of the 2016 census, Aboriginal peoples in Canada totaled 1,673,785 people, or 4.9% of the national population.”

    For a jury of twelve +2 how many should be native?………One?

    Now let us read about the jury selection, from the Globe and Mail

    “More than 700 people from across the massive Battlefords district were issued summons to appear as part of the jury panel.

    Approximately 200 showed up in person on Monday morning.

    When Chief Justice Martel Popescul asked whether anyone needed to be excused as potential jurors, a long line quickly formed.

    About 70 people, roughly a third of those present, pleaded to be let go,
    Nearly 50,
    including about a “dozen people who appeared Indigenous ”, were excused.”

    Those “dozen people who appeared Indigenous ” were 4.9% of the 200 and more that showed up Monday for jury duty but asked to be excused.

    Who is to blame for not being represented on the jury?