December 18, 2018

Toronto's Indigenous communities protest not-guilty verdict in Colten Boushie case

11 February 2018, 01:11 | Devin Moran

Gerald Stanley found not guilty in 2016 fatal shooting in Saskatchewan

Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron attends a media event at the Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs head office after a jury found Gerald Stanley not guilty in the death of Colten Boushie

"We have to call on governments to work with us and develop [an] anti-racism plan and strategy", he said, adding there should be a complete overhaul of the justice system.

The sound of crying amplified around a Battleford courtroom Friday night following the acquittal of Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley.

Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Vice-Chief Kim Jonathan speaks to media outside of Battleford Court of Queen's Bench on February 9, 2018, after a jury delivered a verdict of not guilty in the trial of Gerald Stanley, the farmer accused of killing the 22-year-old Indigenous man Colten Boushie.

"There was no justice served here today", she said.

The jury had been deliberating over its verdict for just over 24 hours, though the actual amount of private discussion time was much shorter than that, given breaks and the several hours spent in court Friday relistening to almost four hours of testimony from Stanley and his son Sheldon.

A rally is planned in Halifax Saturday evening calling for justice in the case of Colten Boushie, a young Indigenous man shot to death on a Saskatchewan farm in 2016. "We didn't want more here, we wanted justice".

"Someone can get away with saying, 'I accidentally walked to the storage shed, I accidentally grabbed my gun out of the storage box".

Speakers at the Vancouver rally included Indigenous advocate Lorelei Williams and First Nations hip-hop artist Ronnie Dean Harris, who called on non-Indigenous people to "stand up". We need to come together - First Nations and non-First Nations - and make sure this doesn't happen anymore.

"They're not sweeping us under the carpet".

Gerald Stanley
"Murderer!" cried in court as Stanley found not guilty

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould tweeted her sympathy for Boushie's family, and said she is "committed to working everyday to ensure justice for all Canadians".

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

But the shifting tones also caused blowback on social media against Wilson-Raybould, as people interpreted her comments as questioning the proceedings.

"I truly feel your pain and I hear all of your voices", she wrote.

It is also meant to send a message to the family of Colten Boushie. The legal system has failed him, and our hearts are with his family, Red Pheasant First Nation and the people of Saskatchewan.

"I want to take this all the way to Ottawa. right to Justin Trudeau", he said.

"Let us continue to demonstrate consideration, patience, and understanding for one another as we move forward together in reconciliation".

Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said that despite multiple inquiries into how Canada's justice system has failed Indigenous people, it remains rife with systemic racism.

A grassroots rally supporting the Boushie family is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday in downtown Saskatoon.

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