(Lheidli T’enneh Territory, Prince George, BC – February 10, 2018) – The BCAFN is standing with the family of Colten Boushie and mourn the loss of their son. Yesterday a 12-member jury found Gerald Stanley, 56, not guilty with second-degree murder in the death of Colten Boushie, 22, who died after being shot in the head on the Stanley farm near Biggar, Saskatchewan.
“My sincerest sympathy and prayers are with the Boushie family today and with the community of Red Pheasant Cree Nation,” stated Regional Chief Terry Teegee. “Canada’s justice system continues to fail Indigenous Peoples throughout Canada. The case of Colten Boushie is reflective of the systemic racism that infects all stages of the justice system. Canada must do better. We cannot continue to hear the empty promises of reconciliation and restitution from Canada’s politicians. I call on Prime Minister Trudeau and Attorney-General Jody Wilson Raybould to move their words into action. We cannot continue to bear witness to injustice after injustice.”
On August 9, 2016, Colten Boushie and four other young First Nation people from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation drove onto Stanley’s rural property. During the trial Stanley said the handgun went off during an altercation with Boushie and shot him in the head. However, expert witnesses testified during the trial that the handgun could only be fired by pulling the trigger.
Regional Chief Teegee stated, ‘We mourn the loss of justice. We seem to be in apartheid era attitudes. This case should never have gone to a seemingly all-white jury. First Nations have no confidence that justice exists in Canada.’ This case also illustrates the attitudes that private property can be protected by violence that results in death. The justice system is not working for Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Regional Chief Teegee is co-chair of the AFN Justice portfolio with Regional Chief Ghislain Picard (AFN Quebec and Labrador) and this is one of many examples that will require considerable actions with Chiefs and Ministers across Canada.
AFN Quebec/Labrador Regional Chief Ghislain Picard stated, “Reconciliation cannot be a feel-good statement without genuine actions. True reconciliation can only be achieved through a complete review of the justice system and how it is failing our peoples.”
Regional Chief Teegee and Regional Chief Picard also support the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) in Saskatchewan, in calling for a Royal Commission to investigate the root causes of systemic injustice for Indigenous Peoples in Saskatchewan.
For further information, contact:
Regional Chief Terry Teegee, BC Assembly of First Nations