World

Six Nations joins nationwide vigils in Boushie verdict

Six Nations joins nationwide vigils in Boushie verdict

Defenders of the legal system argue that the jury was perfectly justified in reaching its conclusion. In that same regard, what perspective does an Indigenous juror bring that a non-Indigenous person might be missing?

This new system would ensure that the starting premise of all federal government action is the recognition of Indigenous rights, said one source with knowledge of the speech.

We can not lose sight that in the end, 22-year-old Colten Boushie is dead. The verdict sent shock waves across the country and sparked demonstrations in many Canadian cities.

Yet much of the media coverage has made certain assumptions, and considered certain points of view and not others. Social media and opinion pieces are rampant with views on what has happened.

The new Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework - to be unveiled later this year following consultations led by Carolyn Bennett, the minister for Crown-Indigenous relations, and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould - will include new legislation.

This is not a small matter and rightly deserves exposure as everyone contemplates their own children's safety, and reflects on a justice system that just isn't working.

Additionally, First Nations people are far more likely to commit suicide and far less likely to have a post-secondary education than the average Canadian.

Monias believes racism played a role in jury's decision and public outcry.

One time, three non-Indigenous youth knocked on his door and shot him in the face with bottle rockets. The youth were eventually convicted.

"The way I see it is that they're human beings and they're acknowledging that Colten was a human being and they see the loss and the pain that we've endured", she said. After all, this system, imposed along with the other instruments of colonialism, contributed to the uprooting of First Nations people from their languages, cultures and communities.

What can be done to try and help get back some of the ground lost with this major blow?




Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe reportedly met with Boushie's family over the weekend and emphasized the need for soul-searching in Canada, especially with regards to racism and the rights of indigenous communities. There have been many recommendations over the years on fixing the systemic flaws; now is the time to act on them.

"Today, we saw no justice", said Jade Tootoosis, Boushie's cousin.

The RCMP told the family if they were not satisfied with the explanations given in the letter, they could take the matter up with the CRCC. Police believe he was struck by a vehicle but his killer hasn't been found. A junior constable initially headed the investigation and the auto where Boushie died was left out in the rain for two days, washing away evidence. "As long as this country, how old this country was, we always took abuse from the European settlers, from the Canadian justice system". In many ways, they say, the force treated them more like suspects than victims. This should not be such a big deal.

"We will continue to speak out and call for justice in Colten's name".

And then there are the practical barriers to jury duty.

"So many people are looking at this as, 'Holy (expletive), this could have been me.' I can see it that way, too".

"Indigenous Peoples in Canada should be able to drink the water that comes out of their taps". You don't need a gun, guns are not made to shoot people they're made to hunt animals.

"Some people state that race has nothing to do with this process, yet the defense felt threatened by an indigenous person being on the jury", she said, referencing the fact that indigenous would-be jurors were rejected in favor of white jurors.

But Boushie's family say the case was mishandled from the beginning.

The family leaves behind a demand for concrete changes from the government.

The stories of the witnesses in the SUV were challenged by the defence and they admitted to lying to investigators about the attempted theft, going on to say they had changed their stories before testifying.


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