Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Every Canadian needs to read Senator Murray Sinclair's response to Boushie verdict

GoFundMe                       A screenshot of a GoFundMe campaign in support of Gerald Stanley GoFundMe A screenshot of a GoFundMe campaign in support of Gerald Stanley
Ellis Copeland | 15 February, 2018, 16:09

On Friday, Stanley was found not guilty of second-degree murder after a jury trial. He said the bullet that killed Boushie was the result of a hang fire - a rare phenomenon where there is a perceptible delay between when the trigger is pulled and when the gun goes off. "It hasn't really served us well, especially the First Nations people in the province and in Canada".

"They are very much focused on making sure we have improvements to our system to make sure that no family has to go through the kinds of things they went through", Trudeau said. We want equality right now.

Indigenous leaders in Quebec say the Canadian justice system needs to change and the Criminal Code amended in the wake of the Gerald Stanley decision in Saskatchewan, if reconciliation is to be anything but empty words.

"Today I grieve for my country", it begins. Justin Trudeau said the justice system has to "do better".

The BCAJC says immediate action is needed and would like to see the creation of an Indigenous Justice Action Committee at the national level, led by Indigenous lawyers and judges, as well as other experts in the relationship of Indigenous peoples and the justice system. "As a country we can and must do better - I am committed to working everyday to ensure justice for all Canadians".

Peremptory challenges allow the Crown or defence to reject potential jurors without giving reasons.

"This acquittal tells Indigenous people that our lives do not matter and as far as I am concerned, justice is not blind", she said.

Melissa Primeau, who identified herself as Indigenous, believes that the conversation surrounding Boushie's death and the subsequent trial are focused too heavily on race.

"We can stand together even if we are apart", said Aaron Paquette, a First Nations Metis artist who was elected to Edmonton city council last fall.

Sinclair also says prospective jurors from First Nations communities can face barriers.

According to study released in 2016 by Canada's prison ombudsman, Indigenous people represented more than 25 per cent of inmates while making up just 4.3 per cent of the overall population.

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"Our people are not going to wait another 150 years".

Rallies were also held in Battleford, Toronto and Edmonton on Saturday.

Both Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Chief Bobby Cameron and FSIN First Vice-Chief Kimberly Jonathan called for Indigenous people to seek change through peaceful means. As of Monday morning, Stanley's supporters had raised more than $70,000. He still reserves a measure of faith in the country's justice system. It was the second protest in the community since the verdict was delivered.

After the trial, her thoughts turned to Boushie's mother, Debbie Baptiste, and the rest of the family.

"We don't want to just meet and discuss for the sake of a picture", Pratt said. We must claim space in the legislature, in parliament. As relatives, we call on everyone in Kenora and across Treaty 3 to speak up for justice for Indigenous peoples, especially our youth.

Coltman added that she feels like there are a lot of oppressive structures within the judicial system, saying that it played a huge role in this trial and a lot of trials involving Indigenous people.

A few days after the shooting, former Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall released a statement on Facebook, condemning "racist and hate-filled" comments being posted on social media and asking residents "to rise above intolerance". Colten Boushie didn't deserve to die.

For indigenous peoples, however, the verdict is painful because "this is what we live with every day".

"This has to do with the story of Canada".

The seven women and five men on the jury panel had been deliberating since late Thursday afternoon, shortly after Chief Justice Martel Popescul issued his charge to the jury. "I felt like I need to protect my sons".

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