February 12, 2018 2:29 pm
Updated: February 12, 2018 2:30 pm

Boushie case looms over Quebec Indigenous inquiry as Montreal hearings begin

Supports hold a sign outside of the Court of Queen's Bench on the day of closing arguments in the trial of Gerald Stanley, the farmer accused of killing the 22-year-old Indigenous man Colten Boushie, in Battleford ,Thursday, February 8, 2018.


An inquiry that has been examining the relations between Indigenous Quebecers and the public service has begun two weeks of hearings in Montreal.

READ MORE: Edmonton rally over Gerald Stanley not guilty verdict

Sedalia Fazio, a Mohawk elder who presided over the opening prayer, says the timing of the hearings is difficult given the verdict in the Colten Boushie case in Saskatchewan.

READ MORE: Colten Boushie’s mother delivers emotional message as rallies held across Canada

A jury deliberated 13 hours before finding a white farmer, Gerald Stanley, not guilty last Friday of second-degree murder in Boushie’s slaying.

Fazio says the feeling of injustice in the 2016 death of Boushie, a resident of the Red Pheasant First Nation, brought back memories of her own son’s experience at the hands of law enforcement.

WATCH BELOW: Colten Boushie verdict

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She alleges her son was beaten by Montreal police in a shoplifting incident just after the Oka Crisis in 1990 when he was 13 years old and that nothing was done.

Last week, the province announced the commission, chaired by retired Quebec Superior Court justice Jacques Viens, will see its mandate extended by 10 months.

WATCH: Colten Boushie’s brother reacts to verdict

A final report is now due to the provincial government in September 2019.

READ MORE: Gerald Stanley found not guilty of murder of Colten Boushie

The inquiry, announced in December 2016, was mandated to look into the way Indigenous Peoples are treated by the police, the province’s youth protection agency, the public health department as well as the justice and correctional systems.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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