February 13, 2018 9:15 pm
Updated: February 14, 2018 10:30 am

‘Even though people say it wasn’t about race, it was’: Colten Boushie’s mother

WATCH: Colten Boushie's family demands changes in the system


The family of Colten Boushie was in Ottawa on Tuesday to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau among other politicians.

The meetings came just days after Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley was acquitted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Boushie.

Global News
Help us improve Globalnews.ca
Story continues below

READ MORE: Trudeau’s comments on Boushie case may have ‘tainted’ a potential appeal process, lawyer says

On Monday, the family met with the ministers of Indigenous relations and Indigenous services while on Tuesday, they sat down separately with Trudeau, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale. They were also set to meet with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.

Jade Tootoosis, Boushie’s cousin, said the meetings with Trudeau and other federal politicians had gone well.

“Everyone we’ve talked to has been very engaged, respectful and took the time to hear our pain and hear our strength and hear us speak from the heart,” she said. “And for that, we are very appreciative.”

Trudeau believed his emotional meeting with the family went well.

WATCH: Boushie’s family meets with PM, hopes for reform

“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,” he said.

READ MORE: Door open to eliminating peremptory challenges, justice minister suggests

Boushie’s mother, Debbie Baptiste, said the family is hoping to get the Jury Act to be changed so it is more “open” for Indigenous People.

On Friday, an all-white jury acquitted Stanley in the death of Boushie, a 22-year-old from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation. That decision quickly sparked protests in cities and towns across Canada.

WATCH: ‘Even though people say it wasn’t about race, it was’: Boushie family

Baptiste also believes there is systemic racism in the court system and said there was deep-seated racism in Saskatchewan.

“You have a province of Saskatchewan where there is deep-seated racism,” she said. “Even though people say this was not a case about race, it was because of how these people were excluded from the beginning.”

READ MORE: Lack of Indigenous jurors reduces confidence in courts, Jagmeet Singh says

Tootoosis said the most significant thing to emerge from Tuesday’s meetings was consensus on systemic issues.

“There was a general consensus that there are systemic issues regarding Indigenous People and the judicial system, she said. “Each person has promised to work with us to make concrete changes within a system and that’s exactly what we came here for.”

*With files from Global News’ Amanda Connolly and Canadian Press


© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error


Comments closed.

Due to the sensitive and/or legal subject matter of some of the content on globalnews.ca, we reserve the ability to disable comments from time to time.

Please see our Commenting Policy for more.