One week after a jury acquitted a Saskatchewan farmer in the shooting death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie, a rally was held at the Alberta legislature to honour Boushie’s life and to show support for his family.
“I think the family has felt a lot of love with all the rallies that have been taking place all across the country,” Sage Morin, a co-organizer of the rally, said Friday night. “Today, we are here with Jade’s (Tootoosis – Boushie’s cousin) sister and we want to offer a blanket offering and medicines to her just to help her, let her know that she’s loved and she’s honoured.”
Dozens of people attended the rally which Morin said had a different aim than Saturday’s protest outside Edmonton Police Headquarters.
“We really just wanted to honour Colten’s life and his family,” Morin said.
Watch below: On Feb. 10, 2018, Kim Smith filed this report in Edmonton where a rally was held after a Saskatchewan farmer was found not guilty on Friday in the death of an Indigenous man.
Boushie’s death triggered a discussion about racism, the justice system and how Indigenous youth are treated across Canada. Over the past few days, rallies have taken place across the country after an all-white jury acquitted Gerald Stanley, who is also white, of second-degree murder in the death of Boushie, who is Indigenous.
Boushie was shot while sitting in the driver’s seat of an SUV that was driven onto Stanley’s farm near Biggar, Sask. The defence argued Stanley didn’t pull the trigger, and that the incident was a freak accident.
Watch below: (From Feb. 9, 2018) Gerald Stanley was found not guilty on Friday night in the shooting death of Colten Boushie.
Soon after the verdict was reached on Feb. 9, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould tweeted their support of Boushie’s family. Trudeau later met with Boushie’s family in Ottawa and said “reforms are needed to ensure that – among other things – Indigenous Peoples might once again have confidence in a system that has failed them all too often in the past.”
“I don’t see this case as making any progress,” Morin said on Friday night. “I think this case has helped us take a few steps back and it’s really helped rear up some really ugly attitudes. However, that isn’t the focus here tonight. We really want to focus on the love and the solidarity for Colten Boushie and his family.”
Corenda Steinhauer also helped organize the rally in Edmonton. She said she was pleased to see people from different backgrounds attend the event.
View photos of Friday’s rally in the gallery below:
“With peace, all of us can unite, no matter which background your ancestral history comes from and you’re welcome in our community and we walk with love in our hands and in our hearts,” Steinhauer said.
“I feel like Colten Boushie’s life has awakened us a little bit more to the realities of Indigenous life here in Canada, also known as Turtle Island and I feel like Colten Boushie’s life has been a pivotal moment in history in such an era of reconciliation.”
Steinhauer also said she hoped grassroots Indigenous movements like Idle No More, Standing Rock and Stolen Sisters would “begin thinking about uniting together and moving forward together.”
-With files from Rebecca Joseph and The Canadian Press