Vigil Demands An End To Violence Against AboriginalsFebruary 12, 2018 2:30pm
Vigils are continuing across Canada demanding an end to violence and judicial racism against Indigenous, Metis, and Inuit youth in the wake of the Colten Boushie verdict.
Over 100 supporters of the 22-year-old Cree man, who was shot dead on a Saskatchewan farm nearly two years ago, rallied in Victoria Park in London Monday, while a separate event is planned in Windsor Tuesday.
“We are tired of the racism, we are tired of feeling second, we are tired of not mattering,” said London rally organizer Lela George.
Chanting “justice for Colten,” the dozens of supporters marched from the downtown London park, down Richmond St. and to the courthouse on Queens Ave. London police provided an escort to ensure the safety of those who participated.
George, who grew up on the Oneida Nation of the Thames, calls the acquittal of Gerald Stanley in Boushie’s death proof of failures and racism in Canada’s justice system.
“Things need to change. The community is so hurt by this verdict. They want something done, they want justice,” said George. “We are showing the people that we can unite and that we can do it in a peaceful way.”
Cameron Monkman, an Indigenous activist, said Canada will always have a racism problem unless everyday people start standing up against it.
“We are held back by racism and this is a prime example of how racism still exists in Canada,” said Monkman.
Tuesday’s prayer vigil in Windsor is being held at the Windsor Courthouse on Chatham St. at 4:30pm. It will be the second rally to be held in the city since Stanley was acquitted last Friday of second-degree murder in Boushie’s August 2016 death.
A vigil in Jackson Park Saturday drew a dozen demonstrators.
The court heard that Boushie was shot at point-blank range after he and four other Indigenous men entered Stanley’s rural property. Stanley’s lawyer argued the gun went off accidentally, but the verdict has been very controversial with both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould saying Canada must do better.
Just spoke with @Puglaas. I can’t imagine the grief and sorrow the Boushie family is feeling tonight. Sending love to them from the US.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 10, 2018
Thank you PM @JustinTrudeau. My thoughts are with the family of Colton Boushie tonight. I truly feel your pain and I hear all of your voices. As a country we can and must do better – I am committed to working everyday to ensure justice for all Canadians. https://t.co/HvjV0bofrQ
— Jody Wilson-Raybould (@Puglaas) February 10, 2018
Federal Conservatives have accused the Liberals of political interference in the verdict.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up by the Indigenous Joint Action Coalition, a student group at the University of Saskatchewan. It is raising money to support Boushie’s family.
-With files from Miranda Chant.