A vigil honouring the family of the victim in the Gerald Stanley murder trial will take place outside Regina’s Court of Queen’s Bench tonight at 7:30 pm.
The event titled, Shine a Light on the Justice System: Solidarity Vigil to Support Family of Colten Boushie is being organized by members of Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism and Colonialism No More.
Boushie’s death provoked racial tensions across the province when it occurred in August of 2016, and the vigil’s organizers say the situation is indicative of deeply rooted problems in the justice system.
“Through this trial, as in previous trials in Saskatchewan, we see how the justice system is heavily weighed against Indigenous people whether they are the accused or the victim,” Said Robyn Pitawanakwat from the coalition. “Regardless of the outcome of the Stanley trial it is obvious that many things need to change including: how police respond; who gets bail; how a jury is selected; and likely the length of a sentence.”
Speakers and participants at the event will be given battery-powered candles. Organizers are hoping that recipients will keep the candles lit through jury deliberations.
“They’re (the family) are hurt, their pain won’t go away regardless of the outcome of the jury,” remarked Pitawanakwat “We want to keep Colten Boushie’s family in our hearts and in our minds, and we want to continue that support after the trial ends, regardless of the outcome.”
Chief Clinton Wuttunee of the Red Pheasant First Nation, which Boushie called home, issued a statement today sharing his grievances with the Stanley trial.
“We are anxiously awaiting the outcome of the murder trial of Gerald Stanley, however, we are not hopeful that we will see justice done,” stated the chief. “The Stanley trial serves to remind First Nations people that our lives are less valuable than the lives of non-First Nations people.”
Court proceedings are expected to end tomorrow with jury deliberations to begin soon after.
(PHOTO: Colten Boushie. Photo courtesy of Facebook)