The death of Colten Boushie and its aftermath continues to expose an irrational fear some in the non-Indigenous community have of First Nations people, a commentator says.
Gerald Stanley shot and killed the 22-year-old Boushie of Red Pheasant First Nation in August 2016 after the vehicle he was in entered the grounds of Stanley’s farm.
Doug Cuthand says if this incident had happened in a First Nations community, the response would have been totally different.
“I know if this happened on a reserve, if someone rolled into your yard, and was even trying to steal something, the owner of the home would go out and talk to them and tell them to get the hell out of their yard,” he says. “Something like that. Not grab a gun and chase them. That’s what happened here.”
In a trial which wrapped up a little over a year ago, a jury acquitted Stanley of all charges in Boushie’s death.
Cuthand says he is disappointed both in the fact the Crown chose not to appeal the verdict and the province instead proceeded with a new trespass to property law.
He says it appears the government is choosing to put property rights over human rights.
“I think this raises another question and that is the value of human life versus property. The province has sort of sided on the side of the trespass law giving property more value and there is a point there: what is your life worth and what is your property worth?”
The new act puts the onus on the public to seek a landowner’s permission before entering their land.
Cuthand was at the University of Saskatchewan earlier in the week taking part in a panel discussion on the Boushie case.
(PHOTO: Colten Boushie. File photo.)