The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) say it’s disgusted by the acquittal of Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley.
After 13 hours of deliberation, a jury found Stanley not guilty Friday in the shooting death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie on Aug. 9, 2016. Stanley, 56, was on trial for second-degree murder.
The FSIN, along with the Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs (BATC), is now calling for an immediate inquiry into what it calls a “gross miscarriage of justice” they believe took place during the trial.
In particular, the FSIN points to “racial exclusion through the jury selection process, a lack of competence and effort of the prosecution and the ultimate verdict.”
“Justice has not been served and we are angry,” said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron in a news release Friday.
“It’s been a very hard, painful journey for the Boushie family and there will be no closure or peace for a mother who’s lost her son. We expected this, but now that it has happened, it’s devastating to us all.”
Boushie, from the Red Pheasant First Nation, died on Stanley’s farm near Biggar on Aug. 9, 2016.
His death captured national attention and exposed a racial divide in Saskatchewan.
The FSIN added it’s pushing for amendments to increase Indigenous representation on juries.
“There must be changes to the way the justice system treats First Nations people,” Cameron said.
“We won’t stop until changes are made and Colten Boushie and his family get the justice they deserve.”
The Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs (BATC) added its support Friday for an inquiry, citing the same issues outlined by the FSIN.
“We are extremely angry, sickened and disturbed with these results and changes need to be made,” said BATC Representative Neil Sasakamoose, in a release.
“It has been a very difficult year and a half for the Boushie family and our communities and it’s now only become harder for our people to bear.”
Sasakamoose adds the BATC has been working with non-First Nations on reconciliation and believes the outcome will further test relations in the province.
“We want to continue to work towards a reconciled future alongside our non-First Nations neighbours but this verdict will become our biggest challenge moving forward while trying to maintain a respectful dialogue with everyone involved.”