As a jury in Battleford deliberates the verdict in Gerald Stanley’s murder trial, a message from Saskatoon’s mayor and the Chief of the Saskatoon Tribal Council calling for unity and reconciliation.
Stanley, 56, is charged with second-degree murder in the August 2016 shooting death of 22-year-old Indigenous man Colten Boushie.
The shooting happened on Stanley’s farm, near Biggar. He pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Since Boushie’s death, the case has garnered national attention and exposed a racial divide in Saskatchewan.
On Friday morning, the second day of jury deliberations, Mayor Charlie Clark and Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand released the following statement:
“Our entire province and country have been gripped by the events surrounding the shooting and subsequent death of Colten Boushie and the trial of Gerald Stanley.
A young man’s life has been lost. Families from Red Pheasant First Nation, Biggar, Saskatoon and beyond are impacted.
As we await the verdict and wonder what impact this could have on our province, and more importantly, our relations with each other, we must continue to work with each other in a good way, in a respectful way.
As the Chief of the Saskatoon Tribal Council and Mayor of Saskatoon, our hearts go out to the families and people affected by this tragedy. Our role is to build healthy, positive, respectful relationships that are rooted in understanding.
This case has cracked open the racial undercurrent in Saskatchewan with the potential to further drive a wedge of mistrust between communities.
We cannot build our future with hateful dialogue and divisiveness. Reconciliation must grow from the community level to being truly valued and embodied by us as individuals.
So much work has already been done—by many people—as our communities find their paths to reconciliation. As community leaders we commit to continue stepping outside racial bounds and work together to reconcile trust within our community—through meaningful dialogue and partnership.”
The Saskatoon Tribal Council represents seven First Nations located within a 200-kilometre radius of Saskatoon.
650 CKOM will go live as soon as there’s word of a verdict in the Gerald Stanley trial, with special coverage and analysis to follow.