Rally to support Colten Boushie’s family takes place in Calgary
Published Sunday, February 11, 2018 5:04PM MST
Last Updated Sunday, February 11, 2018 6:22PM MST
A number of people gathered at Calgary City Hall on Sunday to march in support of a young First Nations man who was shot to death on a Saskatchewan farm in 2016.
On Sunday afternoon, a group of Calgarians marched from City Hall to the Reconciliation Bridge for their own demonstration of support for Colton Boushie’s family.
Many who attended said the trial was unfair and the outcome was injustice.
"This is one of many gatherings we've had over the years with regards to injustices to our people. Today we are in support of Treaty 6 and the Boushie family. They know we are having this gathering for them here today," said Lowa Beebe, the assisting organizer of the rally and a member of the Piikani Nation.
She says that this is not the first time they have taken a stance against the justice system and it likely won't be the last.
"It's important because we want Canada, Canadians, our people to know that this is no longer acceptable. When injustices are done, we're going to continue to come out."
Beebe says that Boushie's case is different because millions of Canadians are taking a critical look at the case.
Once the rally wraps up, Beebe says that Treaty 7 leaders are expected to call on the government to take 'swift and immediate' action in the case.
"So leaderships themselves are having meetings and have been talking amongst themselves within the Treaty 7 and across Canada. For sure you'll see some movement from our leadership."
Beebe said that the comments that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made on Sunday are 'very powerful'.
"I'm very glad that he said 'millions of Canadians are thinking of the Boushie family' and that 'this happens all too often in Canada'. That's actually very powerful that a sitting Prime Minister actually said that. I find it hopeful. We'll find out what the next steps are and we will be watching closely."
Supporters hope the verdict can be appealed and the Crown says that hasn’t been ruled out.
Boushie was shot in the head while he was sitting in an SUV that had been driven onto a farm near Biggar, SK, owned by Gerald Stanley.
On Friday, a judge found Stanley not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of the young man from the Red Pheasant First Nation.
In response to the ruling, hundreds of Indigenous People took to different sites across Canada on Saturday to protest what they described as injustice and a lack of fairness within the court system.
Another demonstration also took place in Lethbridge on Sunday. It was the second protest in the community since the verdict was delivered.
About 100 people gathered at a local park to show their support for the Boushie family and many say it was an emotional event.
The SUV driver testified the group that Boushie belonged to had been drinking during the day and tried to break into a truck on a neighbouring farm, but went to the Stanley property to ask for help with a flat tire.
Stanley, 56, testified that he fired warning shots to scare the group off. He said the fatal shot occurred when he reached into the SUV to grab the keys out of the ignition and his gun "just went off."
The outcome of the trial has also sparked calls for an inquiry and a change in the jury selection process and the justice system.
(With files from the Canadian Press)