UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds
Senator Murray Sinclair, who led the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), gives the keynote address at the 2015 Shingwauk Gathering. Photo by Archkris/Wikimedia Commons

Every Canadian needs to read Senator Murray Sinclair's response to Boushie verdict

By Kristy Woudstra


Hundreds of Canadians held vigils and rallies this weekend following the acquittal of Gerald Stanley for the death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie. Stanley shot and killed Boushie, who was Indigenous, following an altercation on his farm in August of 2016.

The jury announced the verdict on Friday evening in Battleford, Sask., and the hashtag #JusticForColten immediately gained momentum on Twitter. Many people were concerned systemic racism had a role in the decision, pointing out the jury didn't include a single Indigenous person.

"In this day and age, when someone can get away with killing somebody, when someone can get away with saying, 'I accidentally walked to the storage shed, I accidentally grabbed a gun out of the storage box and I accidentally walked back to the car and then I accidentally raised my arm in level with the late Colten Boushie's head, then my finger accidentally pushed the trigger' – what a bunch of garbage," said Bobby Cameron, the chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, at a press conference following the decision.

While many people eloquently expressed their anger, hurt and frustration on social media over the weekend, one of the most poignant statements came from Senator Murray Sinclair, a retired judge who chaired Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.


"Today I grieve for my country," wrote Sinclair on Saturday morning. "I grieve for a family that has seen only injustice from the moment a farmer with a handgun (why does a farmer need a handgun?) killed their son."

He went on to say that he grieves for Boushie's mother along with other Indigenous parents who have lost their children. "I grieve for the youth who now see no hope, and whose hunger for justice gives rise to anger," he continued. "I grieve for the children whose lives now have one more jeopardy."

Sinclair concluded his post with a statement the entire country needs to reflect on: "I may grieve for some time. But then again... we have been grieving a long time. This is why we can’t 'just get over it and move on.' My country won’t let me."



Readers’ advisory: The discussion below is moderated by The UC Observer and facilitated by Intense Debate (ID), an online commentary system. The Observer reserves the right to edit or reject any comment it deems to be inappropriate. Approved comments may be further edited for length, clarity and accuracy, and published in the print edition of the magazine. Please note: readers do not need to sign up with ID to post their comments on ucobserver.org. We require only your user name and e-mail address. Your comments will be posted from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Join the discussion today!
Promotional Image
Promotional Image

Video

ObserverDocs: My Year of Living Spiritually

by Observer Staff

Anne Bokma left the Dutch Reformed Church as a young adult and eventually became a member of the United Church and then the Unitarian Universalists. Having long explored the "spiritual but not religious" demographic as a writer, she decided to immerse herself in practices — like hiring a soul coach, secular choir-singing and forest bathing — for 12 months to find both enlightenment and entertainment.

Promotional Image

Faith

January 2018

In the beginning

by Alanna Mitchell

The award-winning science writer travels to northern Australia to explore the world's oldest creation story

Society

January 2018

The good death

by Pieta Woolley

Anglican professor Donald Grayston made dying in peace a lifetime project. His example is inspiring others to plan a meaningful exit.

Faith

January 2018

Me, Dad and the Almighty

by Anne Bayin

A preacher’s kid pretended to be a devout daughter, but secretly she felt lost in a wilderness of doubt.

Society

January 2018

The good death

by Pieta Woolley

Anglican professor Donald Grayston made dying in peace a lifetime project. His example is inspiring others to plan a meaningful exit.

Faith

January 2018

In the beginning

by Alanna Mitchell

The award-winning science writer travels to northern Australia to explore the world's oldest creation story

Faith

January 2018

Me, Dad and the Almighty

by Anne Bayin

A preacher’s kid pretended to be a devout daughter, but secretly she felt lost in a wilderness of doubt.

Promotional Image