The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) says it continues to stand with the Colten Boushie family after learning there would be no appeal filed on Gerald Stanley's acquittal.
The FSIN issued a statement Wednesday evening saying their executive was "angered" with the announcement yesterday from Saskatchewan Justice.
A jury acquitted Gerald Stanley Feb. 9 after his two-week second-degree murder trial at Court of Queen's Bench in Battleford. The charges stemmed from the fatal Aug., 2016 shooting of 22-year-old Colten Boushie a resident of Red Pheasant Cree Nation.
Yesterday, Boushie’s mother Debbie Baptiste said she will continue her quest for justice.
“It isn’t over," Baptiste said in a statement. "We are going to keep fighting for justice for my son."
FSIN Vice-Chief Kim Jonathan criticized the official response to the shooting, and said FSIN's support and prayers remain with the family of the deceased.
“The system is broken," Jonathan said. "There are real questions and concerns about how the RCMP managed the investigation from the beginning, as well as their conduct towards the Boushie family after his death."
She said the selection process failed to have Indigenous representation on the jury, and advocated for reforms to the justice system.
"There is no trust or faith in this system,” she said.
Jonathan also commented on the RCMP's series of community meetings, currently taking place across Saskatchewan.
“The division between our communities is real and evident. The Canadian legal system has not changed much since 1885," she said.
"One hundred and thirty years ago in Battleford, Canada executed eight First Nations warriors in front of children from the Battleford Industrial School as a warning as to what would happen if you crossed the ‘white man.’ First Nations people are still being treated the same way, as second-class citizens in their own traditional lands.”
Her sentiments were echoed by FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron, who said this trial and outcome represents "a pivotal moment for Canada and Saskatchewan and the world to fix the systemic racism that has caused the over-representation of First Nations people in the justice system."
It's time to "begin repairing the huge division," Cameron said.
“We must have a loud voice at the table and collaborate collectively on justice reform that will be beneficial to all First Nations people, and incorporate our inherent and Treaty rights," he added. "We continue our call for a Royal Commission into the Saskatchewan justice system. We are calling for a forensic accounting of this verdict.”
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