Thursday, 22 February, 2018

Canada needs Indigenous jurors

GoFundMe                       A screenshot of a GoFundMe campaign in support of Gerald Stanley GoFundMe A screenshot of a GoFundMe campaign in support of Gerald Stanley
Sammy Stanley | 15 February, 2018, 16:07

One man was heard to shout, "There is no f--ing justice, man!" He said the bullet that killed Boushie was the result of a hang fire - a rare phenomenon where there is a perceptible delay between when the trigger is pulled and when the gun goes off.

Kawennotas told the commission there are countless stories of abuse and discrimination suffered by First Nations people across the country. Really now: is the most pressing problem with our criminal justice system that it is too hard to throw poor people in jail?

Boushie's family has criticized how RCMP investigated the case, how officers communicated with them and the way the Crown prosecutor presented the facts of the case. We want equality right now.

The family met Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett and Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott on Monday.

"We have reflected a bit and we'll continue to on jury selection", said Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould. "My heart cries today". "I know Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians alike know that we have to do better".

Asked Monday whether she meant to suggest the acquittal was unjust, Wilson-Raybould said she was speaking in general about a justice system that has been part of a colonial reality for Indigenous Peoples for the past 150 years. There were racial overtones, which is why Mr. Stanley's lawyers systematically kept anyone who looked Indigenous off their client's jury, and allowed on anyone who appeared more sympathetic to his experience.

"If it was a white man who shot another white individual, we wouldn't even be having this conversation right now", said Primeau from Sault Ste.

Day said the verdict could "derail" efforts at reconciliation, adding that "the cards are stacked against" Indigenous people in Canada.

Niigaan Sinclair, an associate professor in the Department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba, described the verdict as "yet another unsurprising example of the treatment of indigenous lives in Canada, which is always second class, which is lesser than".

A vigil was held in support of Colten Boushie in Halifax on Saturday.

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Inflation in particular will be of interest as it could affect expectations of more rate increases the Federal Reserve. US stocks are posting solid gains Monday as technology and energy companies recover some of their recent losses.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during question period that while much needs to be done to fix the way First Nations people are treated within Canada's criminal justice system, it would be "completely inappropriate" to comment on the specifics of of the verdict.

A similar fundraising page for Boushie's family, established five months ago, had raised $118,000.

As the phone lines opened to Canadians, the Saskatchewan woman shared an emotional response to the verdict that found Gerald Stanley not guilty in the killing of her 22-year-old cousin.

David Pratt, second vice-chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which represents dozens of First Nations in Saskatchewan, told Al Jazeera the verdict sets "a very, very risky precedent and underscores the fact that there is institutional, systemic racism in Canada".

I can't imagine the grief and sorrow the Boushie family is feeling tonight.

At a news conference in Regina, Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said that despite multiple inquiries into how Canada's justice system has failed Indigenous people, it remains rife with systemic racism.

"We don't want to just meet and discuss for the sake of a picture", Pratt said. "We just hope that this change is a win for all of us". We must claim space in the legislature, in parliament.

"We're going to go to the hill, and (the list) will be made public as soon as we get them to the Prime Minister", Jonathan said.

"We can never bring back the life of Colten Boushie". "We thank them for offering a spirit of fix and their openness to listen to Indigenous peoples so that our confidence in the justice system can be restored through meaningful dialogue and improvement".

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