In response to Gerald Stanley’s not guilty verdict in the death of Colten Boushie, Assembly of First Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde is calling on all levels of government to help make adjustments to Canada’s justice system.
“There has to be a national action plan to overhaul the justice system, but there has to be a national action plan to deal with the racism that exists,” Bellegarde told reporters on Saturday morning.
He said change begins with every province and territory implementing an anti-racism strategy.
“When lives are viewed as less than property or possessions, that’s when society breaks down. We don’t want our society to continue to break down; it has to be rebuilt based on trust and respect and caring.”
“What happened up there in Battleford might have been a legal process, but it wasn’t a justice process.” – Assembly of First Nations National Chief @perrybellegarde on the #StanleyTrial not guilty verdict in the death of #ColtenBoushie. pic.twitter.com/EGAhBQ1UX2
— Jessie Anton (@jessieanton_) February 10, 2018
What Boushie and his friends were doing on Stanley’s farm that August 2016 day isn’t the point of this case, added Bellegarde.
“The young people and Colten Boushie weren’t on trial, Gerald Stanley was on trial. A young person’s life was taken — shot in the back of the head — that’s what people should focus on.”
Bellegarde said he’s been in contact with Boushie’s family and supports them in their request for an inquiry and any further justice.
Come springtime, Bellegarde added Canada will be under a Universal Periodic Review by the United Nations and the country’s human rights record will be rated by other member states. He said he plans to discuss this case on an international level.