Saskatchewan, Feb 13 (Canadian-Media): Indigenous people and activists in numerous gatherings in Canada last Saturday demanded reform in the jury selection process in the Canadian justice system for Indigenous people after accused Gerald Stanley, a White farmer, was acquitted in the Colten Boushie -- belonged to the First Nation group called Cree in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan -- shooting case, media reports said.
Canadian justice system for Indigenous people. Image credit: justice.gc.ca
During the Stanley trial, an apparent lack of Indigenous member in the composition of the jury was pointed out. "There definitely has to be changes," David Pratt, second vice-chief for the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN), said in Saskatoon Court of Queen's Bench courthouse.
"We're urging the federal justice minister to take that action immediately. I'm hopeful that the premier will take notice and work with us to ensure that justice is done for the family and that the life of Colten Boushie will not be in vain."
The rally finished with supporters chanting, "Justice for Colten! Justice for Colten!"
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe reportedly said In a statement released Saturday afternoon, "I am listening, our government is listening, and it is important that we continue to listen to the many voices involved in this discussion."
He said that he would meet FSIN and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the near future.
Sen. Murray Sinclair, who headed Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, wrote an emotional poem on Facebook about the verdict on Saturday afternoon:
"Today I grieve for my country," it begins.
Trudeau was reported to say while speaking to reporters in Los Angeles on Saturday, "Our hearts go out to Colten Boushie's family, his mom Debbie, his friends and the entire community...Indigenous people across this country are angry, they're heartbroken. I know Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians alike know that we have to do better."
Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations said at a news conference in Regina, "We have to call on governments to work with us and develop [an] anti-racism plan and strategy."