Yukoners wanting to show solidarity with Colten Boushie’s family and friends are encouraged to gather at noon Tuesday in downtown Whitehorse.
The “Justice for Colten” Whitehorse gathering joins one of many events that have been taking place in cities across the country. That includes one in Yellowknife over the weekend and a second one today.
Attendees have publicly expressed grief and anger after a reportedly all-white jury in Battleford, Sask. found Gerald Stanley, 56, not guilty in Boushie’s death on Friday evening.
Stanley had been facing a second-degree murder charge and could also have been convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Boushie, 22, was from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation. He was shot and killed by Stanley in August 2016 on his farm in Biggar, Sask.
According to media coverage, defence and prosecution witnesses gave conflicting stories during trial testimony over events that day.
But many following the case have expressed concerns with racism over how the case was handled, media coverage, and the verdict.
Some of Boushie’s family members are in Ottawa meeting with federal ministers over their concerns with the case.
Among those speaking out publicly against the verdict is Perry Bellegarde, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.
On Friday evening he tweeted, “Justice was not found in the Court of Queen’s Bench in North Battleford today. We will never give up on justice for First Nations in Saskatchewan or anywhere else in Canada. Our Treaties are about maintaining peace and justice between Nations.”
Some federal ministers have also taken to Twitter to express condolences to Boushie’s family and state that Canada needs to do better in its treatment of Indigenous peoples.
They include Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Justice Minister and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould, Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott and Carolyn Bennett, the minister Crown-Indigenous Relations.
But some Conservative MPs have condemned the Liberals for speaking publicly on the independent judicial decision, noting it could be appealed and is still technically before the courts.
Tuesday’s Whitehorse gathering is set to take place at the Healing Totem on Front Street. Details about the event have been posted on the Our Voices Facebook page.