Justice for Colten: PEI rally held ( FEATURE VIDEO )

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A rally in support of  ‘Justice for Colten’ was recently held in Charlottetown February 10th, after not-guilty verdict of Saskatchewan farmer sparked anger and disbelief across Canada. Bradley Collins photo

By Bradley Collins

Feb. 13, 2018

Patricia Bourque said she wasn’t shocked, but saddened when she heard the not guilty verdict for Gerald Stanley in the shooting death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie.

“I can’t get Colten out of my mind. I’m at home reading and trying to process. When you come out to something like this, you have a chance to grieve with somebody else, a whole community.”

Bourque nearly began to cry as she spoke.

Bourque was one of 120 people gathered behind the Coles Building on a cold afternoon in Charlottetown for a rally of solidarity to support the family of Colten Boushie.

The jury’s decision sparked anger and disbelief throughout the country.

“You need to process sometimes outside of your head. It’s a lot better for healing.”

Bourque said it was good to see not just First Nations at the rally, but community members across the board from P.E.I. out in support, she said

“It feels good. It helps.”

Dawne Knockwood, with the Native Council of PEI,  said the Canadian justice system is unfair to Indigenous people.

“We’re over-represented in every single way in the justice system. We have a very low population. There’s a higher percentage of our people than any other within the (prison) system.”

Bourque agrees. She said without a doubt, the justice system is unfair if all you see are non-Indigenous people on jury panels.

“There are just too many stories. It’s happening. When you have such un-proportional rates of Indigenous incarcerated in one country, something’s wrong.”

Chief Brian Francis of the Abegweit First Nation said this is not a time for revenge or retribution in a speech to the crowd.

“This is a time for deep analysis of who we are as a society, what we want to be. So, I urge peace.”