‘I cried. I felt for my children’: Hundreds stand in solidarity at Justice for Colten rally in Winnipeg

News source from CTV News

Hundreds of Winnipeggers attended a rally today calling for justice in the case of a Colten Boushie, a young indigenous man killed in Saskatchewan.

The gathering took just hours after a jury in Battleford, Sask. found farmer Gerald Stanley not guilty of second-degree murder in death of the 22-year-old from Red Pheasant First Nation in summer 2016.

“I was speechless. I cried. I felt for my children. I have boys that age, young men, and it just makes me feel like we took a step back,” said Tamara Genaille while holding a sign that read ‘Justice for Colten’.

The jury deliberated for 13 hours after hearing at the trial Boushie was shot in the head while he was sitting in an SUV that had been driven onto Stanley’s property.

Speakers at the rally pointed to Boushie’s death, the outcome in court as symptoms of a deeper problem.

“There’s years of history that went behind that gun shot that took that life. we have to understand that as a nation,” said Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Grand Chief Sheila North.

“It is a condemnation on this country that this happened. It is so evident what occurred but somehow a jury overlooked this and it’s absurd,” said Niigaan Sinclair who helped organize the Justice for Colten rally in Winnipeg and is a professor in Native Studies at the University of Manitoba.

Around 2:45 p.m. the rally moved from Oodena Celebration Circle at The Forks to the Law Courts building downtown. From there people planned to march to RCMP ‘D’ Division on Portage Avenue.

Grandmother Cheryl Alexander attended to show support for Boushie’s family. She said this won’t be the last time Indigenous people feel pushed side.

“We care about what happens in our community. We’re striving for justice,” said Alexander.

READ MORE: Winnipeggers join ‘Justice for Colten’ movement following not guilty verdict

Boushie’s family said none of the jurors had indigenous backgrounds.

Mike Friesen, 32, said there is lot of work to be done between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.

“Even though it happened in another province it meant a lot,” he said. I think there’s a mess in our society that were turning a blind eye to.”

Several people told CTV News despite the sadness following the verdict there is hope because so many people came together to fight for change.

Winnipeg organizers said there were more than a dozen rallies in support of Colten Boushie held across the country Saturday.

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