Sask. Archbishop calls on public to address 'systemic racism in our society'

Archbishop Don Bolen says he doesn’t think Stanley verdict will have a direct impact on reconciliation efforts.

Archbishop Don Bolen says ‘we have to stand in solidarity’ with Indigenous peoples after Stanley verdict

Archbishop Don Bolen says solidarity with Indigenous peoples is vital going forward. (Radio-Canada/CBC News)

Many have weighed in on what Gerald Stanley's trial and subsequent acquittal means going forward for people living in Saskatchewan and for reconciliation efforts.

Our Indigenous friends are always telling us that reconciliation requires justice, is built on justice.- Archbishop Don Bolen

Regina's Archbishop Don Bolen said he doesn't think the verdict will have a direct impact on reconciliation efforts, but that the case illuminated systemic issues in society.  

"I don't think there's a direct impact. I think what's more important right now, is that this case and the verdict have shone a light on the systemic problems that we have in Saskatchewan and in other parts of Canada as well," Bolen said.  

"The racism that has come out on all quarters, on the other side of the trial, outside of the trial itself, point us to the need to work on relations with our Indigenous people and to learn to walk in solidarity."

Missing the 'larger story'

Bolen also said he thinks many people have missed the bigger picture when commenting on the verdict.

"I think many commentaries on this case have lost the larger story. And what is that larger story? It's a history of colonization, of residential schools where our Indigenous people have been marginalized," he said.

"Our Indigenous friends are always telling us that reconciliation requires justice, is built on justice."

Bolen said that solidarity didn't mean commenting directly on the verdict, but instead he said it means working toward the "larger picture of the pursuit of justice."

Stanley was acquitted in the shooting death of Colten Boushie earlier this month.

With files from Radio-Canada