Thunder Bay joins in show of support for Colten Boushie family
About 150 people attended a weekend vigil at Hillcrest Park
About 150 people gathered Saturday to show their support for the family of Colten Boushie, and call for changes to the Canadian justice system during a vigil held in Thunder Bay's Hillcrest Park.
The Thunder Bay gathering was one of several that took place across Canada the day after a Saskatchewan jury found Gerald Stanley, 56, not guilty in the 2016 shooting death of the 22-year-old Boushie.
Boushie was fatally shot in August 2016 during an altercation on Stanley's rural Saskatchewan property. Stanley testified during the trial that the shooting was accidental.
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"It made me feel really good that people came out to show their support and to stand in solidarity with Colten Boushie's family," said Jana-Rae Yerxa, one of the organizers of the Thunder Bay vigil. "I think the support is important ... but I wish that there didn't have to be a call to action for Colten Boushie."
"It's disheartening and it's really upsetting that we need to gather like this to show public disdain for the verdict in the Stanley trial."
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Nishnawbe Aski Nation Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum praised the vigils and their participants.
"That needs to happen," she told CBC News on Sunday. "When we gather in these peaceful vigils, we are saying that we need to stand together, that this is not allowed anymore."
"The government needs to acknowledge what has taken place, and they need to make those changes that need to happen."