Saskatchewan

FSIN chief calls for justice in Colten Boushie case

The death of a young indigenous man in Saskatchewan has the Chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations speaking out.

Chief Bobby Cameron backs family, wants new investigator and prosecutor

Colten Boushie was killed on a farm near Biggar, Sask. in August 2016. (Facebook)

The death of a young indigenous man in Saskatchewan has the Chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations speaking out.

During a General Assembly this week, Chief Bobby Cameron said their organization, which represents 74 first nations in Saskatchewan, unanimously passed a resolution seeking an outside investigator and prosecutor for the Colton Boushie case.

In August 2016, five indigenous young people drove onto a farmer's property near Biggar, Saskatchewan.

There are conflicting reports whether they were looking for help with a flat tire or stealing from vehicles in the yard.

Gerald Stanley leaving North Battleford provincial court on the last day of his preliminary hearing in April. (Jason Warick/CBC)

Boushie, who was 22 and from the Red Pheasant First Nation, was shot and killed.

Gerald Stanley, a 55-year-old farmer, is charged with second-degree murder in relation to Boushie's death. His case will go to trial later this year.

​Questioning the RCMP

Since the incident, the Boushie family has accused the RCMP of treating them disrespectfully, showing bias and mishandling evidence.

Cameron also said the evidence was flawed, specifically because a blood-stain analysis was not done on the car before it was taken to the compound.

"Someone died in that car," he told CBC. "How on earth can the North Battleford RCMP screw that up and allow a towing company to tow it to the compound?

"My goodness, it's just disgusting what they did."

The family wants a new prosecution team before the case advances. Cameron said the request can be summed up in one word: "justice."

"The family needs justice and they need to feel that they are being listened to and being heard, and, more importantly, that they can continue to heal," he said.

This week, the Chiefs of the Legislative Assembly committed the full support of FSIN to the Colten Boushie family's petition for an independent Crown prosecutor on the Gerald Stanley murder trial. (Moe Morin/FSIN)
It's just disgusting what they did.- Chief Bobby Cameron

During the preliminary hearing, Cameron said there were a few discrepancies that the family and others noticed.

"We just feel that someone outside of Saskatchewan may be more inclined to ask tougher questions," Boushie's cousin Jade Tootoosis said.

In a statement, Justice Minister Gordon Wyant said that isn't necessary.

"It is a prosecutor's duty to prosecute all cases based on their merit under the Criminal Code of Canada. I am confident that counsel assigned to this case will do so appropriately," he said.

Colten Boushie's mother Debbie Baptiste was presented with a star blanket at the FSIN assembly this week. (Moe Morin/FSIN)

Moving forward, Cameron said he will sit down with the family, First Nations leaders and others, to get more direction on what needs to be done.

The FSIN will take the resolution to the AFN's national assembly in July with its 634 First Nations present.

With files from Bonnie Allen

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