Sask. religious leaders vow to 'work for peace and reconciliation' in statement on Gerald Stanley verdict
Bishops, archbishops call for 'active engagement' in reconciliation process
One week after Gerald Stanley was acquitted of all charges in the death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie, Saskatchewan bishops and archbishops are weighing in on the verdict.
"The events surrounding the tragic shooting death of Colten Boushie in August 2016, and the subsequent trial of Gerald Stanley and recent jury decision, have resurfaced profound pain to families and communities," said the statement.
It is jointly signed by Bishop Bryan Bayda, Archbishop Donald Bolen, Archbishop Murray Chatlain, Bishop Mark Hagemoen, Bishop Adam Halkett, Bishop Robert Hardwick, Bishop Sid Haugan, Bishop Michael Hawkins, Bishop David Irving and Bishop Albert Thévenot.
The statement is a response to Boushie's 2016 shooting death and the decision to acquit Stanley of a second-degree murder charge in connection with the death of the man from Red Pheasant First Nation, which has drawn calls for justice reform.
We reject the evils of racism and division, and strive to work for peace and reconciliation for a renewed future.- Joint statement from Sask. bishops and archbishops
It emphasizes engaging actively in the community to "address difficult issues together."
"The path of peace is more than simply avoiding conflict — it is a call to active engagement and to concrete action that builds right relationships," the statement says.
"We acknowledge the message many of us are already hearing from Indigenous people across this province and beyond: 'Be the change you want to see.'"
The bishops addressed the Truth and Reconciliation process and called on everyone to "pursue that goal with renewed passion and commitment."
The statement ends with the clerics saying "we renew our commitment to pursue meaningful, respectful dialogue and the building of positive relationships between all peoples."
"We reject the evils of racism and division, and strive to work for peace and reconciliation for a renewed future."
The Stanley family has not spoken publicly about the case. Neither they nor Stanley's lawyer, Scott Spencer, has been available for comment since the verdict.