Saskatchewan

Memorial feast held on anniversary of Colten Boushie killing

The family of Colten Boushie is reflecting on a memorial feast they held Wednesday on the first anniversary of his death.

RCMP invited to the feast, despite their lawyer's criticism of their homicide investigation

Colten Boushie's brothers William (left) and Jace stoke the ceremonial fire before the feast with friend Ally Wuttunee. (Jason Warick/CBC)

The family of Colten Boushie is reflecting on the memorial feast they held Wednesday on the first anniversary of the young man's death.

Boushie's uncle, Alvin Baptiste, told CBC News the family had invited everyone, including the RCMP, despite heavy criticism by the family's lawyer over the homicide investigation the Mounties conducted following Boushie's fatal shooting. 

On Aug. 9, 2016, Boushie, 22, was shot and killed on a farm near Biggar, Sask. Police charged Gerald Stanley with second-degree murder in Boushie's death. 

Stanley, who is out on bail, pleaded not guilty. His trial will take place Jan. 29 to Feb. 15, 2018.

Boushie's mother, Debbie Baptiste, said she was thankful for all the support, condolences and prayers. During the event, she said, she had a lot going through her head.

"My son should be alive today … We shouldn't have to have the memorial for him. I ask that we have justice for Colten," she said.

Baptiste said getting closure has been difficult, considering the long court proceedings. 

"Since the trial … keeps opening the wounds and the memories, it's hard to move forward in healing," Baptiste said. "This is our way of healing. We have to heal, my family has to heal from this." 

Baptiste said when a loved one passes away, First Nations people organize a feast for them a year later.

"He will always be remembered in our hearts. He may be gone but he's not forgotten," Baptiste said, adding he said he thinks about Boushie all the time and pities his family, especially his sister.

William Boushie said he was holding his five-year-old son's hand on the drive to the feast and was "puzzled" thinking of his brother's death. 

"We don't want this to be somebody else's son. To think that could've been me, that could've been my son, that scared me," he said. "I couldn't fathom what my mom had to go through.

"This shouldn't happen to anybody."

​Baptiste said although he is sad thinking about his nephew, he is grateful for the support from national chiefs and people across the country.

A representative for Chief Bobby Cannon brought gifts to the feast, including a painting of an eagle. People from other First Nations also showed up in support.

Colten Boushie, 22, was killed on a rural property near Biggar, Sask. (Colten Boushie's Facebook page)

Corrections

  • The first version of this story misidentified Chris Murphy as Chris White.
    Aug 09, 2017 9:31 AM CT

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