Farmers union rejects municipalities' resolution to expand rights to defend land
National Farmers Union says resolution is not the way to address problems in rural areas
The National Farmers Union says it rejects a resolution passed by the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities that calls for more legal rights for people to protect themselves and their property.
The farmers union says the resolution reveals what the group calls a dangerous undercurrent of fear and aggression in rural Saskatchewan.
It also says that's not the way to address problems in rural areas.
Youth adviser Christopher Sanford Beck says the focus must be on building relationships between rural neighbours — both Indigenous and non-Indigenous.
Rachelle Ternier, Saskatchewan co-ordinator for the NFU, says the group rejects vigilante justice.
She says a safe future for all rural residents includes working together to create better living conditions and treating each other with respect and dignity.
"We, the NFU, affirm the value of people over property. We do not support the ongoing colonial violence that continues to damage the social fabric of Saskatchewan," she said Friday in a news release.
"We thank the RM delegates who had the courage to vote against the resolution."
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations has also come out against the resolution, It has said it was "shocked and disgusted at the violent intentions" behind the resolution.
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The FSIN and the farmers union say the resolution grows out of the fatal shooting of an indigenous man on a farm near Biggar, Sask., last August.
Colten Boushie, 22, of the Red Pheasant First Nation, was shot and killed while riding in an SUV that went onto a farm.
The farm's owner, Gerald Stanley, is charged with second-degree murder. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for early April.
SARM president Ray Orb said this week the resolution was not directed at anyone in particular, but was more about a rise in the number of break-ins and thefts in rural and urban areas.