Saskatoon

'I'm confident we can make these changes': Boushie family takes case to Assembly of First Nations

The family of Colten Boushie is continuing to press for reforms to Canada's justice system.

Resolution calls for UN to investigate Canada's treatment of Indigenous people in the justice system

Colten Boushie's mother Debbie Baptiste and his cousin Jade Tootoosis were at the United Nations in New York City to talk about Boushie's death. Tootoosis addressed the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous issues as one of the speakers. (Melissa Kent/CBC)

The family of Colten Boushie is continuing to press for reforms to Canada's justice system.

On Tuesday the family was in in Gatineau, Quebec for a national meeting of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). They were there in support of a resolution they hope will pass today or tomorrow that calls on the United Nations to investigate the treatment of Indigenous people by Canada's justice system.

"As Indigenous people, our complaints, our concerns, our experiences are not being taken seriously to the full effect. Changes are not actually being made to laws, to policy," said Jade Tootoosis, Boushie's cousin.

Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley was acquitted of all charges related to Boushie's death in a high profile trial earlier this year. The Saskatchewan Crown later announced it would not appeal the verdict.

After the trial, Baptiste and her family traveled to Ottawa to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. They later went to New York to speak at the United Nations.

Colten Boushie is shown in an undated handout photo. Jade Tootoosis has said her family has "little to no faith" in Canada's justice system following the acquittal of the man charged in the shooting death of her cousin, Colten Boushie. (The Canadian Press)

'I hope someone hears us'

Boushie's mother, Debbie Baptiste, said she's optimistic changes are coming to the Canadian justice system, but that it will be a long fight.

"I'm confident that we can make these changes as long as we continue going," Baptiste said.

Eleanore Sunchild, the family's lawyer, said the AFN resolution wouldn't be enough to trigger a UN investigation. Their hope is that a strong show of unity from First Nations leaders will prompt the federal government to invite the UN to investigate.

"I hope someone hears us," Sunchild said. "We're here to keep up the momentum."

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