National Farmers Union condemns racist online comments following Colten Boushie's death
National group offers condolences to family of 22-year-old man
The National Farmers Union is the latest group to condemn racist remarks being made on social media following the shooting death of an Indigenous man on a rural Saskatchewan property.
The union put out a statement Wednesday afternoon saying it wishes to "express our profound sadness over the tragic shooting of Colten Boushie and extend our deepest condolences to his family and community.
"As farmers, we condemn the rampant racist remarks that have circulated since the death of Colten Boushie, including comments made on the 'Saskatchewan Farmers' Facebook group."
- Family devastated after Colten Boushie shot and killed on farm near Biggar, Sask.
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Boushie, 22, was shot and killed on a rural property near Biggar on Aug. 9.
Boushie was one of five people in a vehicle that came into a farmyard in the Rural Municipality of Glenside around 5:30 p.m. CST, according to RCMP.
The property owners didn't know the people in the vehicle. A verbal exchange happened and a shot was fired, striking a man in the vehicle.
A man associated with the property, Gerald Stanley, 54, is charged with second-degree murder. He will make his second court appearance in North Battleford on Thursday.
Following the death, hateful and sometimes racist comments emerged online.
On one Facebook group — the Saskatchewan Farmer's Group which the National Farmers Union referred to in its statement — people posted derogatory comments about the victim. Some even cheered and expressed support for the accused shooter.
"Poor f--ker is going to be put through hell just because he shot a Native I'm sure," wrote one person, whose Facebook profile identified him a farmer from Saskatchewan.
The Facebook group has since disappeared.
Pleas from political leaders like Premier Brad Wall calling for an end to the racist comments were met with mixed reactions.
- Responses flood in after Sask. premier asks for racist comments to stop after shooting
- Sask. politicians call for end to racism following Colten Boushie's death
On Wall's Facebook post about the "intolerant" comments, some people congratulated him for taking a stand on an issue that has polarized some members of the public.
"You are the great leader Brad! As a new Canadian, I'm highly impressed by your anti-racist view in Saskatchewan," was one response.
Others criticized the premier.
"I am deeply offended though that you'd support laws that infringe upon peoples' freedom of speech especially in the face of a calamity such as this," one person wrote.
The National Farmers Union says it is committed to building relationships of solidarity, mutual respect and friendship with Indigenous people to honour "our obligations as Treaty people."