The Sunday Edition

What the reaction to Colten Boushie's death reveals about racism in Canada

Colten Boushie was killed when he drove onto a farmer's land looking for help with a flat tire. The farmer has been charged with murder. An outpouring of rabid social media posts shows many Canadians believe Mr. Boushie, who was Aboriginal, deserved to be shot because he must have been planning to rob the farmer. Rachel Giese's guest is Charlotte Loppie, professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy, and director of the Centre for Indigenous Research and Community-Led Engagement at the University of Victoria. Professor Loppie is of Mi'kmaq and Acadian ancestry.
Protesters outside the court where Gerald Stanley made his first appearance rallied for an end to racism in Saskatchewan. (CBC)
Listen31:49

Colten Boushie was a 22-year-old Cree man from the Red Pheasant First Nation, northwest of Saskatoon. One day in early August, he and four friends drove on to the property of a 54-year-old farmer named Gerald Stanley. They say they had a flat tire and were looking for help. An altercation ensued, and Colten Boushie was shot to death.

After Boushie's death, there was an outpouring of racist comments on social media, condoning and even cheering his killing. Some said the only thing Stanley did wrong was not killing every one of the young men and women who drove onto his property.

As a person of Indigenous ancestry, obviously these are painful things to hear and to read...but as a researcher, it further validates a lot of what we've been finding, which is the undercurrent of racial tension in countries like Canada, where Indigenous people have been colonized and the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people hasn't really been reconciled. - Charlotte Loppie

Guest host Rachel Giese spoke with Charlotte Loppie about the historic roots and present-day consequences of the particular brand of racism directed towards Indigenous people in Canada. Ms. Loppie, who is of Mi'kmaq and Acadian ancestry, is a professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy and Director of the Centre for Indigenous Research and Community-Led Engagement at the University of Victoria.  

Click the button above to hear the interview.