It is not a secret that Canada’s justice system, like the American system, favors the white man. Incarceration rates upon the Indigenous population in Canada resembles those of the African American diaspora in the USA. The recent case on the murder of Colten Boushie has shown Canada that, once again, Indigenous lives aren’t as protected as others within the justice system. The Truth and Reconciliation 94 Calls to Action are a direct cry for change towards the way that Canada governs its country and protects the interests of Aboriginal Peoples.
Colten Boushie was a normal young adult trying to enjoy the freedoms that this country has given all its citizens. As a young adult myself, I can say that I have also gone out for a day of drinking on the beach with some friends. The only difference is that he was a young Indigenous man, and thus seen as a stereotype. Boushie and his friends had been enjoying a day at the beach, and while driving home had gotten a flat tire. The group of young men had stopped on Gerard Stanley’s property in order to fix the problem and get some help, and this was a fatal decision for Boushie.
Stanley, who has been acquitted, had shot Boushie resulting in death. Many responses from the community have been made. Across the nation we have seen Vigils forming to raise awareness to the perpetual injustices against the Indigenous peoples within Canada. Regardless of the efforts of caring Canadians, another incident has happened. Tina Fontaine has been murdered and, yet again, the responsible actor Raymond Cormier has been found not guilty.
According to CBC, $53.8 million has been allocated to the inquiry of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous peoples in Canada, yet there is no way of knowing how many men, women and children have been murdered. In 2015 the MMIW commission had found 174 missing women. However, Canada has had no wide-spread critical response or change regarding these crimes.
Acadia students are called upon to make a change, to become aware, and to take action. No longer will we stand silent against these injustices.
Acadia students are organizing a Vigil to commemorate Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine. More information will be available at the Wolfville Farmers Market in the morning of March 3rd. We invite all members of the community to attend this information session. We are also honored to receive Elder Joe Micheal on March 6th at noon in the Acadia KCIC to further the conversation on Indigenous livelihood within Canada. Let’s take things in our own hands within our community to further awareness on injustices happening in our own back yard.