February 26, 2018

Canada’s justice system continues to fail Indigenous people with recent verdicts

The National Circle of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Students of the Canadian Federation of Students condemns the not-guilty verdict of the murderer of Tina Fontaine.

Less than two weeks after an entirely non-Indigenous jury acquitted Gerald Stanley of the murder of Colten Boushie, Raymond Cormier is found not guilty, despite recordings where he describes murdering Tina Fontaine.

In the case of Colten Boushie, the jury allowed Gerald Stanley to walk with the extremely unlikely defence of a hangfire scenario, which has yet to be replicated by firearms experts.

With only 3% of homicide cases in Canada ending with acquittals, it is an insult to see that two of these, within less than two weeks of each other, have resulted in the exoneration of the accused murderers.

The justice system has, once again, failed Indigenous communities, showing a lack of value for Indigenous lives and putting belief in reconciliation at risk. Indigenous peoples have demonstrated across the country as a result of the verdicts and are expressing a withering faith in the justice system to keep them safe.

It is an emotional and uncertain time for Indigenous people who are feeling disappointed with the outcome of the cases. As Canadians, it is crucial for all of us to come together and support each other through this. Together, we can push for a more just nation where we all feel equally represented and safe in our country.

The National Circle of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Students calls on the students of Canada to join Indigenous communities in demanding justice for Tina Fontaine, Colten Boushie and Indigenous people.

#JusticeForTina #JusticeForColten #MMIW2SG


Coty Zachariah

National Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students

Phyllis McKenna

Chairperson, National Circle of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Students

Sadie Phoenix-Lavoie

Circle of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Students Representative