Boushie Family Releases Statement Ahead of Hot Docs Opening Night Premiere

Senator Kim Pate, Eleanore Sunchild, Senator Lillian Dyck, Sheldon Wuttunee, Debbie Baptiste, Alvin Baptiste, Jade Tootoosis, Chris Murphy.

By Pat Mullen

Ahead of tonight’s Hot Docs premiere of nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up, which examines the death of Cree man Colten Boushie and the ongoing fight for Indigenous rights, Boushie’s family released a statement about their experience and several calls to action for audiences inspired by the film.

Read their statement below. [Capitalization is at it appears in the original statement.]

“Our family is humbled by the support we have received from many First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples across canada, as well as Indigenous peoples from around the globe, who have shared our experience. We are thankful for the non-Indigenous allies who have stood with us since the devastating loss of our Colten.

We hope that nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up shines a light on the significant barriers the canadian legal system presents to Indigenous peoples and families seeking Justice for their loved ones. What Indigenous peoples experience within this system is unacceptable! We will continue to press provincial, federal and international leaders to make real and lasting change.

This path to change can begin with these steps:

  • Conducting a Royal Commission to address the systemic racism that exists in canada’s legal systems
  • * A full public inquiry, into the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of Colten Boushie, as well as the subsequent investigation, trial and acquittal by an all-white jury of Gerald Stanley which revealed that systemic discrimination remains deeply rooted in the canadian legal system and the collective canadian conscience.
  • * The invitation of and cooperation with the United Nations Special Rapporteur to facilitate an external examination of the racism within the Canadian legal system
  • * Continue to press for meaningful change to the jury selection process to eliminate peremptory challenges and replace with a mechanism that allows for diverse juries
  • * Pressure on all levels of government to enhance victim support services for the people and Indigenous families who are left behind to grieve, heal and seek Justice for their loved ones.

We will continue to tell our story, and fight for Justice, out of love for our son, brother, grandson, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend, Colten “Coco” Boushie.”

Directed by Tasha Hubbard, nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up opens this year’s Hot Docs festival and screens at DOXA before a theatrical release beginning in Toronto in late May. Tonight’s Hot Docs screening will feature Debbie Baptiste, Colten’s mother in attendance, along with Colten’s brothers Jace and William Boushie, his sister Satin Denny, sister/cousin Jade Tootoosis, uncle Alvin Baptiste, and the family’s lawyers Eleanore Sunchild and Chris Murphy. Read more about the film in the feature Justice for Colten.