Feb 16, 2018
It has been one week since Gerald Stanley was found not guilty in the killing of 22 year old Colten Boushie last August. One week since a murderer walked free of any responsibility for taking a young man’s life.
We want to publicly state that we stand with Colten’s family and community as they continue their fight for justice, just as we stand with the families and communities of other young Indigenous people who have been taken, mistreated, ignored, and denied participation in and closure by the colonial justice system.
As young people and as students there is much we can do to take action and make change; to push for more justice and better futures for ourselves and our peers. For non-Indigenous students in particular, we have countless opportunities and a heavy obligation to take the knowledge we have access to here in university back to our families and communities. We need to avail ourselves of each and every resource here on campus to increase our understandings of Indigenous cultures, histories, and relationships to settler governments; we need to learn to decolonize our minds and hearts, and to take those learnings with us to our roles in the workforce, in the community, and in our families. In the wake of this trial and verdict, it has become clear that our settler communities need help to find empathy, understanding, and compassion for Indigenous struggles, and it is up to us non-Indigenous young people to undertake that work.
For Indigenous youth, we understand that this verdict and the vitriol surrounding it is but another in a constant stream of reminders that Canada does not see your worth or your strength. That we as a society have failed to value and respect you as you deserve to be. But we, as your peers here on the University of Regina campus and young folks in Saskatchewan, want you to know that we see and acknowledge your worth, your resilience, and your resistance. We know that your lives matter, and we stand with you against the colonial systems which continue to take your lives, mistreat you, ignore you, and actively deny your participation and leadership.
The staff and board of RPIRG