nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up
True North | Women Direct/Women Deliver
On August 9, 2016, 22-year-old Colten Boushie was shot and killed by Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley. Those facts are not in dispute, except that Stanley claims his gun went off by itself ("hang fire"). It is easy to imagine how differently the subsequent police investigation and court case might have gone if Colten had been Caucasian. But he was Cree, and in Canada all lives are not valued equally before the law - not when law enforcement and legal practitioners are overwhelmingly settlers, and when the jury selection process can be rigged to weed out prospective jurors of Indigenous descent.
Tasha Hubbard’s searing film is a very personal, intimate, heartfelt and soul-searching documentary which follows the trajectory of the case as Boushie’s extended family fight for justice while the legal system repeatedly looks the other way. Hubbard - herself a Cree woman - muses about the implicit and sometimes overt racism which defines reactions to the case, especially on the ground in the prairies, where defence of property holds a strong emotional grip - though the settlers generally fail to remember who has the prior claim. All Canadians should see this film.