Sunday, February 11, 2018

Jody Wilson-Raybould, Attorney General of Canada (

Don Morgan, Attorney General of Saskatchewan (

Ms. Wilson-Raybould; Mr. Morgan:

I am a Canadian citizen and settler resident on the traditional and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, the traditional territories of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

I write to you today with regard to Gerald Stanley’s acquittal in the shooting death of Colten Boushie.

Criminal trial verdicts are judgments on individuals’ actions at specific points in time, but they also send messages about the behaviors that the society that created those laws is willing to accept or condone.

Like my indigenous friends, and many other concerned Canadians, I am deeply offended and saddened by Stanley’s acquittal.

Stanley was acquitted by an all white jury, whose ethnic makeup was not reflective of the community in which the shooting occurred.

The jury verdict says, in essence, that the life of a young indigenous man is worth about as much as a coyote’s or a wolf’s, feral animals that can be put down if they stray onto settlers’ property.

The verdict has cheered Canada’s burgeoning population of alt-right activists, who now feel emboldened to attack and harass indigenous people everywhere in Stanley’s name.

The verdict also makes a mockery of federal and provincial governments’ attempts at reconciliation with indigenous people. Reconciliation for settler governments’ genocidal policies toward indigenous people must involve more than words.

When there is no justice for indigenous people, there can be no hope of reconciliation.

I urge you to appeal the Stanley verdict. The facts of the case dictate a different outcome. Indigenous people – indeed, all Canadians – deserve a more just and fitting verdict.

Sincerely yours,

Christopher Brayshaw

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