Statement on Racism and Reconciliation
February 14, 2018
On Racism and Reconciliation
We have taken a little time to consider the impacts of the Gerald Stanley trial, events leading up to the trial, the verdict, and events that have happened since.
First, a young man is dead. We send our sincere condolences to Colten Boushie’s family, his friends, and his community. This is a tragedy, and we should never forget that.
Secondly, Saskatchewan has a racism problem. This problem extends to all of Canada. Racism and colonialism have plagued this province and country for generations. It permeates our systems, our institutions, and our interactions.
That penetration of systemic racism became abundantly clear in the handling of Gerald Stanley’s trial, the verdict, and the vitriol of hatred that has dominated online and in-person comments since. It is repulsive that anyone would ever place more value on things than on a human life.
Indigenous people deserve better. All Canadians deserve better.
We all have a role to play. That’s why the organization we represent, the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, is continuing on its path to reconciliation.
Externally, we have and will continue to advocate for Indigenous rights, anti-racism policies, and fair treatment towards Indigenous people by governments and their institutions.
The issues surrounding Colten Boushie’s death and Gerald Stanley’s trial are not new to Indigenous people, but this case has certainly brought these issues into the light for the rest of Canadians. This has been more truth, it’s our hope that more reconciliation will follow.
“We have described for you a mountain. We have shown you the path to the top. We call upon you to do the climbing,” - Senator Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Larry Hubich, SFL President
Lori Johb, SFL Secretary-Treasurer