First Nations to rally at Queen’s Park following not-guilty verdict in Jon Styres shooting death

As Canada Day revellers celebrate July 1 in downtown Toronto, a group from a southern Ontario First Nation will be mourning the death of Jon Styres.

A group from Six Nations, the home of the 29-year-old Indigenous man who was shot dead near Hamilton, Ont., is calling for a “day of direct action” at Queen’s Park.

“Today, we will not celebrate Canada. Today we mourn it,” reads the event’s press release.

A 21-gun salute is planned for noon at Queen’s Park, at which time those participating in the “flash mob style demonstration” will drop down with their hands up. There will be songs, drumming and speakers to highlight the “injustice to our people in the provincial and federal court system,” reads the release.

On Wednesday, a jury found Peter Khill not-guilty in the death of Styres, who died after breaking into a truck on a rural property. While Khill admitted to firing at the unarmed father of two, he said he thought Styres was holding a gun at the time.

Defence lawyer Jeffrey Manishen said race didn’t play into the matter, as it was dark at the time of the shooting and there’s no way Khill would have known Styres was Indigenous.