A sister of Colten Boushie hopes the award-winning documentary that chronicles Boushie’s 2016 death and the acquittal of his killer Gerald Stanley will raise awareness and encourage others to stand up and speak out.
Jade Tootoosis wants those who watch nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up to do so with an open mind.
“We want people to be more aware, we want them to be educated about what is happening in this country, what continues to happen to Indigenous peoples and Indigenous families,” said Tootoosis in an interview with APTN.
“And then reflect on your place in this world, reflect on your abilities and the gifts that you have that contribute to this world, to this society. And knowing that we all have a responsibility and that we all have a voice that can contribute to the changes that we see need to happen.”
The documentary follows the family as they proceed through the trial, and the journey after as they fight for justice.
In August 2016, Boushie, 22, from Red Pheasant First Nation was shot and killed after he and some friends entered the property of Gerald Stanley in rural Saskatchewan.
Directed by Tasha Hubbard, the documentary follows the Stanley trial and the aftermath in the Boushie family’s pursuit of justice.
Stanley stood trial in 2018 for second degree murder. He was acquitted.
After weeks of deliberating, a jury that featured no Indigenous representation found Stanley not guilty, a decision that sparked outrage and calls for justice across the country in the form of rallies and protests.
The family’s request for an independent investigation was denied and the Crown did not appeal Stanley’s acquittal.
But the Boushie family did not stop in their fight for justice after the trial.
They went to Ottawa to speak with various leaders and sat down with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. They went to New York where their story could be heard by the United Nations permanent forum on Indigenous issues.
Tootoosis also hopes the film inspires those watching to act.
“When you see wrong being committed and you know that’s not right, it is your responsibility to do something about it and step forward,” she said.
“And that’s something that we hope people will understand when they watch this film, that what happened to us should not have happened to us and it should not happen again.”
The documentary can be viewed in full on Sept. 13 on APTN.