When I was 18, I drove my friend’s truck into a snowbank in a field in the middle of the night. We were joyriding, laughing, driving around with our pyjamas and blankets. Well, we got stuck – it was a big snowbank. We could see the farmer’s lights in the distance, and my friends wanted to walk over for help. My white friends – all blonde and blue eyed.
I refused to leave the truck, and I hella refused to go into some farmer’s yard. At that time, I didn’t have the words to explain to them that it was dangerous for me to go there. That farmer’s lights did not equal safety to me. For me.
The next morning, they walked to the farmer’s house and got help.
I stayed in the truck.
I share this story because this isn’t a new phenomenon. We all carry stories like this. We have all had moments of great danger that no one would even notice if they were not Indigenous. I cannot speak – and will not speak – for every Indigenous person out there but I can speak up for myself.
This was not a jury of ‘my peers.’
This was not justice.
This was murder.
And we will not let it be forgotten.
– tenille k campbell
I cannot articulate how deeply troubled I am that the murder of
#ColtenBoushie is not only dismissed, but justified by the court. The 22-year-old young Indigenous man was murdered.
Those that believe this was justified – ask yourself if you believe the situation had been reversed – if you would feel the same way if it was a white boy on the Rez who had been “accidentally” shot.
The murder of
#ColtenBoushie is just another reason for “the talk.” The talk we give our young people is how to stay alive – how to avoid being shot or arrested, or given a twilight tour in the snow.
The murder of the Indigenous child
#TinaFontaine is the reason we give our young women “The Talk” – how to reduce your chances of being murdered or go missing. #ColtenBoushie is our son, brother, cousin, uncle, father, friend. He did not deserve to die. He did not deserve to be killed. He did not deserve to be murdered. #ColtenBoushie is every Indigenous man… it could have been anyone of us. It did not need to be. It’s time for Justice. #JusticeForColten
#ColtenBoushie will not be forgotten. His loss is felt across nations. He’s our ancestor now.
– Jessica Wood, via Twitter
What Can I Do?
If you feel the need to do something – anything – to show support as an Indigenous person or an ally, here are a few options for you.
1. Donate: https://www.gofundme.com/justice4colten
If you are not in the position to donate, spread awareness for the GoFundMe page through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, WordPress, Snapchat, etc.
2. Physically BE THERE for the Family and Supporters of Colten Boushie
- Justice for Colten: Day of Action (links to events held in various cities throughout Turtle Island)
- IdleNoMore.ca – has a comprehensive list of actions and events taking place
3. Be an Ally
If you are Non-Indigenous – this is where you specifically come in. Share the f*ck out of anything #JusticeforColten that you see. You will be surprised by how many of your ‘good guy/girl’ friends will attempt to justify murder, but it’s a great way to weed out the garbage.
Remember these phrases: ‘reverse-racism,’ ‘I don’t see colour,’ ‘it’s not about race,’ ‘this is divisive,’ and anything along the lines of any sort of blaming the victim – ‘well, they shouldn’t have been there,’ ‘they shouldn’t have been drinking,’ etc.
Remember those phrases because the people saying them are usually shit.
Ask for blessings and strengths and compassion for the Boushie Family.
5. Read, Understand and Engage
- “The Night Colten Bouchie Died,” (by Joe Friesen)
- Social Media: check out the Twitter feeds belonging to Sarah Hunt, Pam Palmater, Erica Violet Lee, Mylan Murdo, and many others.
Image: art in campaign title: “Justice for Colten” by Zola (@zola_mtl), made with the Boushie Family’s permission
7 thoughts on “#JusticeForColten: Why This Matters and How You Can Help”
Thank you for posting this. It is important for those of us who want to help in a respectful way to have some guidance. Completed 1 a few days ago and working on 3&5
Ashamed to say but never realized how bad it was and is until I started reading the TRC report.
[…] via #JusticeForColten: Why This Matters and How You Can Help — tea&bannock […]
Thank you for posting this. I have shared it via my blog as well.
I an a settler woman living on treaty six land. I went to the vigil for Colten at the Alberta Legislature last night. Listening to speakers share from their heart about the pain and fear and anger they each live with was deeply moving. Hearing several thank the non indigenous people like me who came to stand as allies and to begin to step up to working for change was humbling. We were lied to all of our lives and now some of us want to understand the truth of history. Change can come.
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Thank you for sharing Colten’s story and for offering ways for others to get involved and show up! Colten and so many others deserve justice!
[…] #JusticeForColten: Why This Matters and How You Can Help: A guide to different ways to support Colten Bushie’s family and make sure this never happens again. […]
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Reblogged this on Auntwheezie's Blog and commented:
Educate yourself. Ask questions. Be better. Ask how you can be a better friend to your indigenous friend(s).
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