Manage episode 200764359 series 1003322
Many Canadians, Indigenous and settler alike, were furious to learn the back-to-back verdicts in two murder cases. Juries declared Gerald Stanley not guilty of killing 22-year-old Colten Boushie, and Raymond Courmier not guilty of killing 14-year-old Tina Fontaine. The cases exposed how our colonial justice system makes it easy to exclude Indigenous citizens from juries and how rarely families can expect those who kill their loved ones to go to prison.
Some people protested in the streets. Some people protested with their art. Some people wept for the dead and for the future of their children. And some people did all three.
One such man is Rex Smallboy, the former leader of War Party, one of the country’s most successful hip hop bands ever. The motivational speaker and award-winning artist from Alberta’s Maskwacis Cree reserve released the song “Hey They Killing Us” immediately after the jury freed Tina Fontaine’s killer. You’ll hear it later in this show in which Smallboy discusses:
- The level of anxiety he faces at the thought of his children simply going out of the house
- The angry reactions some settlers, including a friend, gave him for discussing the racism that Indigenous Canadians experience daily
- His fears that Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine will be forgotten
- What he wants more than anything else
- The one place in Canada he’s found where Indigenous and settler Canadians live together with respect and kindness, and what it’s going to take to fix the country
Rex Smallboy spoke with me by Skype on March 6, 2018. During our discussion he referred to Hobbema, the former settler name for the Maskwacis Cree reserve 70 km south of Edmonton.
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