Family struggling after death of man on farm: uncle

Indigenous People

Family struggling after death of man on farm

SASKATOON — A relative of a man fatally shot on a farm in Saskatchewan says he and the family are struggling in the aftermath of his death.

Alvin Baptiste was commenting about his nephew Colton Boushie at a conference in Saskatoon on First Nations health issues.

Boushie, who was 22 and from the Red Pheasant First Nation, was shot and killed Aug. 9 while riding in an SUV on a farm near Biggar.

Gerald Stanley is charged with second-degree murder.

Baptiste says it’s hard to see his family hurting, and round dances, sweats and other traditional ceremonies are key to healing and health.

About 200 delegates at the conference offered hugs and condolences during a blanket ceremony to honour the family.

“It’s hard to see my family struggling, to see them hurt, so I try to find ways to heal my family. The only way I can think of is to go back to our traditional ways, our culture, our ceremonies, our sun dances, our round dances, all these ceremonies,” Baptiste told delegates.

“These have been handed down from generation to generation to heal ourselves … we cannot find that healing that I’m seeking in churches.”

Baptiste also said it’s crucial that indigenous youth are encouraged to attend traditional ceremonies.

“Our youth are into drugs and alcohol and we got to try to find ways to turn them around.”

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