Following is the complete text of the statement issued by Saskatchewan bishops on Feb. 15, following the acquittal of Gerald Stanley in the shooting death of Colton Boushie.
The events surrounding the tragic shooting death of Colten Boushie in August 2016, and the subsequent trial of Gerald Stanley and recent jury decision, have re-__surfaced profound pain to families and communities. They have also raised enormously important questions and challenges for our province and our country.
As bishops who serve Christian communities in our province, we join all those who are longing to escape the slavery of prejudice, racism, anger, frustration, violence and bitterness. We wish to join all those who are re-dedicating themselves to work for reconciliation and peace among all people in our communities and in our nation.
We continue to offer our prayers for all of you, and remain committed to the spirit and principles of truth and reconciliation as we learn to walk together as Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
The path of peace is more than simply avoiding conflict — it is a call to active engagement and to concrete action that builds right relationships. Our biblical tradition highlights that violence breeds violence; that the path forward encompasses acting honourably and seeking mutual respect as we address difficult issues together. We acknowledge the message many of us are already hearing from Indigenous people across this province and beyond: “Be the change you want to see.”
Building right relationships has been the goal of the Truth and Reconciliation process that Canada has embarked on in recent years, and all are now being challenged and called to pursue that goal with renewed passion and commitment.
As Saskatoon Tribal Chief Mark Arcand and Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said in a recent statement, “We must continue to work with each other in a good way, in a respectful way.”
As representatives of our churches, we call our own communities, and the wider community, to take concrete steps, in words and actions, in a spirit of humility and good will, rooted in profound prayer. We renew our commitment to pursue meaningful, respectful dialogue and the building of positive relationships between all peoples. We reject the evils of racism and division, and strive to work for peace and reconciliation for a renewed future.
Bishop Bryan Bayda
Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon
Archbishop Donald Bolen Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Regina
Archbishop Murray Chatlain Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Keewatin-__Le Pas
Bishop Mark Hagemoen Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon
Bishop Robert Hardwick Anglican Diocese of Qu’Appelle
Bishop Sid Haugan Saskatchewan Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Bishop Michael Hawkins Anglican Diocese of Saskatchewan
Bishop David Irving Anglican Diocese of Saskatoon
Bishop Albert Thévenot Roman Catholic Diocese of Prince Albert