In April 2018, a group of legal scholars and practitioners formed Project Fact(a) as a response to the acquittal two months earlier of Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley. Stanley had been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Colten Boushie, a 22-year-old Cree man. Legal experts, Boushie’s family and the Canadian public wanted a better understanding of what actually happened during this criminal trial process. The goal of the project, which is supported by York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, is to engage in deeper reflections on legal procedure and law, and to consider important factors not explicitly raised during the trial – such as systemic racism and the history of the land where the case unfolded.

This Policy Options series is based on research presented by participants in Project Fact(a). They hope their work will provide some context and educational tools for those trying to see positive next steps in the aftermath of Boushie’s tragic death.

Photo: Detail of “The Boys are OK,” by Jerry Whitehead. Whitehead is a Vancouver-based artist, originally from the Peter Chapman First Nation in Saskatchewan.