On the morning of Wednesday, June 27, 2018, in Hamilton, Ontario, a jury of 5 women and 7 men found Peter Khill not guilty of the second-degree murder charge, for the intentional premeditated shooting of an unarmed Six Nations man, Jon Styres. The parallels between the Jon Styres and Colten Boushie cases cannot be ignored, as both cases highlight how Canadian jurys across the country continue to send the message to Indigenous communities, that Canadians private property holds more value than the lives of Indigenous Peoples. Both young men were unarmed on private property when they were shot. In both cases, the men standing trial for second-degree murder were found not guilty for the shootings.
Idle No More organizers stand in solidarity with the family and friends of Jon Styres. We continue to witness in case after case, the Canadian justice system puts the value of property above the value of indigenous lives and bodies. Jon Styres, Tina Fontaine, Colten Boushie are only the most recent names in a very long list of justice denied for Indigenous peoples.
This a justice system that claims we are judged by a jury of our peers but that claim could not be further from the truth. Indigenous Peoples in the court systems are not judged by our peers, period. We are judged by the colonial settler society, in colonial setter systems. A settler society who has been taught about us as if we no longer existed. As if we existed only in the history books taught in Canadian school systems.
There are several similarities with the Colten Boushie case in Saskatchewan, the most obvious is when evidence presented that the angle of the shot suggests Jon was facing the truck yet this jury chose to believe a statement of self-defense, fearing for his life, when he could have stayed in his locked house and called the police. Instead, he chose to go get his gun, unlock the ammo and load his gun. He probably passed a phone or two before heading outside with the intent to use of excessive force on a person. Who else in Canada gets to do this and get away with it? Settler white people do, that’s who.
Idle No More supports the Justice for Jon call to action for July 1st, 2018. We will continue to update this webpage with Solidarity events as they are passed on to us. Below is the call to action statement issued on June 28th, 2018:
“Today the women of Six Nations are standing in solidarity with Jonathan Styres family and carrying a message: the time for talking is done. Now is a time for action.
Today, we will not celebrate Canada. Today we mourn it.
Indigenous people’s lives are not valued by Canada’s legal system.
We continue to be targeted by colonial violence on our own land.
Systemic racism in Canada had created a justice system that doesn’t hold our lives of equal value to another person’s life.
Indigenous people are over-represented in the jails and underserved in the justice system when we go missing or get murdered.
This is a call to action for all of our Indigenous brothers and sisters and allies from the North to the South; East to West of Turtle Island to rise up and resist this celebration of continual colonialism and genocide of Onkwehonwe people, and of our Mother Earth.
Reclaim your territory in whatever way you can to send a reminder to Canada that it stands on Onkwehonwe land!
Livestream events with the following hashtags to connect with our Indigenous communities across Turtle Island.
HASHTAGS TO USE: #JusticeforJon
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: JusticeforJonStyres@gmail.com
For more information on different ways you can support the call for Justice for Jon, join the Facebook group, Justice for Jonathan Styres – Six Nations of the Grand River
Justice for Jon Styres Event Page Listings: